Cycling - 2

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November 16, 2019, 19:01:42 pm #3675 Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 19:13:26 pm by Slim
No rain today, though the roads were mostly fairly wet in places from overnight rain and waterlogged here and there. I took the Boardman out yet again, hoping to do 40 or 50. Decided to go out eastwards, in the direction of Belvoir Castle.

I wrapped up very warm but conditions weren't as cold as I expected. I was actually quite comfortable. I'd done 21 miles when I was confronted by a flooded section of road under the bridge at Six Hills:

Shame, because I was quite enjoying myself and would have done another five or six miles before turning back. I couldn't really think of an alternative route from this point, and the road to Barrow from there was also closed. So I turned for home.

Interestingly the three vehicles under the bridge were stationary, two with hazards on. I took the pic from behind a barrier - had they ignored it and got stuck?

Stopped at my favourite pit stop, the Greyhound Inn at Burton on the Wolds on the way back. Sat outside, to keep an eye on the bike and had my usual ham & coleslaw ciabatta with chips and a half San Miguel. Once again about a half-cupful of tomato ketchup was provided.

Once back over the border into Leicestershire, I extended my ride a bit by taking a right after Hathern through Long Whatton and Diseworth. Long Whatton was on the local news a few days ago due to flooding, but it was fine today. The only place I had to pedal through water (only about 2cm deep) was near Cotes.

Listened to 6 Music. Liz Kershaw had Pete Townshend on, talking about his new novel and Live at Leeds which was this week's nomination for her "All Killer No Filler" feature. She asked why he thought it had gained such iconic status as a live record, and he replied that it might have something to do with the simplicity of the recording. He mixed it at his own studio apparently, using a valve compressor made by a friend to "pump it up".

Liz played Young Man Blues, and you can definitely hear echoes of it in the live version of Working Man, I think. Especially in the bass.

I used my Garmin Foretrex 401 for a change; I don't think it's had a run out for more than a year. One nice thing about it is that you can just switch it off to pause a ride; I did that just before going into the pub. Switched if on again just before I resumed pedalling. My Forerunner 35 has a "pause" function but in practice it times out and saves the ride, so you have to start again to "resume". Another good thing about the Foretrex is that it takes AAA batteries, so you can effectively "recharge" it out on a ride, again without interrupting your track. Ideal for a longer ride of course; if I ever do Wales and back or a ride of similar distance again it will come in handy.

Interestingly the firmware seems to have a feature whereby it doesn't record a new waypoint unless you've gone a significant distance from the last one - so you don't get those squiggly bits of track from walking to a farm gate at a wee stop.

Anyway .. 44.49 miles, taking me to 171 this month. Pleased enough with that with two weeks left before December kicks in.


Rain Again today. Wasn't forecast - just heavy cloud - but whilst I was cleaning and lubing the chain it started precipitating. It got quite heavy for a bit, but just after 2 it relented so out onto the roads it was!

They were a bit damp though, mainly where I didn't expect them to be. I suspect the wetness is gradually seeping its way down. It's certainly doing nothing for the road surfaces, potholisation is in full spate, there's some whoppers out there now and plenty of gravel across the roads. Nice.

Managed to fit in a couple of Cat 3 climbs today. Hard work. Especially back up to Beeley Moor, a couple of minutes worse than back on Summer evenings, but 9/23 for the day says that others may not have been at their peak either. I was quicker than French Boy though. Does anyone else have people they get regular flybys with on Strava? Whenever I head out to Beeley on a Saturday I get one with the Frenchie - although funnily enough not today even though he'd been that way.
Legend in my own Mind


Quote from: Nïckslïkk2112 on November 16, 2019, 22:33:37 pmDoes anyone else have people they get regular flybys with on Strava? Whenever I head out to Beeley on a Saturday I get one with the Frenchie - although funnily enough not today even though he'd been that way.

I don't usually check them, though I've wondered if Jonners has cropped up on them once or twice. Just yesterday I see he did about 20 miles of roads I do quite often myself, including my favourite stretch north of Bosworth. And Mythe Lane, just south of Ratcliffe which I've been avoiding this last few weeks on the grounds that it's highly likely to be flooded. Which it evidently was yesterday; he posted a pic on Strava of the spot that very regularly gets flooded next to the Anker.


Another dry day, and sunny to boot. I took the afternoon off and withdrew the Boardman again shortly after noon, for a run out East.

The road to Coalville was closed, so I made my way to Ashby Road and past Belton via Swannington. I used to go that way often but I do that rarely now, mainly because it involves a long, fast descent along a none-too-smooth surface, followed by a similarly long climb.

I was halted by the same watery obstruction as Saturday, but this time rather than just coming back, I took a road to Wymeswold called Narrow Lane, after which I joined the "old route" out East that's fallen out of favour now, but at least isn't flooded.

I decided to take a right after 30 miles and attempt lunch at the Black Horse in Grimston. But it was closed. That made me think of coming back through Burton on the Wolds to eat at the Greyhound Inn, but I'd have to detour round the flooded road again. I didn't bother. I just made do with an oat bar at a farm gate, and came back via the time-honoured original route through Wymeswold and Rempstone. I'd love to say that it was nice to do that route again after all this time, but nah. It was a bit of a tedious slog and that's why I've stopped doing it.

Once again I took a detour through Long Whatton and Diseworth to come home.

Cold, especially after the Sun went down not long after 4pm. Even in winter, bright sunlight on dark cycling clothing has a pleasingly warming effect. But I put on my balaclava for the last 15 miles in proper darkness and I was comfy enough. Home on 56.16 miles.

Quite a nice run out and a bit of a distance boost for the November campaign which now weighs in at 228 miles.

I must admit though it was a bit lazy just repeating that run again, albeit with an unfamiliar detour. It did occur to me during the ride that it might have been nice to do something less familiar - I've been meaning to do a run up to Belper in honour of my old mate and work colleague Shaun Appleby, who lived there. Or I could have done another run out toward Stafford. But that would have taken a bit of planning and I'm lazy. It was a spontaneous afternoon off though, to be fair.


I'd thought of doing 30 or 40 after work today, but the weather forecast suggested it might be a bit too cold after dark. So I took a long lunch break and settled for a Twycrosser of Modest Duration.

I thought that 22 or 23 miles would probably make best use of the available time. Started off by heading north toward Ashby to elongate the ride a bit at the top, but cut across to Congerstone just short of Twycross along the lovely Bilstone Road, then along Barton Lane to Barton in the Beans, where I took the pic below.

I think that was probably the coldest ride so far this autumn. But only 23.27 miles. And that's 251 this month, 3736 this year.

Back just on sunset which today occurred at 16:05 round these parts.


Wasn't sure if I'd get out today.

1. The weather was grotty again
2. I've been feeling grotty with a cold all week. One of the perils of having a wife who works on a school reception and is trained as a first aider, is that she tends to bring home all sorts of ills. Normally my cycling fitness helps me fight them off, but not this week.

But, seeing as I could stand up and noy wanting to get dragged into doing the housework I headed out. Unfortunately my front derailleur has decided to stop shifting altogether. Fortunately it's stuck on the small chainring, so there was no temptation to flog it. It was bloody hard work though. Got a bit misty higher up too, but I gave it an hour and twenty for a total of 20 miles. It was enough. Can't say I felt worse for doing it. Can't say I felt better either. Back just after sunset at 16:00. Sunset's 15:58 tomorrow. It'll only get another 11 minutes earlier though and from 17th December the nights draw out again - unlike the mornings.
Legend in my own Mind


The weather has been dismal this last few days but the forecasters promised no rain today. I wrapped up warm and set off on the Boardman at about 10:20, in the hope of doing 30 or so. To my pleasant surprise, it wasn't as cold as I'd expected out there. Damp and a little foggy. So rather than doing a Twycross I turned in the direction of Coalville and Thringstone, to head out East. After a few minutes, I decided I'd do 50 or so.

Although the roads were a bit wet, the fog lifted and the Sun came out for a bit after 11 AM. I hoped the roads would be a bit less flooded, and in particular I hoped that the flood that had closed the road under the bridge at Six Hills had gone. Thankfully, it had - not even a puddle. I think they must have unclogged a drain. I encountered a bit of shallow water flowing across the road near Cotes, but other than that the roads were fine.

By the time I was cruising along Six Hills Lane, I'd decided to do a Fondo. I already had the Strava Fondo badge for November, but thought another one wouldn't hurt. I turned back the way I'd come about a mile short of Eastwell. Would have gone all the way there, but was conscious of the need to get back home while there was still a bit of light, as I only had flashy blinkers on the bike.

I now memorise the Fondo distance in miles, 62.14 - by thinking of the start of the Beatles' chart career ('62) and the start of the First World War ('14).

I did come back exactly the same way for a change rather than detouring through Diseworth or Coleorton.

5 Live switched from its Premier League show to the Prime Minister's speech at the Conservative manifesto launch at 2pm,  and I was just buzzing. He hit just the right energetic, enthusiastic, can-do note, I thought. Just so much more positivity and optimism in the party than Theresa could ever have generated, and he managed a couple of zingers. Carbon-neutral by 2050, and Corbyn-neutral by Christmas. Brilliant.

My DAB battery ran out not long after that, so I listened to The Yes Album, which was a bit of a Sunday afternoon tradition in my teens. All those years ago.

Unfortunately a heavy drizzle descended, two miles from home. Shame I didn't get up half an hour earlier.

I bought a new GPS watch from Amazon on Friday, a Garmin Instinct. Gave it a trial run today. Stylistically it's quite like a G-Shock, but very light on the wrist. Has a lovely hi-res, high contrast LCD screen and a long battery life. You can customise the data visible on the screen while you're riding - I have clock time, elapsed time, battery status and (of course) distance done. It syncs to Garmin Connect, and thereby to Strava, by bluetooth. Very handy.

I didn't actually need it of course. Just one of those things that's nice to have. I'm a sucker for gadgets.

Home on 62.43 miles which takes me to 313 this month. I'm happy enough with that but the weather looks a bit more accommodating toward the end of the week so perhaps the November campaign isn't done yet.


Went out on dry roads today for the first time in ages! Well, occasionally dry roads, sometimes even dusty roads, but up on the tops water is still coming off the land to give gutter rivers and occasional across road ponds. There wasn't even any drizzle either.
Still not feeling 100% - which for me is about 80% - but better than yesterday, apart from a massively snotty nose, forever bubbling like a volcanic mud pit at Rotorua. I did manage to get in a decent climb today, something I don't think I'd have managed today. The downhill makes the uphill all the more worthwhile :)
Legend in my own Mind


Interesting things happening in turbo/Zwift land.

Have been really struggling for the last few months, just thinking I was losing fitness etc

Anyway, changed to a new turbo tyre, and realised the back wheel had not been housed properly and was rubbing on the back wheel, so basically training with the brakes on!

What a difference that has now made!!!!!!!!!
The new songs are an abomination


November 26, 2019, 22:52:24 pm #3684 Last Edit: November 26, 2019, 22:59:04 pm by Slim
It stopped raining this afternoon and the Sun came out for a bit, so I took a long lunch break and went for a Twycrosser. I took the hybrid this time. The roads were pretty wet and I don't want to overwork the Boardman. It had done 7 in a row, it's my only winter road bike and there's quite a lot of winter left! Also, I haven't lubed it since the last time I hosed the chain and gears out with GT85.

Not that cold, but a lot blowier than the BBC had led me to expect. Seems you can't trust them for anything these days.

The hybrid is a heavy old carthorse of a bike really but it rolls along pleasantly enough if you take it easy, which of course I did. I had a quick look round the newly built housing estate not far from Slim Towers on the last half mile. Just being a curtain-twitching nosy neighbour really, but it did have the effect of padding my ride out just over 20 miles.

Back after sunset and I only had flashy blinkers on, but it was still light enough to see the road.

20.12, 333 this month.


Not been out for weeks, in the meantime two cyclist workmates have come a cropper, one with a broken neck/vertebrae  (car from the side) and one with a broken arm/elbow (cycled into the back of another cyclist).
Everybody's got to evalate from the norm.


Actually got round to getting the winter bike in to be serviced.

Definite new bottom bracket needed - the bearings fell out when he removed the crank. Going to upgrade to a "Twist Fit" with Aluminium shells, should last longer. New headset bearings needed too, it looks like the bike has done lots of wet winter miles. Yup.
Legend in my own Mind


Weather looks dry for a few days. But cold. According to the BBC temperatures reach a high of 2° at midday tomorrow, then stay there until 1AM on Sunday when they climb to a slightly more tolerable 3° for a couple of hours.

A little bit less cold later on Sunday.

I wish I'd planned my life a bit better. I'd have a second house in New Zealand, and just not do winter.


Well - I'd been intending to do at least 40 miles tomorrow, although I don't know if the rather cold conditions will permit that. But I can't resist a sunny afternoon so I thought I'd go out and do 15 or so today, as well.

The roads are a bit wet and muddy, partly from thawed frost I think. It's cold out there but at least it's not windy. I used my Garmin watch but annoyingly it took a long time to locate itself from the satellite signals, so much so that my patience ran out and I set off before it was ready. I think that GPS devices use previously cached data to pick up their position more quickly, so it's probably normal for a new one. I must have a read about how that works.

Anyway it locked onto the satellites after about .15 miles. I've added that to the spreadsheet.

I took the hybrid again since I intended a short ride. Apart from that I'd just cleaned out and lubed the chain on the Boardman and didn't want it getting wet and muddy immediately afterwards. I did a sort of truncated Twycross. Really nice out there apart from the temperature.

17.91 miles. I will go out tomorrow as well, hopefully the roads will be a bit less wet and mucky. Perhaps a pub stop to warm up a bit is in order.


Thankfully, Mrs S got up this morning to fetch the Winter bike back from Bicycle Repairman. Apparently it's a very nice bike - now it has a new bottom bracket and headset bearings - the wheel bearings are still good though and I must admit it does roll well still. It did a lot of rolling today, I'm still trying to shake off last week's cold. Head's full of catarrh and the lungs are struggling. 

So, I took the opportunity to break in the brake pads properly - accelerate to 12mph then brake sharply to walking pace, repeat 20 times, then accelerate to 20 mph and brake sharply to walking pace repeating 10 times - it took some time as it ideally needs flat roads without traffic, both of which are hard to come by.

Still, 26 miles takes me to 6,232 for the year, beating last year with a month to spare! Not that I get in many miles at this time of year. A scant 293 for November and not even enough to hit the Strava monthly climbing challenge, but I am 115,000 ft ahead of last year :)
Legend in my own Mind