Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by gbb, 30 Mar 2008.
Even got to ride with my shadow - best company
Well. Our move into the Country to work less and enjoy our selves and Hobbies really isn’t working. Love it hear butt although I should not complain I’m working too much. So Monday was a early finnish. So grabbing a hour took out the Montain bike. Road biased tyres. A nice 14 mile circuit. Only gentle. The smile factor was huge. Once home didn’t feel guilty about a cuppa and homemade Fruit Scone with cream n homemade Strawberry Jam.
You always take such beautiful photos. I assume you aren't using a phone, but a proper camera. Is that right? If so, what have you got?
thankyou - I do live in a nice place that helps a lot
yes it is a compact camera 'Limux TZ70' can't say I'm overly impressed with it but its OK, seems quite robust, its been dropped a couple of times, been wet and had the lens open a few times and jam in its case, and its still working (famous last words)
This sounds great fun. A bit like tile collecting on Veloviewer. Go on. Start a new thread for the city folk. Us country folk need a reason to dream of reasons to want to live in the city. I’ll start one on the fastest speed you have passed sheep sleeping on the road on Dartmoor.
After a day of rest yesterday where I commuted to a different place of work for a change, today was back on the bike to the same place as yesterday. Took about the same amount of time too, such is the rush hour traffic. Nice to pedal somewhere different for a change.
I plotted a route of 42 miles, taped my phone to my stem and set off in quite mild weather. About two miles in, a bump in the road put paid to my makeshift phone mount at which point it ended up in my pocket. I'm absolutely dreadful at navigation and what with having to stop and remove gloves every time I wanted to check my location I soon ended up off-piste and in the back lanes of Wiltshire. I endeavoured not to cut any corners to shorten the route and backtracked several times. Got home and the brand new bike computer (£6) says I've done 46.6 miles. The ride has taken 4hrs 20 but I must have stopped about 30 times to get the phone out. Average speed says 13.6 which is what I wanted to see, roughly 40 miles in 3 hours if I know where I'm going. I'm going to keep on trying to improve my navigation skills, the ride itself was dark and rainy but quite a fun mix of roads, lanes and city streets.
Mrs 26 and I met up with with John B and Pete M at Newland. We headed out along the Leigh Brook and onto the climb for Acton Green. With more than 10 miles done Mrs 26 peeled off for Holloways. We three crested Acton Green and dropped to Bishop's Frome using the steep Ward Hill. The run was standard fare to Burley Gate to set us up for Westhide and Withington. We had to wait for traffic on the busy Hereford road to get across and the few hundred yards to the Radway Bridge cafe.
We spent considerable time in the cafe so that we felt a bit chilly on remounting. Lugwardine took us to the flanks of the Marcles at Prior's Frome before we could run along the Frome itself for Canon Frome and eventually Bosbury. Cradley was next before we could return to the Leigh Brook and a return to our start. Despite relatively cold weather it had been a fairly comfortable ride. 58 smiles
How does it only count cyclists?
Dunno, I work in catering not in engineering, but I do know how to Google
I completed the Imperial Century a Month challenge again yesterday. December's never easy, but a day that was completely dry and absolutely calm did help a bit. Unfortunately I couldn't start until almost 9am so there was always going to be some darkness.
Running aniclockwise meant I was on the A38 for the first bit, a good thing as there was no evidence of gritting despite the widespread frost. Tewkesbury is by far the best place I know for checking your reflection in the shop windows. In the morning sunshine the Avon at Eckington bridge was very high and stunningly glassy.
Approaching Stratford, the road at Welford south of the river was completely blocked by roadworks. Not even a pedestrian could get through, so I abandoned my plan to ride into the town on the old railway. In Stratford I rode past Holy Trinity Church, a member of the Greater Churches Network. A good photo opportunity was elusive, and I didn't want to hang around. But it was one of my main objectives, so here it is:
There's a good route out of town towards Wilmcote and Alcester past Anne Hathaway's Cottage. I'd vaguely assumed this was something of a music-hall joke, a small nondescript cottage famous only for its former occupant, and so another photo opportunity? In the event, it looked more like a theme park and it was far from clear which building was actually "it", so I moved on.
Heading eastwards from Stratford one of the nice features is the way the hills continually come in and out of view. They can look completely different from day to day; yesterday the views had a remarkable quality. The morning sunshine had gone but a light mist remained in the Severn Valley and the hills themselves - first the Shropshire hills, later the Malverns - appeared to be floating in the air. Eventually the chance came which I'd been waiting for:
The roadworks on the river crossing road at Upton are pretty awkward, but I was able to slot in front of a big lorry that had no chance of keeping up with even me when the lights finally changed. Absolutely terrifying was the final approach to Gloucester coinciding with peak traffic in the dark, so I was very relieved to get home, 103.16 miles and job done.
Great route, @Aravis, where was that last image taken, Wadborough, by any chance?
I also completed the Imperial Century Challenge yesterday which turned out to be a much tougher ride than expected.
I toyed with several route ideas but decided in the end to keep it simple and do roughly the reverse of the route I rode last month as I know where I'm going and it's relatively flat. Starting off with a little extra mileage the route was: main road to Condover, Longnor, Acton Burnell, Cressage, Eaton Constantine, Walcot, Rodington Heath, High Ercall, Cold Hatton, Eaton Upon Tern, Ollerton, Heathcote, Old Colehurst, Market Drayton, Longford, Longslow, Calverhall, Ightfield, Prees, Whixall, Welshampton, Coptiveney, Ellesmere, Gobowen, Oswestry, Maesbury, Maesbrook, Melverley, Prince's Oak, Halfway House, Westbury, Edge, Shorthill, Exfords Green and back via Lyth Hill.
I was on the road at seven and there was a frost on the cars which was a slight worry as there had been rain yesterday. There didn't seem to be ice on the ground though so I proceeded with caution knowing that there would be a lot of ungritted roads coming up. There was a bit more traffic on the main roads than I was expecting (some of them not very patient) and a reasonable amount on the lanes too as folk headed off early for work.
As the sun came up you could see more of the frost on the grass which looked nice, then at Cressage there was mist lingering around the river. I took it gently on the climb up through Eaton Constantine wanting to keep the legs as fresh as possible for later on, then enjoyed the downhill along Bluebell Lane. There is a lot of easy terrain from Walcot onwards so I was geting on quite comfortably. At Ollerton I decided to go a different way which gave a change of views.
At Market Drayton I took a shorter route round town which meant riding through housing estates rather than the more picturesque town centre. The roads in the town are still dreadful, although a short stretch on this route has been resurfaced since I was last here, emphasising how rough the rest has got.
I'd had plenty of sunshine on the ride so far and it had warmed up enough to change to fingerless gloves but this wasn't to last as around Drayton a bank of cloud had rolled in and with it a very cold, damp feel to the air meaning that by my elevenses stop at Longslow I needed the full finger gloves back on and I couldn't stop for very long before starting to feel chilled. The only extra layers I had to put on were my waterproofs but I didn't want to use these unless essential knowing I'd boil-in-the-bag, so I just have to put up with it.
At Prees I got held up briefly by a goods train going through, then by Welshampton I was starting to find the hills needed a bit of effort. I stopped for my lunch by The Mere at Ellesmere where I chatted with a couple out for a walk who said "Just in one day?!!" in response to telling them where I was going.
Getting going after this stop, the legs didn't really want to know until I'd gone about a mile and weren't that happy about the lumpy bit on the way to Gobowen. I knew things were wrong though near to Oswestry Hill Fort where I had to stop and rest briefly on a hill that I'd usually get over easily by standing on the pedals. Taking a rest by the fort probably would have been a good idea but it wasn't far off school kicking-out time so I decided I wanted to be through town before the traffic got bad. While riding through town one of my front lights started making a bid for freedom (can't have clipped in properly) but fortunately I spotted it wobbling before it actually fell off. Less than a mile after this I was getting up some good speed on the downhill heading out of town when both legs suddenly cramped up, which was extremely painful. Being on a downhill I was able to coast but keep turning the pedals slowly until the pain subsided a bit. When I did stop I almost fell down as the legs just buckled under me.
I was at around the 80 mile mark here and to abandon the ride so near the end and have to try again another day was not a pleasant thought. I decided to press on very slowly and see what I could manage, which led to the cramp coming back on the next climb at Woolston. After another rest, drink and banana near Osbaston I decided to keep moving as much as I could and things did ease a bit. I was going very slow but made it to Melverley and by going even slower and in a lower gear made it up to Coedwy, then by dropping down to my granny gear crawled up the climb at Prince's Oak.
It was fully dark by the time I reached Westbury which made things interesting along the fast straight there, in rush hour traffic. Mostly it was fine but there was one guy in a beemer who overtook me on double white lines with another car coming the other way - pillock!
I was glad to get off this road and onto the lane to Edge where I had another bout of cramp and needed to stop for a bit. By now I was only about 8 miles from home and 3 from getting the century so stubbornness really kicked in and got me moving again. The granny gear got used a couple more times but did mean I got back without further stops.
105.52 miles at 12 mph moving average this time. 10 hours and 45 minutes though overall which is my slowest century for some time. Just glad to have made it and glad I didn't opt for the hillier routes I was thinking of doing.
Strangely the legs don't feel that bad today.
Near Longnor before dawn.
The sun comes up over a frosty landscape near Cressage.
Only about a mile from the last picture it's quite atmospheric at Cressage Bridge.
Calverhall. Who turned off the sunshine? (The photo is actually a bit of a cheat as this isn't the road I came up).
At Ellesmere someone thinks I ought to be sharing my lunch.
Oswestry. Looking at the former Cambrian Railway works.
The Original Ball pub at Ball. After the first bout of cramp so I almost fell down when getting off the bike.
Near Melverley, It looks a lot lighter in the picture than it seemed at the time.
Exactly right, about 8 miles from the hills. I expect you know the very gate!
Separate names with a comma.