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Cycling - 2

Started by Dixkot, May 12, 2013, 00:27:41 AM

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Quote from: Slim on April 20, 2021, 14:26:44 PMPleased to hear!
Have you changed how you publish them then, or is it just down to my fancy new phone that I can now see them?

It'll be your phone - I'm guessing you have a different ISP, that doesn't block the domain name. But I will sort that out anyway soon.

New Helmet arrived today, MET Manta. Comes with a gel insert for the front bit that goes on your forehead. Also, comes with a nice bag to keep it in as well

Lightest, comfiest, best looking helmet I have ever had, only ever bought cheap ones

Hopefully this one wont get tested out!
The new songs are an abomination

I think I've only worn a helmet once so far this year. Tend to wear a cap when it's sunny or a dutt if it's colder. Either can be stuffed into a backpack or pocket if necessary.

Live free, ride free. Don't try to hide when the dice have been cast. That's the way I roll on my iron* horse baby.

*carbon fibre or aluminium

I'm up in my home town of Hartlepool for a few days. Nothing to do with the upcoming Westminster by-election; so far the only useful work I've done for the party here is taking my mum's postal vote to the post box.

A beautiful sunny afternoon and I thought a run along the coast was in order after work. I removed my bike from the garage here yesterday and inspected it - it's picked up a little bit of surface rust on the shiny bits of the caliper brakes, and the stem bolts. I'll replace the stem bolts probably and perhaps I'll scrub up the brakes with a fine wire brush. I sprayed out the chain and the gears with GT-85 today, and relubed it. I also gave it a good clean with some heavy duty surface wipes - it was filthy! I had no idea standing in a garage did that to bikes, mine doesn't seem to.

I gave the bar tape a good clean but within a couple of miles, as you can see in the pics, it was disgusting again. I'd made the mistake of leaving the bike gloves in my mum's garage with it, and I suppose they must have absorbed a load of muck as well. Oh well.

At least it was running very nicely, when I climbed aboard after work and set off in the direction of Seaton Carew. I rode along the coast then inland a bit to Seal Sands, then hung a left toward Teesmouth. Very nice out there though the industrial landscape looks stark in the bright sunlight. But the headland across the bay looked beautiful, lit up by the sun.

Due to the aforementioned impending by-election, the 5 Live Drive programme to which I was listening was being broadcast largely from Hartlepool. They even brought Wayne Sleep on to reminisce about his childhood here; at one point he was actually getting quite emotional about it. And if I'd been listening in NW Leics as usual I'd no doubt have been feeling a bit homesick for my home town, so it was nice to be rolling through it on the way back in the spring sunshine.


20.63 miles, 300 this month.

some great pics Slimmers from Hartlepool. 

the "where oilrigs go to die" was very poignant
The new songs are an abomination

April 24, 2021, 18:03:09 PM #4701 Last Edit: April 24, 2021, 18:04:54 PM by Slim
Out and about in Teesside again today and this time I decided on a run inland. Going along the coast offers a very flat route, but the inland option involves climbing, especially over the first few miles. I raised the saddle a few mm first, using an Allen key set I'd bought at Halfords yesterday. I also changed the handlebar angle slightly. I looked for a small bike pump while I was at Halfords, having forgotten to bring one (I also forgot to bring a mirror, annoyingly). But I decided they were too expensive and bought one at Tesco for £5 instead. This turned out quite nicely because it's made of black & yellow plastic and matches the bike.

I set off up to Hart, a village two miles away where I'd often go for a beer on a Monday lunchtime, 40 years ago. Then west through Station Town and Wingate.

Wingate especially looks very run down - the road running through seems somewhat neglected, with potholes galore. And the shops lining it look like they haven't had a lick of paint since the 1950s in some cases. I kept on until I hit the main road to Durham. I followed it for a couple of miles before I decided it was too busy. Shame, as I did a ride from Hartlepool to Durham in the summer of 1989 on my Raleigh Routier and probably took that same road. It was no doubt quieter back then.

I took a left and looped back toward Hartlepool, but took a road to Trimdon, to hook back west a few miles later. I got as far as about three miles west of there before I found myself looking down a steep bank that I didn't want to pedal back up. So I turned for home. That might actually have been the route I took to Durham, 32 years ago come to think of it.

Really a great view from up there though, with a massive Amazon fulfilment centre a few miles in the distance. I suspect those things would probably be visible from the Moon with a decent pair of binoculars.

Turned right onto Coal Lane on the way back and came through Elwick, where I used to visit a pub called the Spotted Cow in my late teens. It's still there, but I didn't stop. The state of Coal Lane was awful, really a rough road surface despite being decently wide and decorated with a white line. But it's probably used mainly by farm vehicles. I had to lift the bike over the crash barrier to cross the A19 - there used to be a gap there for traffic, but it's closed now. But I didn't mind that at all. Made it easier to get across each carriageway, not having to worry about vehicles using the gap to turn.

Nice weather, not cold and mostly sunny. A bit blowy.

Back on 34.47 miles.


I can't say as I've been able to cycle anywhere as delightful as British West Hartlepools or glorious County Durham, but I was out and about in the industrial wastelands of North East Derbyshire as usual. I noticed that the hamlet of Toadhall Furnace now has a sign telling you that you have arrived there. The etymology of Toadhall is probably a corruption of T'owd 'ole from the former Iron smelting furnaces there.

Being as it's still closed to traffic, I braved the ascent of Crow Lane today and was surprised to find it had been resurfaced. Why? It's closed to powered transport. Hope they aren't hoping to reopen it as our dim Liebour MP wants the council to do. When I reached the residential road - unclosed to traffic - at the top, there was a scruffy bloke walking six mobile turd dispensers in the middle of the road, almost blocking the carriageway. I asked him politely to use the footway, but he just replied "What did you say pal?" so I then said: Get the Feck out of the road and use the pavement you ignorant scum and I'm not your fecking pal!!!!

I was glad to be on the Bianchi today as after averaging nearly 50mph down the 14% of Slack Lane, I had to slam on the anchors as the traffic in front of me came to a halt due to the road ahead being closed by police cars and ambulances. The cars turned round but I carried on as I didn't fancy riding back the way I had come. It looked like there had been a coming together between a motorbike and car - not an uncommon occurrence in this location - and there was some severe moaning coming from one of the injured parties. Luckily I could dismount and walk up the footway to get by. The crash seemed to be giving good "entertainment" to the denizens of a Pun garden. I hope any injuries weren't too severe.

Legend in my own Mind<br /><br />

Not enough war
Not enough famine
Not enough suffering
Not enough natural selection

I would normally have a day off between rides but since yesterday's climbing didn't seem to have caused undue knee trauma, I decided a nice flat route along the coast again wouldn't hurt. However, I found myself in the wrong lane in the town centre - what used to be a nice simple roundabout was replaced by a confounding traffic system, some time in the '90s - so I pedalled off in the direction of the Headland, instead.

The Headland itself is very nice, with a pleasing view across the bay to Seaton Carew, Hartlepool's nuclear power station and industrial Teesside. But it's a very urban route to get there. I didn't stay there long. I rode back to the town centre, where I took the appropriate road for Seaton Carew.

I had a brief excursion along a road leading to North Gare Sands and what looked like a little chemical works - a company called Frutarom that (I've just discovered) makes artificial flavourings and scents. I turned back to join the main coast road and got as far as Seal Sands road, where I turned right toward Wolviston, then after a mile of that, turned back for base. I stopped at Seal Sands to enjoy the view for a minute or two and actually saw a seal surface for a few moments. Then back into the town. I took a different route from Seaton this time, and went to have a look at my old school, then Hartlepool Grammar School for Boys, now Hartlepool 6th Form College.

Years ago I could have pedalled in and had a look round; now there's a huge gate with an imposing arch stretched over it reminiscent of the entrance to Auschwitz, though thankfully as you can see it bears a message considerably less sinister than Arbeit Macht Frei.

As I took the pic I realised that I first entered those grounds fifty years ago this summer.


24.01 miles, 358 this month which is comfortably over target. 1378 done this year.

Managed my second Fondo of the year today. My legs aren't feeling as knackered as last Sunday, but feeling a lot worse than after a fifty miler. Hopefully they'll get used to it.

Of course I made the error of coming back into the wind, but at least that let me put up some decent segment times on the way out, always cheers me up to think I can still ride to the same level as a few years ago. My ascent of Nether Padley was the other way. Still, I knew it would be into the wind and so I took it steadily.

Today's 62 miles takes me to 572 for the month, hopefully a couple of evening rides will get me over 600, but that'll be well down on last year's 915 :(

Legend in my own Mind<br /><br />

Not enough war
Not enough famine
Not enough suffering
Not enough natural selection

I always try and plan a ride to have the wind at my back, or from the side for the home leg

The stats about how much power you have to generate to keep the same speed are ridiculous
The new songs are an abomination

I'm the same, but since Seal Sands is only 6 or 7 miles away I didn't worry about it too much yesterday.

One nice thing about Hartlepool is that if you go on a ride that involves climbing, it's always downhill for the last few miles. My place in Leicestershire is the opposite.

My saving grace if I have to come back from the Peak District into a headwind, is that the last ten miles are more or less downhill. OK so I don't average 20+ mph then, but it's not an uphill slog into it.
Legend in my own Mind<br /><br />

Not enough war
Not enough famine
Not enough suffering
Not enough natural selection

Downhill end of ride sounds like a dream! Like Slimmers, getting home from any direction I take the finish is uphill!
The new songs are an abomination

The last run out in Hartlepool for a while. Quite a stiff breeze so I knew I wasn't going far. Decided on a run along Seaton again, despite the certainty of a headwind on the way back.

But it was the temperature, rather than the force of the headwind I faced after turning north again that was particularly troubling. It was, in Teesside parlance, baltic.

Came back into Hartlepool by a different route again and rode round some old haunts. I ventured along Oxford Road, which was a part of town I very rarely frequented even when I lived here, despite it being a main thoroughfare. Didn't even know where I'd find myself when I came to the end and was surprised to emerge on Catcote Road.

I also had a pedal round the little suburb next to Ward Jackson Park that I'd more or less forgotten existed. Must be a lovely place to live, very secluded and quiet with some lovely old detached houses hidden among the trees. I went to a friend's birthday party along there somewhere in 1969 or so, and I'm not sure I'd been back over that way since until this evening.

Back on 13.51 miles.