Cycling - 2

Started by Dixkot, May 11, 2013, 23:27:41 pm

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Wasn't too sure if I'd make it out today. Weather looked like it might be pretty dismal and after a great Steve Hillage Band gig last night cycling just didn't seem so alluring.
So, whilst waiting to see what the weather would do, I put a new chain on the Winter Bike, think it might need a new bottom bracket too, but that can wait.
Anyway, the rain on the rainfall radar kept melting away as it approached Chesterfield, so I kitted up - with arm warmers - and hit the road, just as it started to drizzle. Drizzle soon faded and I just set out doing a few laps of a Calow Cock Alley circuit, then I looped out further and eventually made it up to the tops.
That was 48 miles which was 48 more than I thought I might do at one time, so all's good. I got in my targeted 80ft of climbing per mile too and that sees me at 232 miles for June.
Legend in my own Mind


Wanted to do 42 or 43 today - as much as anything to reassure myself that my knees were OK, or what passes for OK now, following their unplanned exertion on Monday night. I really wanted to do Stoney and back again as that's my favourite 40+ route at the moment, but I'm on call today and that would have taken me a long way from home at the most distant point. Shame as it was nice enough weather and with the footy on 5 Live that would have been bliss.

So I thought I'd do a run up to Belton and back, turn homeward, then tack on a run down through Twycross and Sheepy then back the same way. That had the advantage that I'd be able to get my distance fairly precise, since I've memorised the distances to home from a few landmarks down that way.

So - I did that, but I decided it would be more interesting to turn left along Watery Lane toward Bilstone and come back that way. So I had to sort of busk it from that point to get the right distance.

Stopped at the wooden bus shelter at Odstone having done about 34, had a break and consulted my offline map with landmarks and distances. The bus shelter was 4.7 miles from home by the usual route. So I decided to take a long, looping  route home that would allow me to cut across quickly if I got a call, but should see me home on 43-ish. Or so I thought. Actually it was 45.60.

A few more than I wanted then but my knees coped OK and I'm fairly reassured. I didn't get any calls and actually the challenge of getting the right distance, albeit I didn't manage that particularly accurately, was a bit of fun.

Lucky to have a dry day today, it's rained pretty heavily here for the last few days and there were a few puddles so I took the Boardman. I was itching to take the Tarmac out for a run but that will have to wait. And actually the weather looks fairly wet for the next week, according to the forecast.

I wrapped up a bit too warm overall - legs out but three layers on top - and was a bit sweaty in the sunshine, but comfortable enough during cloudy periods.

Just noticed that according to Strava I did more than 2,000 ft of elevation, and it's been a long time since I did that. More than a year apparently.

That's 136 this month, 1492 this year.


Did 41 miles this morning. Threateningly dark clouds at times but stayed dry, very pleasant. Made room for a crackin' roast dinner!


Wish the threateningly dark clouds had stayed dry in the Peak District. Although I didn't actually get rained on by them, it was a deluge from unthreatening looking clouds. I thought once up on the tops I'd be in a god position to gauge what the weather was doing, but the weather had other thoughts, so I was forced to keep changing my intended route. Up at the top of Froggatt I got drenched and severely chilled going downhill as the temperature plummeted, then once at the bottom the roads were dry!
However the roads I wanted to take looked as if they were being hit by a deluge, so I headed South through Hassop along dry roads in warm sunshine, with nice squelchy socks and cold feet. At this point my lights faded because I'd forgotten to charge them and my cadence sensor started acting up. One minute I'd be pedalling at 80rpm, the next at 200+rpm - believe me, my legs cannot spin that quickly, not with cold thigh muscles!
Another 65 miles in the bank and June's Strava climbing challenge finished, don't think I've completed one so quickly before. Looking at the next week's forecast might be a while before I can get out again.
Legend in my own Mind


Not enjoying my cycling at the moment. Need to sort my head out, find a new challenge maybe
The new songs are an abomination


Quote from: Jonners on June 10, 2019, 09:54:04 amNot enjoying my cycling at the moment. Need to sort my head out, find a new challenge maybe
Why do you need a challenge? Just get out there and ride - it's what the roads are for!

Not that I've done much cycling a lately, what with all the rain of the past week. Managed a 21 mile ride on Thursday, mainly up and down a local short sharp hill and up and down a hill in the local park. Although the winter bike is making some ominous creaking sounds...

Today was just a 35 mile ride. Forecast was for light showers, I can cope with light showers. Rainfall radar had shown a band of rain running North/South over the other side of Derbyshire, so I thought I'd be OK. Wrong. After 22.5 miles it started to rain. Heavy rain. It then eased off, so I thought maybe it was just a heavy rain shower. Then it all kicked off again with raindrops the size of marbles, I decided to head home, but this involved a descent with a few twisty bends, I have never come down it so slowly before, but I didn't want to end up like Chris Froome.

Of course as soon as I got home the rain stopped and the sun came out, but by then I was getting a bit hypothermic. Perusing the rainfall radar after I got home, the North/South rainband made a sudden decision to head East as I set off. Guess I'll never make a meteorologist.
Legend in my own Mind


I wanted to do about 45 today. I did 45 last Sunday and that seemed to go OK, but I'd done a couple more than I intended. I thought of doing a run down to Stoney Stanton and a couple of miles south of there, but that one needs navigation assistance and I couldn't be bothered transferring the track to my Garmin.

So I thought of doing Grimston and back. I gave myself a bit of a setback a few months ago by doing nearly 50 miles there and back. I'd been looking to being able to do it again.

However the more usual route there and back is only 47.5 miles and it involves less elevation than the last ride I did, so I decided today was the day.

Nice and sunny when I got up at about 08:00 but a bit cloudy by the time I set off at 09:20. Rain was threatened by 15:00ish and although I was sure I'd be back by then, I took the Boardman.

Quite an enjoyable run out mostly. Got rained on a few times, despite the forecast. The weather was very variable, ranging from a bit too cool and cloudy to warm-ish and sunny with on and off light rain. Consistently blowy, but not excessively and no bad headwinds.

The pub was still closed when I got there but I made do with a mini pork & pickle pie on the bench at the village green, and I was happy enough with that.

It rained particularly consistently over the last couple of miles but not heavily. I ummed and (indeed) ahhed over whether to repel any residual moisture from the chain with GT85 on my return. It still has the original factory lubricant on it. I decided that was enough to protect it and let it dry off. I did give the frame a wipe down, and hosed the gear parts and cables with GT85.

Right knee is a little bit hurty now but I'm sure it will be OK by Monday. Nothing troubling.

Glad to have done that one again and I'd like to think that by August I can keep going along that route all the way to Belvoir Castle and back, like I used to a couple of years ago.

47.51, quite a nice boost to the June distance tally which now stands at 184 miles.


I woke from my afternoon nap to find pleasantly dry and sunny conditions making themselves obvious through the bedroom window. So I rose, quaffed a post-nap coffee and scrutinised the rainfall radar.

The weather seemed to be travelling in a NW direction, with a sort of corridor of dryness passing over NW Leics for what looked like a few hours.

Normally I take at least a day off after a ride of any substantial duration but the forecast looks a bit iffy still for the next week or so. Furthermore I'd stuffed myself at a local hostelry a couple of hours earlier, and I'd opted for a fairly gratuitously unhealthy dessert - so I took an opportunity to do a short ride. I set off intending to do at least 15, with the option to extend a bit if I decided my knees were happy enough. And they were, so I did 21.83; a medium Twycross.

Really nice out there. Blowier than yesterday but the wind was coming from the south, so I wasn't bothered by it on the second half of the ride. Intermittently sunny and cloudy. Decently warm. I did get rained on very lightly near Sheepy, but only for a few minutes. I'd taken the Boardman anyway, just in case.

Stopped at the Gibbet post a few miles from home.

It seems to be the time of year when you often see beetles scurrying across the road in front of you while out on a bike. And here's the odd thing: they always seem to be travelling directly across the road. They seem to take the shortest route to the other side, quite deliberately. Can you even see the other side of the road at that distance from the ground? Do they actually appreciate the danger on some level?

Quite a lot of corvids out and about at the moment, mostly magpies and either rooks or crows or both (I can't tell them apart).

I also had an opportunity to see a goldfinch up close; the poor bugger had been squashed by a car. Actually having just had a look on the RSPB site, it might have been a hawfinch. Had orangey plumage.

That's 205 done this month, pleased enough with that given the weather. And I see that I've passed the 1500  mile mark for the year, which means half-way to target. 1562 done.


When I'd warmed up from yesterday's drenching, I liberally doused the bike's drivechain with GT85. I then consulted the weather forecast to see what lube to use. Why do I check it? It said today and the next couple of evening's would be dry, so I dry lubed it.
Come this morning, the forecasts had changed to rain showers. Light according to the hour by hour forecast and heavy and thundery in the synopsis. Ho-hum.
On the first part of my ride - up to see my old father for father's day - dry lube looked the wrong choice as the rain started, but soon stopped and after giving him a present of a quarter bottle of Rioja - and receiving two full bottles of Rioja in return (He can't manage a full bottle these days) I set off into an afternoon which although rather blustery stayed resolutely dry.
I started with a few laps round Calow Green just in case the weather turned nasty, but then set off on a wider range, out the fleshpots of Dronfield - and boy do the bonny lasses of Dronny show some flesh! *pukes* - managing to get in a 50 mile ride with over 4,000ft of ascent. It'll do. 400 miles for June so far will almost do.
Legend in my own Mind


I just use wet weather lube all the time - is there an advantage to using dry lube over wet lube in dry weather?

OK I've googled it and answered my own question:

Using wet lube properly requires regular degreasing and cleaning of your drivetrain. In dry, spring and summer conditions you want to use a lighter lubricant, normally a wax-based 'dry' lube. Dry lubes are much cleaner to use and attract less dirt build-up even with repeated application.

Must admit my chain and cogs can get a bit gunked up between being cleaned (or changed). Actually I've found GT85 to be a decent enough lube if used frequently enough; that was what I used on the hybrid when I was riding it regularly and it's still on the same chain.


So I saw my physio again yesterday and got my MRI results and they are pretty positive - there's some minor aggravation, but nothing (she assures me) that should stop me from doing the 100+ milers again eventually.

"I've seen five people with cronky knees already today", she told me. "And you aren't one of them". She also told me to keep cycling, whatever I do. So with a view to obeying orders, since it's going to rain tomorrow anyway I decided to man up and go for a ride in the rain.

Dry enough when I set off on the hybrid in wet weather clothing including a helmet cover, and for a while I thought I'd got away with it. Cloudy, but warm and dry. But an hour later it was chucking down. I didn't mind in the least though as I'd been warned and actively expected it. Made a nice change.

I set off in the general direction of Belton through Coleorton, but decided on a whim that I'd see if I could find the Cloud Trail - a flat cycle route from Worthington to Derby. I followed the signs but apparently not carefully enough as I didn't find it, and ended up on a road between Worthington and Breedon that I hadn't done before. A bit hilly. But a nice view of the church on the cliff edge at Breedon.

From there I pedalled off to Donington, where they were dismantling tents and clearing up after Download. Took a left to Melbourne and back the usual way from there. Quite a nice run out albeit a fair bit more climbing than I intended. And the hybrid certainly feels like a lumbering heavy old carthorse of a bike now.

Hosed it down with WD40 when I got back then gave it a wipe down with an old rag.

22.26, 228 this month.

More on Thursday probably. I heard this morning that a prolonged spell of dry weather isn't expected for weeks! But at least the next few days look OK at the moment.


The forecast for today was for dry weather, but as I opened the door to the Tesco lady I couldn't help noticing, as she unloaded the Foie gras and Bollinger from the side of the van, that it was raining very heavily. Proper biblical.

But a forensic examination of the rainfall radar data later revealed that a single blob of intense rain had passed over, no more than a few miles wide. The roads were reasonably dry by the time I set off at about 16:40, and a couple of miles out of the village, there had clearly been no rain at all. Rather nice weather for a ride in fact, not blowy, mostly sunny and decently warm. I sort of wish I'd taken the Tarmac instead of the Boardman as I've been itching for another run out on it for a while, but I played it safe.

Wanted to do at least 40 but I also didn't want to stray too far from home, as I was on call after 6pm. So I adopted the time-honoured strategy of going north first, then south. This time I went up to Melbourne then down through Ashby through Ticknall - a route I used to do often a year or two ago, but have been avoiding since injuring my knees due to Bastard Hill, north of Ashby. It was a strain today admittedly, but it didn't hurt my knees.

From then I came down through Ashby and did a fairly typical Twycross.

Took a couple of pics at the bridge over the old railway line, a few miles from home.

As you can see, the tracks are long gone but their imprint on the landscape remains. The line was closed to passenger services in 1931, and to freight traffic 40 years later. Three miles along the track there was a little railway station that now simply does not exist; demolished completely for a housing estate.

Back home on 38.97 miles. 267 this month. Would love to do 48 or so on Saturday but I'll still be on call so I'll have to think about that.


Oh yes, and how could I forget? Discarded female underwear sighted in the grass verge between Swepstone and Heather. White with black lace trim and polka dots.


Wasn't sure how my ride would go today. Tramping the streets of London on Thursday left me with a left knee that could only walk for about 100 yards on Friday without leaving me in intense pain. I think there's something about London's pavements that really does my knees in.

So I set off quite gently, but there was no reaction in the knee whatsoever. Which was nice. That's my than I can say about my thighs at the end of the ride as they were complaining mercilessly. That could be because I did 10 miles more than I thought I would and I did more climbing than I've ever done before.

The 80 miles I did gets me over 500 miles for June and over 3,000 for the year. Still not halfway to 100 miles of elevation gain for the year. Time the weather  settled down.
Legend in my own Mind


Lovely day for it and despite being on call, I wanted to do 49 or 50. As usual I devised a rough plan that wouldn't take me too far from home.

While investigating routes on the Strava planner I'd found a stretch just south of Derby that was remarkably flat and wanted to check it out, so I did. Went up to Swarkestone Bridge through Melbourne, turned left and followed the road along to Stenson, where I took this pic at the Bubble Inn.

Hadn't been there since 1992, when I dated a girl called Julie. Difficult memories, but we needn't dwell on that here.

So from there I turned back but kept on the same road past Swarkestone Bridge, along to Weston-on-Trent, where I stopped at a bench and consulted Google Maps. It looked like the best route homeward was back the way I'd come. But mindful of the need to build up the miles a bit without venturing too far, I pedalled along the flat road over to Stenson again, before turning back once more and going back down over the bridge.

The flat road is quite pleasant - an A road, but not too busy. Not my favourite sort of cycling but enjoyable enough. Certainly well surfaced and free of climbing hills.

Took a deviant route around Melbourne where I stopped again for a few minutes. Then after Coleorton and back in my on call comfort zone, I did a run up over Belton way, part of my old "Belton Figure of 8" route.

Took a long detour over the last few miles to get the distance up to 50. Home on 52.25 (the bike computer said 52.22, so very pleasing accuracy). That's the longest distance I've done for over 13 months.

Felt a bit knackered after that, but I think that was possibly the heat and the brightness. Also perhaps because the S Works has a slightly less comfortable riding position. It's been comfortable enough since I flipped the stem but the bars are still a touch lower than the other bikes and I hadn't done more than 32 on it before. Also, I didn't find a suitable wee stop for the whole 50 miles.

It was a proper short sleeves, warm day. I wore a cap rather than a helmet to keep the sun off my eyes. Couldn't help noticing that every other cyclist out today was wearing a helmet, but I have to consider the number of miles I've done over the last 4.5 years (17287) against the number of times my head has collided with something heavier than an insect (0) and conclude that I'm fairly safe.

I did enjoy that. Would have been a bit more relaxed if I hadn't been thinking about the possibility of my phone going off, and if I'd had a spare inner tube. I don't own one with a valve long enough for the Cosmic rims. I must fix that.

I was passed by a couple on a tandem a few miles after I set off, in Coleorton. The rear rider had a laminated sheet pinned to her backpack announcing that they were doing - if I remember correctly - a 190 mile ride for a charity in a single day. Would love to know where they'd set off from and where they were going, but they don't feature in my Strava FlyBys as yet.

That's 317 done this month which is over the adjusted target of 292, but still a bit under the original target of 329 for June.