Your ride today....


Über Member
I am still trying to make up my mind whether to do the Tour of Worcester sportive, so today was a sort of practice run for the first part of the route, including the first two climbs, enjoyable ride, but still haven't made up my mind.

Out around 6:30, clear day, but not quite full daylight yet, I'll be going out before sunrise in a couple of weeks. A bit nippy, and was thinking that I should have taken full finger gloves, but as the sun rose the temperature started going up, so bearable.

Out through Diglis and over the river via the pedestrian bridge towards Lower Wick. The low mist around the river made for a couple of interesting photos.


Diglis Lock with the cathedral in the background, and the Malverns on the other side.

Fairly uneventful ride out through Powick, then Jennet Tree Lane through Deblins Green and on to Sherrards Green via Newland.

The climb up towards the Wyche starts at the roundabout in Pickersleigh Rd, heading almost straight for Chuch Street. Again I was beaten by the hill, and had to take a rest before the reaching the Post Office at the top, it doesn't look much, but it is hard enough for me.

There's a little bit of respite along the A449, and then comes the second part of the climb taking the right for the Wyche. I plodded along in a low gear, and got there in the end. I didn't stop, as I could take advantage of the descent into Colwall for that. Past the two hair pins checking my speed, with a car behind, but holding back, so no problems. After the hair pins I let go of the brakes, and the car was actually falling back. So quick through the village, and then stop at some temporary lights before taking Mill Lane on the right for Cradley.

Sun was now properly out, and this was the view of the hills from Old Colwall.


I was now in lanes new to me, so had to stop a couple of times to check the map, but I finally made it to Cradley, and the second climb of the day. This was proper hard, it is much shorter than the climb up to the Wyche, but it is steeper, so all I could do was spin up on my lowest gear. I took the right at the top of the road for Suckley, thinking the climb was finished, but the side road continues the steep slope for a while still, but finally the road levelled off. I think the sportive goes along the main road, so I ended up doing a harder climb. The views at the top made it worth it, though.

From here it was heading for Bransford via Suckley and Alfrick Pound, all through ondullating terrain, which made it harder on my legs.

Past Bransford was a right for Powick via Station Road, which had a closure sign, but wad passable, and once in Powick, back via the same route as going out.

37 miles at 13.2mph, slower than I have been recently, so still not sure if I will dare to try the full 50 mile route, I need to try Ankerdine hill first.

The map

Rickshaw Phil

Overconfidentii Vulgaris
After a few days off the bike I dragged myself out yesterday evening onto a variation of my Oaks, Pulverbatch, Wilderley, Dudgeley route.

It was a pretty nice, sunny evening on setting out, but a bit windy. I went over Lyth Hill to get to Exfords Green and took a detour onto the bridleway there which I haven't used for a while. Long Lane was a bit slow going against the wind. As I reached the crossroads another rider turned onto the lane to Oaks ahead of me. I thought I was doing well keeping pace with him most of the way up the hill but he stopped for a photo so I suspect wasn't trying that hard.

There were shower clouds around and I thought I might get wet at one point, but luckily only caught a few spots of rain. Just as well as I didn't put waterproofs in for this one.

The sun set while I was in the Wilderley area and the dynamo lights on the knockabout bike needed to earn their keep, which they did well as it was getting properly dark by the time I got to Dudgeley.

There was a bit more traffic than expected round Longnor. The final run up to the main road wasn't too bad though.

27 miles at 12.6 mph average.


A lovely late-summer evening as viewed from Lyth Hill.


Along the bridleway at Exfords Green.


Getting set up for the next bit of harvesting at Longden Common.


Just after sunset near Smethcott. That standlight isn't bad.:okay:


Looking towards the Lawley from near Walkmills.


Fridays ebike commute was extended to the sorting office to collect the rear derailleur hanger for the Defy which due to the boxed inner tube I had ordered with it would not fit through the post box. Also collected a pair of short sleeve jerseys acquired for the grand outlay of £20.99 with £3.20 topcashback, for which postie had the same problem – one was a bit on the large size so it spent part of yesterday afternoon in the washer dryer at too high a temperature and come out far better size wise. Meanwhile got the Defy fixed but it was too windy yesterday – got blown along walking in the morning so instead the ebike had a short shopping trip to Asda between a heavy downpour and a shower, returning to the bike the Kyptonite lock decided it would not release the bike for a frustrating couple of minutes.

So out on the Defy this morning, Autumn seemed to have arrived; leg warmers, long sleeve jersey and baselayer and full length gloves, and a developing wardrobe problem as the left leg gripper on the bib shorts started to part company with them. Followed the A59 east through Knaresborough

to the Cattal turning by which time it had started to get busier than it had been; the southerly ride was then halted by the level crossing where eventually a train arrived and departed and then eventually the crossing keeper turned up to manually open the gates, a process unchanged since the 19th century. Thereafter all the way through Cattal, over the River Nidd and along Rudgate there was masses of cyclists heading north, in groups or individually.
West pass Walton to Wetherby was hampered as it always seems to be due to the wind direction, and then passing through Kirk Deighton an odd spot of moisture could be sensed in the air, stayed dry however through North Deighton and Little Ribston but on the approach to the bypass at Knaresborough a heavy shower broke out – donned the waterproof jacket and a couple of minutes later the shower stopped. Crossed the outbound route at Forest Lane Head, reached by the bypass and Calcutt,

and then on Bilton Lane, reached via the cyclepath on the old railway from Starbeck, the chain had a disagreement with the chainrings.
35.47 miles 1556ft climbed Avg 13.9mph. Bib shorts binned.
010919 route.jpg
010919 elevation.jpg
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Glow worm

Near Newmarket
A superb 15 sunny miles here today in the flatlands.


The path between Upware and Wicken Fen. Too nice to ride this bit today so just walked the bike taking in the sights and sounds.


My idea of a perfect birdwatching hide- one you can get your bike into.


Burwell Fen cycle path.


Reach Lode bridge. Great skies here today.


View from the bridge. As Kim Wilde would say. Though I can take plenty more. (Anyone under about 40 look it up!)


More big sky country. Flat as a pancake. As an anti-social sod, this is perfect for me. If there's anyone coming, I can see them from miles away and hunker down until they're gone.


The home straight - a nice bridleway. You can get a fair few miles under your belt here without going anywhere near a car, or more importantly the incompetent, dribbling halfwit Driving it. very lucky indeed here on that score.
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Convoi Exceptionnel
Quedgeley, Glos.
Got up before sunrise this morning and drove out to Le Grand Bornand, reminding myself (inwardly) in my best Michael Caine voice that "In this country, they drive on the wrong side of the road". Parked up in Grand Bo' in a place I'd found on Google Earth and set about ticking another classic climb off my bucket list by winching myself slowly up to the Col de la Colombiere.

All the weather forecasters had it wrong today, as thunderstorms were predicted later on, but never materialised. I'd packed every bit of kit I had, to cover all eventualities. In the end, I could tell it was going to be a lovely sunny day, at least for the next two hours, so I set off in my Summer kit with one or two emergency items in my rear pockets. I would say this was a slightly easier climb than last year's climbs in the Vosges, but it was the best scenery of any of the big climbs I've ever done. Cuckoo clock houses and rugged rocky crests all the way. Saw an eagle and heard a marmot, several crickets and cow bells a-plenty. Loved it.

I stopped a few times to take photos and to drink in the views (and the drinks!), and took my time climbing for about 9 or so km at a steady 6% gradient. After this next picture it changed to 7% for the final 2km, with some interesting hairpins and bridges adding to the views of the ever-approaching summit. I may have weighed in at 300lb just before this holiday, but this climb was surprisingly comfortable .... until a few hours afterwards, when I was as stiff as a board.
213 First view of the Colombiere.JPG

Mission accomplished!

I've driven up to the Colombiere in the past, and have always liked it. It's one of those passes that looks really imposing. An obvious narrow route between towering cliffs, and with a restaurant and gift shops at the top, making it seem like you have really arrived somewhere. Great to finally cycle up to it. I thought I'd missed my chance.

I arrived there right on schedule, and phoned Mrs D to tell her I was about to set off on my way back to the car. What a great descent it was. On the way up, I'd been overtaken by a group of three cyclists, and had seen only two others coming the other way. By the time I got to the bottom I must have seen another fifty or so cyclists heading one way or the other. Club pelotons and tourists alike. A great day for it. Just a tad over 15.5 miles for me to start the week off in style.

I'll be doing my other rides from the house for the rest of the week ... which will involve a big climb back to the house at the end of every ride. Hope I stop aching soon, or it's going to be a slog. Got to count my blessings, though, getting to have another week in the Savoy Alps. All of my Metric Century-a-Month Challenge rides and all the chasing to keep up on club rides is always to get me into condition for weeks like this. I am in clover.
Cheers, Donger.

13 rider

1st of the month on a weekend so it must be time for an imperial ton for the challenge . I had plotted an 111 mile route Leicester to Newark and back . Had arranged to meet @Supersuperleeds at 0700 but I had a sneaky plan for 200kms so out the door at 0630. It's was a tad chilly first thing so arm warmers were called for but as the weather said it would warm up stayed just in shorts and fingerless mitts . 7 miles bagged before rolling to the meeting point and with perfect timing @Supersuperleeds arrived and neither had to stop just straight into it .Followed my route of last Sunday's ride to Keyworth .Where both of us resisted the urge to take on Alex Dowsetts ( team katusha ) Kom from last years tour of Britain race . Into Nottingham for some veloviewer squares . Nottingham is hillier than you think couple of proper climbs before the flatlands of the Trent valley past Burton Joyce . Into Lowdam we past a rider on the same giant defy I have shame I was on the TCR today . Failed to get a veloviewer square we had ignored the first private road sign :whistle: but turned back at a key coded barrier for a sailing club . Into Newark where my route took us straight through the market place good job it was Sunday . Quick blast down the cyclepath at the side of the A1 and turn for home at Long Bennington first going west across the Vale which meant a headwind . We shared the work equally :whistle: taking turns on the front . Finally made the cafe at 80 miles in . Velo Verde is very cyclist friendly as the name suggest and was heaving with cyclists . In fact only 1 person with his dog wasnt a cyclist .Coffee and sausage cobs ( because they had ran out of bacon :ohmy:) were consumed . Then we were treated to FREE cake somebody on a club ride had a birthday cafe and generously shared it . Then the climb out of the Vale of Belvior we took the path of least resistance of Nether Broughton and Upper Broughton . I feeling tired now . Into the village of Wymeswold where we had been through this morning and as we past a junction we went right at this morning @Supersuperleeds said if only we had gone left we could have saved 80 miles of the route :laugh:. Back to my village and with 118 miles on the clock decision time do I do 1 mile home or finish the 200km which meant some more hills :surrender:. Reversed the loop from this morning and dragged myself back home for my first 200km ride this year . 125.1 miles in total normal serviced resumed by @Supersuperleeds out doing me with 127 after last week's win for me .Apart from the headwind coming home a lovely ride on some particularly quiet roads and despite see some nasty rain clouds we just had a few spots near home
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Tattooed Beat Messiah
Septembers Imperial Century A Month qualifying ride in the bag with a nice ride down to Brighton for fish and chips on the beach.
118 miles for the day. Imperial Century#19 for the year #269 overall and Imperial Century Month #106 in a row.
A future few Eddington numbers also in the bag. Just need 1 more 114+ mile ride to get that number.
Absolutely perfect cycling weather. Nice and warm with little to no wind. Lovely.
3 more to go for a 9th star.


Atop of Ditchling Beacon

Brighton Beach
Yesterday Club run to Compton

There were 4 of us and I had the route on my Garmin, so I ended up leading for much of the time

We went down through CHobham, Pribright, Normandy TOngham Seale turning East to Compton, where we had refreshments and the Watts Gallery Tearooms

Original route was taking us through Guildofrd and we (or exactly I) did not fancy that so decided on alternative through Chilworth Albury and up Newlands Corner and on through Clandon, Ripley and W Byfleet.

55.5 miles @ 15.7 mph with 2080 feet climbed.
Behind bars
A bit of a utility ride today to buy some stove rope and glue. Could have done a straight out and back route of 14 miles but the weather was set fair so decided to have a ride up to Tow Law for the views over Weardale.

Set off in shorts and short sleeved top - possibly slightly under dressed but soon got warmed up on the climb over Waldridge Fell to Sacriston.

Failed to set off the 30 mph warning light in Witton Gilbert as a pillock overtook me in his lorry and then slammed on his brakes. Now he was in front he had to stop wherever there were parked cars, blocking me in the process. :angry: At the roundabout near the Traveller's Rest he pulled out in front of a pick-up, which had right of way. Thing was he was driving really slowly too. Wonder if he has ever passed a driving test.

At Hedley Hill it was blustery and mild.


Hedleyhope Nature Reserve near Hedley Hill

Two miles away and 500ft higher at Inkerman it was decidedly cold and windy.


Beehive coke ovens at Inkerman

I hadn't brought any spare clothing so the only thing to do was ride as hard as possible to keep warm. At Willington, 700ft lower it was a bit warmer but also raining so kept flogging along to Langley Moor where I bought the stove rope and glue before pointing towards home.

A short climb up to Neville's Cross brought me to the A167. I'd normally try to avoid it but today just wanted a quick ride home so I could get warm and dry.

35 miles, approx 2,200ft of climbing.
A few degrees cooler this morning, noticeably so. Also obvious was how slack the chain was on the fixed. The tools for the bike live in the bag that fits to the seat tube so in a few minutes that was put right. About a quarter turn on each adjuster, which are M4 x 0.7. So moved the axle about 0.175 mm to tension the chain nicely. Then I rode away.

Wander around Holbeck and escape through Hunslet. This was assisted by quite a breeze, so much so that the climb up to John o’ Gaunts was a bit quicker than usual, said the speedometer. Turn left, through Woodlesford to the Wakefield to Garforth road where another left turn crosses the Aire and Calder Canal and also the River Aire itself. Then, because I am leaving a river valley, the road starts to climb again. Not very steep, it and it varies a bit, but it goes on all the way through Swillington and further still until Garforth appears down the next dip. Slowing down as I approached the roundabout the front brake lever felt odd.

It was loose. Smug me in the first paragraph, the tools carried on the bike fix owt. Nope, I knew before I stopped to check that I did not have a long enough allen key in the bag. But stopped just to demonstrate, to myself, that I was correct. Multi tools do not do long enough allen keys for brake levers. I might have said ‘Oh dear me’. But I did not.

This does not make me happy. Fixed wheel, so slowing down is reliably catered for. The bike has a back brake, of the unused variety, as do all my bikes. But abrupt stopping is no longer available, not with a how-loose-is-it brake lever. OK, shorten the ride, stick to quieter roads, you know it makes sense. I spend a lot of riding time on the hoods, especially on the fixed going uphill out of the saddle. Cannot do that right now, and thinking of possible routes reminds me of the, errmmm, rolling countryside around here. Get on with it, though. Ride around the north of Garforth to that enormous roundabout above the M 1. And leave the roundabout on the B 1217 towards Lotherton Gates.

Turn left at those gates, the road rises a bit then descends to Aberford, where a long-drawn right and left squiggle takes me to Cattle Lane and the up and downery to Barwick, remembering to keep my hands off the hoods. Not the easiest trick for me, I keep calling me names for getting it wrong. After Barwick is Scholes, the last of the real villages on this ride as the A 64 is next for a hundred yards or so. A right and left, ride along Skeltons Lane back inside the Leeds’ boundary. A restrained pedal down Boot Hill followed by the decision to use Easterly Road and so on back to almost town centre. Home from there is easy, arriving home clocked up a smidge more than twenty eight miles. The grin waited five whole minutes, until I tightened that b***** brake lever.

And the brake free map



Convoi Exceptionnel
Quedgeley, Glos.
After yesterday's exertions, I went for a lovely flat ride on the "piste cyclable" along the valley and the banks of the lake and on into Annecy and back. I caught the start of the Monday morning rush hour, and arrived among a group of commuters on electric bikes and scooters, as well as some roller bladers, roller skaters and roller skiers. It is a true multi-purpose track, running flat and true the whole length of the valley from Ugine to Annecy. I've enthused about Annecy's cycleway before, so I'll just post a few photos of the outward route this time and let them do the talking:
219.JPG 220 Bredennaz.JPG 221 Duingt.JPG 222.JPG
Arrived in Annecy with enough time on my hands to wander into the old town. One of my very favourite places. A few more piccies;
223 Annecy.JPG 224.JPG 225.JPG
Had a following wind on the return journey .... again on the piste cyclable, retracing my route through Sevrier, Duingt, Bredannaz, Lathuile and Doussard. Lovely views everywhere, and a great surface .... often wider than the vehicular access road that it runs alongside. This shot was taken very close to Doussard, where we have previously holidayed happily three times before .... right at the foot of the "Montagne du Charbon" (centre background):
226 Piste cyclable, Lathuile.JPG

This next shot is included to give a little balance to my previous post about my exploits on the Colombiere. (After all, nobody likes a show-off). It shows the precise point where I cried off this time, about 200 metres before the turn into Mont Bogon, where we are staying. Leaving the house this morning had been great, dropping like a stone down the Montmin to Vesonne road down into the valley. Coming back up was a different matter, and I freely admit that I just thought "stuff this!" as soon as I rounded the first hairpin. I'd ground my way up the long, steep straight, but faced with a stretch of 13% after 28.9 miles, I folded. Think I might drive down the hill for my other rides and start my rides down in the valley.
227Mont Bogon hairpin.JPG

This next shot was taken from the balcony of the house, and gives an idea just how much of a ramp the road is You can see a white car climbing up it on the left of the picture. I'm actually amazed I climbed up to the Col de la Forclaz via Vesonne and Montmin a few years back. Definitely don't fancy doing it again this year!

Think I might head off in the other direction along the piste tomorrow.
Cheers for now, Donger.
brought me to the A167. I'd normally try to avoid it but today just wanted a quick ride home so I could get warm and dry.
As you will know better than me, there is one of those 1950s dedicated cycle paths beside much of the A167 between Durham and Chester-le-Street.

Not too many junctions, although the road is quicker.

I reckon going towards Chester the gradient is mostly in your favour, as is the prevailing wind.

Always seems a fast stretch on the handful of times I have done it,
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