Your ride today....

Yesterday the weather was wet and windy but today was much more like it. So off for a pedal around I went. Down the first hill, cross the flyover and turn right.

This is the way to Beira Mar, easy riding on what is a very good, rather boring, cycle track. This is not complaining, most of us have the same beginning to most of the rides we do. Few of us have the weather I am enjoying, or the scenery. So, on the right is the sea. The Atlantic Ocean, just a little bit of it. On the left is the town, with a big busy road between town and bike track. It is not a big island, I wonder where all the traffic comes from? And goes to, also. A fair bit must travel to the mainland, just as I am intending to this morning. So, past the beach and the old bridge, to the new bridge and up onto the path that hangs underneath the roadway. At the far end turn left, sort of south.


This direction has less traffic than north from the bridge, it seems to be more of an area for leisure. Even saw some folk on the beach, which is wider than most on the island. Up and down a bit, then the road does a forty five degree right turn and climbs. And climbs. Of course it descends next and I found myself following a bus. Which wandered through a residential area and did a ‘U’ turn. I went straight on and into the next bit of town, then onto yet another beachside bike track. This area is not heavily developed, more empty land than buildings. There are dunes on the beach, rather high but without anything visible growing on them. Wonder how long they will be there.

The end of the track, there is a sailing club moorings and one of those outdoor collections of exercise equipment that are seen ( and used ) almost everywhere. Munch, drink and set off on the return journey. This gives me the opportunity to see the stuff I missed on the way out here, and to pedal into the headwind that seems to know exactly which way I am heading. Hills give legs cause to complain but there are not many. Back over the bridge, and the back wheel was making odd noises. But they stopped. And I stopped a few yards further up home hill, after twenty two miles. Another good ride.

A slightly different route

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kingrollo

Veteran
Did what I promised never to do - commuted when the temp was around freezing point. I cycle through a park, so was going easy for fear of ice - no problems with the ice - but my hands got incredibly cold - I couldn't even get my lights off when I arrived - decided not to jump in shower until I had warmed up - sitting at my desk I then came over very nausea's - soon passed -
Need to MTFU - or get some better gloves!
 

LeetleGreyCells

Cycliste en formation
Did what I promised never to do - commuted when the temp was around freezing point. I cycle through a park, so was going easy for fear of ice - no problems with the ice - but my hands got incredibly cold - I couldn't even get my lights off when I arrived - decided not to jump in shower until I had warmed up - sitting at my desk I then came over very nausea's - soon passed -
Need to MTFU - or get some better gloves!
I had an email earlier today with some gloves on sale for £5 that may do the job.
 
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gavgav

Guru
My first ride, for a couple of weeks, due to weather and other plans. Cool, but not as bitter as recent days, as I headed out after work, through Reabrook, up to Heathgates, down through Castlefields and along the River Towpath, which is finally open again for the first time in what seems like a couple of months!

Through the Quarry, which I love at this time of year, when it’s quiet and just the odd runner and dog walker to contend with. The River was like a Millpond, glistening under the moonlight, with no wind blowing. A far cry from the raging brown flooded torrent it’s been for a while.

Continued up through Porthill, along to Shelton and Radbrook, where Sandiway provided the house for the winner of the best external Christmas Lights display of the ride. Virtually the whole house, garden, trees and bushes shaped as reindeer’s, etc, all decked out in neutral coloured lights.

Last section of the ride was along Mousecroft Lane, through Nobold, Meole Brace and home with 13.1 miles on the clock.

1 notable milestone, clocked over the 9000 mile mark, since I took up cycling in 2013
 

The_Weekend_Report_Guy

Pablo's Cycling Tours
Location
Coín, Málaga
Hello!!
I am back! As per usual I didn't stop riding but I took a break from internet (other then strava ofcourse) and this is more or less what I have been doing lately....

I don't know if it is the new BOOM of just something that people is getting themselves into it now as an option to ride off road without taking a MTB.
Any how is becoming extremely popular in countries like Holland and Belgium where most of the people I deal with come from. A few weeks ago we had a couple from Netherlands that are reporters/photographers doing a report about the area and used our expertise to get to know the feeling of the area and what to expect.
Here are some pics of that trip that belong to me:
A ride to the beach avoiding all or most of the traffic while taking gravel and broken asphalt roads
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Forest crossings where you can get your feet wet while crossing water streams.
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The mostly constant blue skies that gives name to this area "Costa del Sol"
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And as most of you know the mountains that gives you plenty of climbing to do.
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Those were some of my pictures of this 4 days we spent with this people, as you know I am just an amateur "picture taker" and my camera is just a basic one.
Now here is what a pro has to say about our area and pictures that are taken with a pro camera.
Gravel in Malaga report.
Pro pictures, enjoy!
P.S: take into consideration that the original text is in Dutch so when you let the translation it loses emotion.
ENJOY THE REPORT AND PICTURES!!
 

Aravis

Here for the ride.
Location
Gloucester
As well as the Imperial Century a Month challenge, at the start of this month I was set up for the completion of two other targets. Firstly, an Audax randonneur round the year (RRtY), and secondly, a year's worth of imperial centuries (365) in a lifetime, an objective I set for myself in 1985.

The RRtY meant a ride of 125 miles, comfortably beyond anything I'd previously done in December. As I've been getting increasingly slow in recent months this would mean at least a couple of hours in the dark. Typically in December if you don't get wind and rain you're likely to get frost and fog, so I've been watching the weather forecasts nervously. Around midday on Monday the Met Office seemed pretty certain that yesterday would be frost-free with light winds, even if the BBC still thought it would be pretty cold. Looking out of my back door before I went to bed and seeing a sparkly patio wasn't encouraging. I'm not sure what I was hoping for when my alarm woke me a 4 and I looked out, but with no frost on the cars there could be no further excuses.

My turn-to road for night riding is the A38, and northwards to Worcester gives more options. I set off at quarter to six so that it would be fairly light by the time I reached Worcester. From there I'd planned a ride which included four self-contained loops, each starting and finishing at a perfect crossroads to keep the outline neat and tidy. Just one wrong turning near the top of the map to spoil the effect. :sad:

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A morning view of the Malverns. The sun is rising directly behind me:

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There was a much better view a few miles further on when I reached Strensham and turned back towards Upton. I'd only ever ridden that road in the opposite direction, with the view behind me, and I was totally unprepared. I hesitated, unsure where the best spot would be, found myself at the bottom on the hill and the moment was lost. Next time I'll be ready.

Across the river at Upton, and then along the straightforward route south west through Welland and Bromesberrow. Any thought's I might have had of returning home with a reasonably clean back were shattered by a housing development and a pig farm. This was very much how it was to be and thereafter my main priority was keeping safe. With the recent floods I've started carrying a small bottle of oil, and this came in useful again, at least making my chain feel reasonably healthy.

I'd picked out a road new to me after Much Marcle through Rushall and Kynaston, and this turned out to be the filthiest of the day. But it was worth it for the new perspective. A few yards on the Ledbury by-pass and then a little relaxation on the B-road to Dymock, followed by my favourite route to Newent through Kempley.

The third loop was along the lovely roads to Huntley and Taynton which I've often used as ride extenders though not, it seems, this year. Heading northwards again, another view of the Malverns appears on the road to Corse Lawn:

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The final loop was through the Castlemorton lanes, always a delight, but not surprisingly also a sea of mud in places. A last feeding stop at Birtsmorton, the light now starting to fade but the trees just catching the last of the sun. Well past the hundred now and firmly heading for home:

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Knowing I had to head back into the city in darkness with the traffic at it's heaviest wasn't a pleasant thought. As with climbing Everest, it's not really done until you've returned safely.

Quite possibly this is a tl;dr. But it was a big red-letter day and I hope you can forgive the indulgence. :smile:
 
Location
Behind bars
Seems like an age since I last got out so I should have been ower the nut to get out today. Instead I was feeling a little trepidatious at the thought of riding following a slip on black ice last Saturday which left me with a bruised coccyx. After much prevaricating about the bush I decided on a gentle potter on the cx bike and staying within walking distance of home in case the pain became too much to bear.

What was a lovely bridleway before Chester le Street sprawled uphill is now a path through housing estates but it does eventually emerge into the countryside and dives around the back of Brass Castle Farm and the old pit heap at Waldridge. From there it's easy to get onto a network of old paths and former colliery railway tracks to reach Sacriston.

I ignored the bridleways in Sacriston Woods reasoning they would take me too far from home and dropped over Daisy Hill to find the bridleway behind the school. This is a nice, mucky downhill section that brought me to the old Waldridge Drift Mine.

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Ridley X Bow at Waldridge Drift.

The continuation of the path is the track bed of the colliery line to Pelton which goes through Cong Burn Woods. I was still feeling OK in the woods; more than OK, I wasn't feeling any pain and had started to really enjoy the ride.. Decided to explore a bit in the woods to see if the old cyclo cross course could still be followed. It can't. Parts of it have disappeared completely but someone has been building a MTB black run complete with berms, jumps and some scary drop-offs. I walked most of it.

Had a short detour down the Cong Burn to cross the lower bridge and was pleased to be able to ride all the way back up through the woods to Dovecote Farm. Five minutes later I was home having done a paltry nine miles but on the plus side my coccyx didn't hurt from riding the bike.

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Rickshaw Phil

Overconfidentii Vulgaris
Moderator
Yesterday's ride:

After a couple of days that were too icy for my liking the conditions were better and I got out to ride my last qualifier of the year for the Imperial Century Challenge. It was still fairy cold (4C) when I set out at 7am but my route for the day would start on gritted roads for most of the first 14 miles so black ice wasn't a problem.

I headed through Condover to start then to Cantlop, Acton Burnell and onto the climb up Folly Bank and over to Cardington. The roads were very busy for the time of the morning but everyone who passed was well behaved. At the top of Folly Bank I'd warmed up quite well but it was colder on the other side of the hill so I paused in Cardington to put on a fourth fleece which ended up staying on for the rest of the day.

I had a bite to eat at about the 20 mile mark (just after Hughley) and the roads became a bit quieter once the school rush had passed. After Cressage I decided that with the extra distance gained from going via Acton Burnell then Harnage Grange I could afford to take the slightly shorter way through Eaton Constantine, Uppington and Walcot instead of Wroxeter and Upton Magna.

I had the wind behind me so it was easy going through Rodington Heath and Roden. There was an unexpected road closure at Little Wytheford but fortunatey I was ble to walk the bike past the blockage. After Shawbury I paused for another food stop at Moreton Corbet Castle. The legs had stiffened up on restarting and were just easing up when I had to stop again for roadworks at Besford.:rolleyes: The tailwind became a crosswind so wasn't helping on the drag up to Palms Hill.

After Wem my legs were giving twinges on the little climb up to Lowe Hill but since the road is flatter after that through Poolhead and Northwood it didn't cause an immediate problem. At Hampton Bank I noticed that a canal boat was passing under the bridge and paused to take a photo, only to have the boat owner scream "STOP, STOP, STOP" at me followed by an expletive laden rant.:ohmy: I'm reasonable person - if you don't want your picture taken that's fine but I don't think I deserved all that.:angry: It soured the mood for a few miles but on the other hand I didn't think about the hills between Welshampton and Coptiviney.

At Ellesmere I detoured down by The Mere to eat my lunch and immediately became the centre of attention for the local geese. Perhaps I should have picked a gateway somewhere instead.:giggle: More roadworks followed on leaving town which were a bit of an effort to get through due to being an uphill start. Thankfully the couple of drivers behind me were patient.

The NCN route to Gobowen was muddy as always but not as bad as last time I was here. One of the few cyclists I saw out today overtook me on leaving Gobowen.... twice as after passing me the first time he decided to go out of his way to get on the pavement the other side of the road then came past again. He was heading the same way as me and I was just thinking he looks slow on the climb when my legs cramped up and I had to stop. Getting going again I worked my way up the climb slowly and headed towards Oswestry where one of the short but sharp climbs defeated me and I had to stop twice before I could get going again. A drink stop by the hill fort seemed to help but as I got to a set of traffic lights in town the legs cramped badly and it was all I could do to hobble over to a nearby bench. A rest and a banana helped but I was seriously wondering whether I'd finish the ride this time. Thankfully the way out of town is mostly downhill for just over three miles which gave some respite. I managed the next climb very slowly.

Maesbrook wasn't flooded this time so I was able to head along the mostly flat few miles through Maesbrook to Melverley without too much trouble. Here I broke open the jelly babies which very quickly gave a good boost of energy and, although I was still slow up the hills, felt better again on the flat and the cramp didn't come back for the rest of the ride.

The sun set on the the way to Westbury which gave the clear sky some nice colour. Approaching the village I realised that I'd made a misjudgement of the mileage - when I took the shorter way earlier in the ride I hadn't had enough miles in hand so I was going to have to add some extra.

It was properly dark by the time I reached Lea Cross so I was glad for good lights for the last few miles through Exfords Green and Hunger Hill. I added the extra miles I needed by going through Condover again and going the long way round the village to get the distance and a little to be certain.

100.66 miles this time at 11.7 mph moving average. With stops I was out for approx 10 hours and 45 minutes. Challenge completed and I hope it's not as hard as this if I give it another go next year.

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Looking festive at Condover Hall.

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Sunrise viewed from Cantlop.

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A pause at Cardington. The phone box has been decomissioned and is now a tourist information display.

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Elevenses stop at Moreton Corbet Castle.

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Locals hoping for a share of my lunch at Ellesmere.

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Ellesmere town centre.

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Having been denied the canal photo earlier I took this one at Hindford instead. The Jack Mytton Inn doesn't look open for trade at the moment. I understand that Daniel Craig has been a regular visitor to this pub as his father lives somewhere close by.

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The Breidden silhouetted by the setting sun. Sunset proper is still a few minutes away but it has just slipped behind the hill.

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Just outside Westbury.

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The view from Edge looking towards the lights of Pontesbury.
 
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Shearwater Missile

Senior Member
Location
Stowmarket
Third day out in a row. Taking advantage of the better weather (LOL) I managed to get out again, wall to wall sunshine today though. The trouble is, it is easy to get fooled about temperature, it felt cooler than yesterday although the Met office says otherwise. It may be due in part in my choice of route though. Todays route to Rattlesden and Brettenham via the threshold of the airfield runway certainly had a lot of shade because of the hedges. These same hedges are a blessing in the summer when it is hot but they are the foe during the winter particularly if you encounter the flickering effect of the sun and lower temperatures. The ride concluded at 23.4 miles at 17.1mph average. I only had one close encounter and that was with a van that was coming up to a junction on my left, I could see him for ages but he just did`nt slow down. In the end I braked and then he saw me, derrrrrh ! He did apologise by putting his hand up and hazard flashes on as he passed me. Typical white van man. Still, I enjoyed the ride and getting closer to my 3500 mile goal ( now I have set a target).

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twentysix by twentyfive

Clinging on tightly
Location
Over the Hill
Mrs 26 and I met Margaret PR in Upton. Time was short for us all so Mrs 26 was the first to head back. We 2 headed for The Hams hoping the floods had gone. Margaret got a puncture and decided to head back. I carried on to find the floods had left the road clear at last. With time rolling on I headed back to Redmarley for the run back through the lanes. What a superb day. Blue skies and lovely warm sunshine. Shame I had to get back so soon. 50 smiles
 

Shearwater Missile

Senior Member
Location
Stowmarket
Seems like an age since I last got out so I should have been ower the nut to get out today. Instead I was feeling a little trepidatious at the thought of riding following a slip on black ice last Saturday which left me with a bruised coccyx. After much prevaricating about the bush I decided on a gentle potter on the cx bike and staying within walking distance of home in case the pain became too much to bear.

What was a lovely bridleway before Chester le Street sprawled uphill is now a path through housing estates but it does eventually emerge into the countryside and dives around the back of Brass Castle Farm and the old pit heap at Waldridge. From there it's easy to get onto a network of old paths and former colliery railway tracks to reach Sacriston.

I ignored the bridleways in Sacriston Woods reasoning they would take me too far from home and dropped over Daisy Hill to find the bridleway behind the school. This is a nice, mucky downhill section that brought me to the old Waldridge Drift Mine.

View attachment 495383
Ridley X Bow at Waldridge Drift.

The continuation of the path is the track bed of the colliery line to Pelton which goes through Cong Burn Woods. I was still feeling OK in the woods; more than OK, I wasn't feeling any pain and had started to really enjoy the ride.. Decided to explore a bit in the woods to see if the old cyclo cross course could still be followed. It can't. Parts of it have disappeared completely but someone has been building a MTB black run complete with berms, jumps and some scary drop-offs. I walked most of it.

Had a short detour down the Cong Burn to cross the lower bridge and was pleased to be able to ride all the way back up through the woods to Dovecote Farm. Five minutes later I was home having done a paltry nine miles but on the plus side my coccyx didn't hurt from riding the bike.

View attachment 495384
I do sympathise about the sore coccyx as many years ago I slipped halfway down the stairs and slid the rest on my coccyx. I stood up walked 3 feet and fell as I passed out ! Hope you soon recover.
 

robgul

Guru
First ride for about a month owing to lack of time, weather .... and closing down the LBS I used to manage :sad:

About 35 miles in S Warwickshire on the Orbea electric with stops at a new cafe in Kineton called Gilks Garage Cafe (previously a garage/filling station with retro car memorabilia - think Rootes with Humber, Hillman, Sunbeam, Commer .... and an excellent "hitching rail" bike rack) - a few more miles and then lunch at the relatively new Garden Shed cafe in Wellesbourne before a rather colder 8 or 9 miles home.

Busy, busy and unlikely to get on a bike for a week unless I take my Brommie up to Lancashire for the weekend and ride out with our grandson (I'm taking his next Islabike for him)

Rob
 

LeetleGreyCells

Cycliste en formation
First ride for about a month owing to lack of time, weather .... and closing down the LBS I used to manage :sad:

About 35 miles in S Warwickshire on the Orbea electric with stops at a new cafe in Kineton called Gilks Garage Cafe (previously a garage/filling station with retro car memorabilia - think Rootes with Humber, Hillman, Sunbeam, Commer .... and an excellent "hitching rail" bike rack) - a few more miles and then lunch at the relatively new Garden Shed cafe in Wellesbourne before a rather colder 8 or 9 miles home.

Busy, busy and unlikely to get on a bike for a week unless I take my Brommie up to Lancashire for the weekend and ride out with our grandson (I'm taking his next Islabike for him)

Rob
A Like for the ride :okay: an ‘oh-no’ for the closure :sad:
 
Location
Behind bars
Given the dodgy weather forecast my only plan today was to ride into the wind until I got tired or it started to rain then turn around and come home.

Went down through Chester le Street to North Lodge where I joined the C2C path and headed west straight into the wind. Had a long slog up to Annfield Plain where I was rewarded with a couple of creature features. The first one a weasel streaking across the path just in front of me. The second, I kid you not, a goat in a trackside garden. Not an allotment, not a smallholding just a suburban garden. A real goat in a real garden. Who keeps a goat in their garden?

Onwards and upwards to Consett in an increasingly lively wind.

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A Level at Consett

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A Sextant at Consett

The next mile to Lydgett Junction is slightly downhill but I was having to pedal hard to make headway.

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Lydgett Junction

I turned east here onto the Lanchester Valley path and what a difference it made. Scooting along at 20+mph without having to pedal in what was now an incipient gale. The bad weather seemed to have blown away all the pedestrians too so I could just stay of the brakes and enjoy the ride.

Suddenly though, I was blinded by a blizzard of leaves. Momentarily unsighted I was reaching for the brakes when the back wheel locked up. Slithered to an ungainly halt to find a branch had become entangled with the spokes and rear derailleur. Soon sorted though and no harm done so down, down,down through Lanchester to Durham.

Back onto the road here. The A167 dual carriageway back up to Chester le Street. Not pleasant but it is fast and I was soon back home having done 35 miles with 1,750ft of ascent.

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