Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by gbb, 30 Mar 2008.
Ouch...a like for GWS!
Bonjour mes amis. Je suis en France encore. Got a week in the Perigord (Dordogne department) near Bergerac, and I intend to make the most of it. 37 degrees when we arrived on Friday, followed by the most uncomfortably hot (and dehydrating) night I can remember ever having. Was just about to head out for a pre-breakfast ride when we were hit by the mother of all thunderstorms. Like an artillery barrage, it was. By the time it cleared, I had missed my window of opportunity for the ride I was planning, so after drinking loads, I just headed out for a short exploration of the immediate neighbourhood, staying close to home in case the storm returned.
A pleasant bimble through woodland and via Liorac sur Louyre to the village of Lamonzie Montastruc:
..... hardly seeing a car or a person on the way ...
Then back through more lovely woodland on more empty, undulating and winding roads ...
..... getting back to the gite in glorious, hot, sunny weather with the sound of cicadas all around. Time for a dip in the pool.
.... and here's the "Flatnav" bit ..... Just 16.8 miles, but a great way to get to know your way around a new place.
Mor to follow.
After some issue's on my last ride with the chain slipping off when I stopped pedalling I thought I had better get my bike booked in for an overdue service with the LBS which is now a mobile LBS, bike was returned on Thursday evening ready for Fridays commute and 2 rides this weekend. Saturday was somewhat dull and cooler than during the week and when I was ready to set off it started to rain but I went anyway. I headed towards Whixall over Dobsons Bridge( as seen in Rickshawphil's photos from Thursday) and carried on to Hollinswood overtaking a farmer on a quad bike, before turning towards Fenns Bank then turning to cross the canal to Alkington, back towards Hollinswood, onto Lower Houses, Cotonwood, Coton, Edsataston Ryebank where I spotted the now familiar blue helicopter doing flights from the Moat Shed, on to Highfields and noticed the helicopter was heading back to land and collect their next lot of customers so put a bit more effort in to get past before he landed and blew me back down the lane and back home missing the helicopter. Didn't see a single other person today which is quite unusual as I would normally see dog walkers or cyclists, 19.3 miles @16.1mph average speed. Bike feels a lot better for a service. Today was much sunnier and back to warmer temperatures ,went towards Wolverley, turning towards Loppington, then Nonely, Myddle, Burlton back towards Loppington but turned off before I got there to head to Colemere,round the mere at Colemere, Lyneal where the lane I would usually take had a road closed sign, I ignored the sign as they sometimes leave access for cyclists/horse riders and pedestrians and found another road closed sign, ignored that one as well and came to the third road closed sign, I took the hint then as the road was definitely closed and turned back to find an alternative route turning down the first lane I found sign posted to Welshampton which ended up where I hoped it would by the church. Back on familiar roads I went through Hampton Bank , also in Rickshawphil's photos on Thursday, to Northwood where I turned towards Whixall before turning towards home. Lots of cyclists out today, 20 miles ,16.3 average mph .Just to add I don't ignore road closed signs in the car only on the bike
Up at stupid o'clock and out by 6:45 for today's pre-breakfast ride. After heading West towards Bergerac yesterday, today's ride was to the South, with a mind to getting down to the River Dordogne. Turns out there was about as much climbing as there was descending (in both directions). Fortunately, none of the hills around here are too taxing .... neither too long nor too steep. This was just as well, given the stifling hot weather around here at the moment. An early morning shot:
The first village I stopped at was Cause de Clerans, which in fact turned out to be two villages (Cause and Clerans).
After an undulating and twisting route through woods and meadows, I eventually descended down to the level of the Dordogne valley, arriving at a level crossing in St Capraise de Lalinde that looked quintessentially French:
The road just happened to come out onto the min D660 exactly where we had parked the car yesterday, so I knew exactly where to turn to cross the Dordogne:
At this point, I took a look at the horizon and worried about the clouds that were building. Didn't want to get caught in another thunderstorm 8 miles from the cottage, so I came back over the next bridge along the river and decided to stay closer to home. (Needn't have worried, as it came to nothing, and the clouds burned off quickly, and it turned into another scorcher today).
By the time I'd got the biggest climb of the day (up to Baneuil) done, I was dripping wet and glad I'd brought extra drinks with me. Stopped at the Mairie for a glug.
Some more beautiful, rolling Perigord countryside on the way home, via Ste Colombe, Pressignac Vicq and St Marcel du Perigord.
.... and, of course, more lovely woodland roads with barely a car seen all ride:
Today's Flatnav shot:
20.8 miles done this morning before breakfast. Loved it. That's West and South done in my first two rides. Think I might get out before 6:30 and head either North or East tomorrow, getting a slightly longer ride in. Loving the cycling around these parts. Can't wait to get out again. For me, this is what it is all about.
1.82 miles further on the Defy this afternoon than yesterday but with 1025ft less climbing. Was slightly miffed to find Bilton Lane had been surface dressed; thankfully eastbound is down grade and although it was generally well compressed there was noticeable amount of piled up loose chippings against the rear of speed humps. Thankfully once out of the suburban area the surface dressing had not been undertaken; the 12.1% max gradient of the climb beyond the Gardeners Arms would otherwise have interesting. Normally avoid the Beryl Burton cycleway on a Sunday afternoon due to the amount of walkers / dogs on it but seeing two other cyclists heading east on it decided to follow suit and actually managed a PR down the descent.
Waterside/ High Street avoidance route through the suburbs of Knaresborough and headed out of the town on a very quite section of the A59. Reaching the roundabout with the bypass I had originally intended on going through Goldsborough but seeing another cyclist turn left onto the now busy A59 towards York decided to the same.
A good decision as the volume of traffic implied any attempt to turn right onto it after passing through Goldsborough would have been somewhat difficult. Turned off passing Morrisons potato store through Flaxby, Coneythorpe and Arkendale to that bench in Staveley. Then through Minskip and Boroughbridge.
North west through Skelton on Ure and Bridge Hewick towards Ripon crossing the River Ure on the Grade II listed Hewick Bridge
The racecourse was busy with a car boot sale. Crossed over the canal and towards Littlethorpe passed through a weird road closure in that apart from the signs saying such it was completely passable although narrowed slightly by the road works. Thought of stopping for a snack by the stream in Bishop Monkton as per last Sunday but it seemed too early so continued onto Burton Leonard thinking there must be a bench there, or make that a number; there was also one in the building.
Out of the village along Apron Lane another PR was oddly achieved as I stopped briefly to check that I had not left a camera battery behind. Decision made on the route from the crossorods east of Farnham - home via the A61 between Ripley and Killinghall to avoid Bilton Lane. On the fast down grade into Farnham for some reason I braked slightly; a car then appeared and turned across my path resulting in another brake application but not the harsh one that otherwise might have been required; the driver acknowledging mistake.
39.99 miles 1735ft climbed, 13.7 mph average
Headed out this afternoon with the intention of going west to Innerleithen then heading into the forecast northerly wind. The wind, however, appeared to be more of a gusty westerly. After Wednesday's ride I'd ordered a new gear cable as the rear shifting was getting very sticky and I had decided, without any inspection, that a new bit of outer was needed at the rear. It's supposed to arrive tomorrow.
The constant changes in gradient and wind velocity necessitated frequent gear changes which got steadily worse until just past Walkerburn when the cable went BANG at the shifter.
I briefly thought of carrying on to Innerleithen to buy a spare, but didn't have any money with me. A quick twiddle on the limit screw fixed the rear mech on the 16T sprocket. One of the oft overlooked advantages of a triple is that in these situations you can then ride it as a three speed. Three gears were enough when I were a lad!
Having turned for home the wind also decided to turn 180 degrees, or more likely it was actually from the north all along but being funnelled alternatively east and west by the deep glen the River Tweed runs down.
I stopped on Ashiesteel Bridge over the aforementioned river for a photo. Note the upward pointing end of the gear cable.
As I got back on the bike a van pulled up, turned out it was a mate who'd been out on his efatbike on the moors. I was only 5 miles from home and enjoying riding a three speed so turned down the offer of a lift.
Today's map -
25.1 miles @ 14.4 mph, 422m up and down.
After not being able to go out for a long ride and having to make do with short outings for the last couple of weeks, I was quite looking forward to today's ride, and it didn't disappoint.
Out early as usual, 6:30, the forecast was cloudy but dry, so shorts and short sleeve jersey. It was cooler than expected, and it took a few minutes before the exertion overcame the chill.
Down the A38 though Kempsey, and then a left for Kerswell Green at Baynhall, found myself reaching the top of Kinnersley Bank in no time. Swift descent into the village, followed by some swift braking before going into the loose gravel. The council has been dressing roads here and there, and the section between Kinnersley village and the turn for Earls Croome has fallen victim to it. Luckily I scrubbed enough speed before entering the gravelled area.
After Kinnersley took a right for Earls Croome, and then a left for Defford at the main road, past Baughton, over the M5, and then a bit of up and down before the right turn for Eckington. I am getting better at pacing, and my fitness is also improving, so I still have some breath left by the time I reach the top of the ramp before the turn. From here it is all downhill to the bridge.
The lights for the bridge were red as I was approaching, but I could hear a car coming fast behind me, they overtook, but had almost no space left to stop for the lights due to the speed. Lucky for them, no one was coming from the other side, and the light changed just in time. Over the bridge, and a bit of a break in the picnic area, where there were three or four boats moored, which seemed to annoy a couple of anglers that had just arrived. I had the impression that the moorings were not to be used overnight, so probably the anglers were justified in their annoyance.
Anyhow, I set off through Eckington, heading for Westmancote. My legs were feeling good, keeping a rather good for me 15.5 mph. I could have been faster, but I wanted to keep steady, and make sure I had legs left till the end of the ride.
So got to Westmancote, and then headed for Conderton, via Kemerton and Overbury. This is a gentle climb, and I could still keep a reasonable speed. After Conderton there's a quick descent to Beckford, and then again a gentle climb to Ashton under the Hill, followed by a somewhat more demanding climb to Kersoe, which was the highest point of my ride today. Still, it felt a lot easier than last time I was this way.
From Kersoe it is pretty much downhill all the way to Pershore, and I took advantage by pushing a bit to keep my average speed up.
From Pershore i went through the usual route via Wadborough and Littleworth for home.
Just under a year ago I rode my first metric half. Since then my fitness has improved significantly, and I have learnt a lot about how to pace myself and how to approach the ride. I think my average speed on my first metric half was around 12.5mph, today's ride was my longest so far, and also the fastest long ride I have done. Not bad progress in a year.
Gina's second ride since her son't passing. Today was the second month anniversary of his passing. Glad I was able to get her out there again. Seems to be coming along well. 15.9 average over 25 miles. It was nice for her to see and talk to friends again. I think it helps her release.
Wore my cranky old bastard jersey today. Gets plenty of comments when I wear it. All the old guys want one!
Back from an 18 mile bimble. When the haze burnt off it was very warm even though the sun seemed to have been hiding behind clouds.
A bit late this morning, breezy and bright outdoors so no excuse to have a lazy morning. Things to be done this afternoon, the grey cell produced a route that turned out to be exactly twenty two miles long, just far enough to take me out of the door and back again. There is lucky.
Jack Lane is the way into Holbeck, or one half of Jack Lane is. The other half still has the railway lines that the Engine Company used for, presumably, their railway engines. Anyway, I rode along the half I used as far as the old library, a rather nice building ( terracotta? ) which must be listed and seems to be being used in some way, I see people going in at times. Turn right and right again to ride along Great Wilson Street as far as Crown Point Road. Over the river and out to Oakwood and its clock, where I turned left to continue climbing past the posh gates of Roundhay Park and further on, along Street Lane to the A 61. Right again, heading towards Harrogate and still a couple of miles of suburbs to ride through before reaching the left turn to Eccup Reservoir. On the way to the turnoff I was passed by three, yup, I counted them, three Aston Martins. I wonder where folk can drive cars like that properly . . .
Looking at the map, the road to the reservoir is a restricted byway, not for use by mechanically propelled vehicles. A bicycle is mechanically propelled. Ignoring all this, I rode along the dam wall, the byway twiddles around three sides of Owlet Hall and then stays north of the reservoir all the way to Eccup and its street.
At the end of the street, turn left, this road crosses King Lane / Arthington Road and continues to Adel and shortly after that to the often ridden A 660. One more time, down the hill to Headingley, take full advantage of the next loss of altitude to Kirkstall and escape the road traffic by riding onto the towpath there. Today this is early enough that the towpath joggers are still deskbound which makes riding a little easier. There are folk using this peaceful path through Leeds, but not in rush hour numbers and I am certainly not in any kind of rush. Leave this at Office Lock, another whizz along Great Wilson Street but this time turn right to head for home, a shower and a welcome from our lass. Which always pleases me.
Still cannot ride in circles,
Well i'm finally back on the bike after nearly ten weeks off due to a couple of operations. Got my trusty Boardman Fixie out which is now 8 years old and still looking mighty fine.
Decided to "take it easy" and headed along the guided busway from Tyldesley towards the Roe Green loop line and onto the Bridgwater way at Monton. Carried on towards Stretford,Sale ect but have not been any further since i was living in the area as a kid. What a pleasant suprise the path is now from Brooklands and onwards. A lot of the canal side has changed dramatically since i was last there including the demolition of all the old warehouses to make way for some fancy office/appartment blocks. Sad to see the old Linotype building reduced to a single building now but at least they are looking to preserve it.Nice and smooth to a point just after Broadheath but still doable on 23's. Carried on to Lymm on smooth ground and then joined the Trans Pennine back towards Oldfield Brow where i rejoined the Bridgewater way and returned home past Worsley and onto Astley,riding on the Leeds-Liverpool canal which also has a good path all the way to Wigan.
38 mega smiley miles completed and just glad to be able to be back on the bike.
The more pictures like Donger's of rural bits of France I see, the more appealing it becomes. Love how unspoilt these places seem, the lack of modern eyesores like chain stores, blocked paving and gaudy bloody horrible houses just makes it seem so much nicer.
today was revisiting one of my favourite local rides. Nothing too taxing or fast, just a little route I took one day and it grew on me.
Cycle path to town (Chester), over the old Dee bridge and on the Duke's Drive...
Quite quiet there today, the odd jogger and dog walker about but not many. Nice breeze going the same way, was tempted to gun it and see how quick I could do end-to-end, but it's one of those routes to be enjoyed imho so no need to go fast.
From there it was a right turn into Eccleston, a photo in the usual place...
..then down to the river (Dee) where I just caught a passing passenger trip boat, the Mark Twain...
A left turn here (not in the river, obvs!) and onto the meadows, where I stopped to chat with a lady who had a dog the size of a small horse. Turned out to be a Black Russian Terrier, fantastic thing and friendly too, luckily. Hadn't seen one before, the lady explained they were reputedly bred for Stalin as the ultimate guard dog. She would have dwarfed our little Bichon, shame he wasn't with me at the time.
Off I go again, under the A55 and past what I assume is a pumping station. Hadn't been up the gate before, so went for a nose and a pretty awful attempt at an arty photograph...
Switch to my snazzier 'phone now for the next couple of pictures, the welcoming sight of my home city nearing, still on the meadows and near the little ferry they have in the summer...
Looking back the way I had been...
Suspension bridge now, always a good point for a picture or two, even though these are just average snaps...
After that, had plans to 'conquer' the daft '3 peaks' challenge I invented to keep myself amused. Try and get my best time on Lower Bridge Street climb, along Newgate Street, down Sandy Lane, back to the river, then climb again at the side of the park. Made a dog's dinner of it and wasn't 'feeling' on point, so a fairly good ride up LBS, but the back of the park was a poor challenge today, just didn't hit it right, and there's a sort of point where I can feel a good time coming. Get that wrong and it just means a slow time on the ascent. Silly how a mental block or lack of concentration can lose you time. Still, it was supposed to be a leisure ride, so hardly the end of the world.
Just after that it was a spot of window shopping at The Bike Factory (God, those Trek Powerfly bikes are sexy!) and a look through Bill Smith Motors' window at the latest Triumph Bonnevilles. How long before I go in and spend some of my redundancy money? Arghhh, must keep away!
I went to see a mate for coffee this afternoon, I usually drive the fifteen miles to Theale, mainly because of time restrictions and also the A417 isn’t a very nice road, but it was a nice day, and I M’dTFU got out the Trek Madone and rode the busy lumpy road via, Blewbury , Streatley, Pangbourne, Tidmarsh and Theale had my coffee, a chat and cycled the same way back.
No time for photos , not that there was any much to see except fields of agriculture.
A smidge over 30 miles. Cripes it was warm today.
When I got back I swapped bikes and went and did a couple of errands on the hybrid. A smidge under 6 miles.
Todays ride was dodge the bin lorries and large agricultural vehicles, I decided to do a bit of both of the weekends rides so started towards Wolverly, onto Loppington and took the first turning towards Lyneal which I haven't used for a while, passing some lovely houses on the way through Lyneal Wood and into Lyneal where I took the diversion I found yesterday to Welshampton, Hampton Bank, Northwood then turning to Whixall. Carried on past the end of our lane to Hollinswood where a large tractor and bin lorry met on the lane, didn't wait around to see how they sorted that out, onto Coton, Abbeygreen, Waterloo back into Northwood and back home.Lovely sunny day and quite a few cyclists, dog walkers and horse riders out again today.21.3 miles average speed 16.2mph.
Couple of weekend rides to report.
First yesterday's club ride; nice ride up to that Norfolk past Downham Market,stop at Stow Bardolph then across to Upwell and then Welney and home via Black Bank road.Nice pace from the group of seven and had forgot how low one's heart rate can be on a group ride.
Coffee and Lemon drizzle cake;
Saturday was a shorter but harder commute;
That ridley again;
Separate names with a comma.