Your ride today....

Grant Fondo

Riding backwards into the future
As the weather forecast for today was for hail showers and 40mph winds I wasn’t expecting to get out but after walking the dogs in bright sunshine and a bit of wind I decided they were wrong and went out. It was raining a bit but I don’t mind rain as much as wind so just a quick ride round Whixall and I could give up and head home if the wind started up again. I set off to Whixall and through to Alkington where I turned back to Blackloe and the rain turned to sleet I carried on hoping it would stop and I was heading back in the general direction of home. Through several large cold floods back to Hollinswood and the sleet turned to snow, the sort of snow which sticks to the roads and anyone daft enough to be riding a bike in it, after 10 minutes it was obviously not going to stop soon and was getting worse so I decided on the quickest route home through Braynes Hall, Waterloo, Northwood and home . 16.6 miles @15.3mph. The lane outside my house when I got home. View attachment 504008
Thats what its all about! A memorable ride in the face of adversity :okay:

footloose crow

Well-Known Member
Cornwall. UK
Saturday 8 Feb. Surf and volcanoes

My teeth are chattering but not with cold. It is 24c today and the sun is high in a sub tropical sky. I have 50mm tyres and suspension and the dental slapping is entirely due to the road. Not a road but a track faced with grit and sand and washboarded into corrugations. To the left is a white sand beach, peppered with black volcanic fangs like a black and white image apart from the deep blue of the sea, turning turquoise as the light catches the breaking waves. Lines of broken surf have attracted numbers of Spanish surfers. Old T4 vans pass us slowly kicking up a dust trail. This is the first part of today’s ride along the north coast of Fuerteventura .
We have hired mountain bikes for the day although Madame Crow, the Empress of electricity, has chosen a bike with additional power and leaves me on the short steep ramps . I catch her in the downhills as she brakes nervously on the sliding gravel and grit surface, broken occasionally by bedrock, granite and basalt, sharp and hungry to eat our tyres.

To the right are old volcanoes. Dark brooding hills. Steep sided and bare of all vegetation. It is hard to grow anything in this desert environment. It resembles Western Sahara more than anywhere in Europe.

We are sweating in the warmth but buoyed by the views of creamy surf, intense white against the blinding blue reflections from the sea. The surf culture here is strong. Surfers wander the streets with boards under their arms. We are heading for Corralejo, a white washed Newquay. We can see the town now, a signal to turn off our track and head inland along a gravel and grit track that climbs uphill into the land of volcanoes. These are old volcanoes, broken craters, collapsed rims but still steep and bare. Dramatic scenery but it does not make the hills any easier - although Madame Crow enjoys overtaking me and enquiring if I am finding it hard. It is hot and the sweat is running into my eyes so yes I am finding it hard.

The miles roll on. The trail undulates but the scenery takes my mind off my aching knees. From the high points the views range across miles of open country. Completely open. Not a tree or bush. Not a blade of grass. Miles of lava fields. Rock and stone. Black is the colour here. With a contrasting grey.

A fast downhill deposits is in the village of Larejo. It is five miles from the sea but full of surf shops and surf cafes. I like the one called the ‘Rising Kook’’. Madame chose a more authentic Spanish bar where we have a beer and contemplate what next. I am not ready to finish yet and Madame said she still had half a battery left. Looking at the map I could see a line of tracks that led south through more volcanic eruptions and then back to the coast.

The hills were harder this time. Longer. More broken trails. Teeth chattering again. But the downhill section.....oh the downhill. Fast sweeping bends as the bike and I challenged each other to go faster. It is a bad influence this bike. It encourages me to let go of the brakes. We are deep in the back country of Fuerteventura and I think we lost. It doesn’t matter. This track keeps giving us more. Even Madame likes it although her bike tells her to take it more slowly.

It is a relief to see the Atlantic again. A blue line between the black hills. I was getting more and more worried we would have to return back up that long downhill and I didn’t fancy it. Now I could see the sea I knew we were on the right track. There have been a number of other tracks we could have taken so I was delighted to have made the right choice.

We now have 60km of hilly gravel tracks in our legs and I am ready to head back to the hire shop. Even the e-empress was starting to complain but not about the hills just the relentless pounding of the track on her wrists and bottom.

We now have10km of following the cliff edge with the long Atlantic swells smashing into the old lava flows beneath our wheels. The trade winds have picked up in this late afternoon and although the slanting light brings new colour to the monochrome of the hills, the headwinds are trying. I am sucking the life out of Madame’s back wheel as she has turbo mode on and I am out of energy.

This is still surfer land. We can see naked yoga on the beach, slender brown limbs stretched and twisted as neoprene clad surfers wander past. Old vans and campers dot along the coast following the same pale trails of slightly less sharp gravels that we are also following. The land is flat all the way until the volcanoes begin a few km to our right. A wide plain of gravel and grit. Arid. Dry. Not a bush or blade of grass. We could cycle anywhere but try to find a way with the least vibration.

Arriving back at the hire shop I look at Strava. Seventy kilometres. 600 metres. Not bad for the first time either of us have ridden mountain bikes. We will do this again.

Oxford Dave

Well-Known Member
West Oxfordshire
BIt breezy this morning, but I haven't had a proper ride for a week, so I was going out no matter what! Did a combination of two local loops for a total of 18.8 miles at an average of 12.7 mph on my recently purchased Super Galaxy. I'm very happy with the new bike, so much easier to ride and no aches or pains.
I'm attaching a picture of the new ride for those doubting types who insisted on proof!
My ride Friday, thought the weekens storm would render things a bit too challenging so ventured out east of Leicester on a Friday taking in some routes I used o do when I first ventured out this way (Rolleston, Skeffington) so :-

101Km Blaby - countesthorpe - Wiloughby Waterlys - Anstey - Fleckney - Carlton Curlew - Ilston - Gaulby -Billedston - Rolleston - Skeffington - Tilton -Tugby - Goadby - Glooston - Cranoe - Welham - Great Bowden - Foxton - Saddington -Countesthorpe - Blaby

First 20K or so felt like really hard fact I was struggling up 4% inclines. Stopped, tried to rotate back wheel....somehow a load of mud was trapped under the mudguard making it very hard work. Took both wheels off, got rid of mud and made it round ok....resistance training I guess...didn't need it though - hilly enough out there!


Über Member
North Yorkshire
Freezing cold but chucked on my gear and beat a hasty path to the garage and my Giant Defy before the motivation started to waiver. Set off and enjoyed the novelty of dry roads. A steady start down to Potto then a short descent and across the main road into Swainby with the church, bridge and stream looking very picturesque in the low sun. Doubled back through the outskirts of Hutton Rudby and onto Crathorne where one of John Cleese’s best mates has his stately pile. A short spell on the main road before turning off into Kirklevington and the draggy road to what’s known as “ The Scruffy House “ on that particular Strava segment and yes it is a bit of a tip. Onwards for about 4 miles and a meander through Appleton Wiske then a shortish drag up to Welbury and the welcome, creaky wooden embrace of one of my favourite benches. I was nicely warm so stopped for a drink, a biscuit and a ponder but lingered a bit too long, the sun disappeared and quickly felt perished so jumped back on and made haste through West Rounton across A19 and home. Nithered at times







but worth the effort.

Oxford Dave

Well-Known Member
West Oxfordshire
Just back from a ride into Oxford to buy a lock for my new bike. Got off to a bad start as after a mile or so, found the road closed by police (apparently there was a tree fallen across the road) so retraced my steps (tracks?) and decided to take a little used lane to just past the problem. Unfortunately, all the traffic coming up over the Thames at Newbridge had to been diverted to come up the lane I was going down. A couple of large vans had met and blocked the road - I was able to get through going the other way by walking on the verge, but there were a lot of cars and all wanted to know what was going on. Progress was slow! Finally made it to the far side of the blocked road, over the river, up the hill and away, though Appleton and on to Cumnor, bridge over the dual carriageway and down Cumnor Hill to Botley, then a short ride along the cycle lanes to Warlands cycle shop. Nice chunky lock purchased from and fitted by proprietor, so after a bit of a chat I was on my way. Carried on through Oxford and out to the A40 which has a cycle lane all the way back to Eynsham, then B roads to Northmoor where I treated myself to a plate of Welsh Rarebit and a pint. Home via the previously troubled lane to find I had ridden just over over 31 miles, or just a few metres more than 50 km. Very satisfying!


Convoi Exceptionnel
Quedgeley, Glos.
Went out for my first night ride in months tonight. Joined by @Dark46 and our mutual friend Claire, we chatted our way along the lanes to the Red Lion at Arlingham, where we opted for hot drinks before heading back again. I chucked in a couple of extra laps of the Kingsway Estate to drag the total just over 30 miles. A very pleasant social ride, marred only slightly by a couple of bursts of light drizzle. The highlight was seeing a barn owl swooping around @Dark46's head. He almost ended up wearing it as a hat.

Can't recommend night riding highly enough. You don't see as much, and you have very little sense of gradients, but it really is quite invigorating. Always a good idea to carry spare lights and wear reflectives/high viz. We were obviously quite bright tonight, as we actually had a couple of oncoming cars pull over to let us pass. That never happens in daylight.

Now to hunker down to ride out the next horrible weather system.
Cheers, Donger.

Shearwater Missile

Über Member
Heart of Suffolk
After a three day break from cycling mainly due to the high winds it was nice to get back on, so to speak. The wind may have eased only 23mph when I went out at 1.45 and whether I have gotten used to it or perhaps my choice of route I did`nt really have any battles with it.
I chose the route out to Rattlesden and Drinkstone which meant I went out into the westerly wind and perhaps a tail wind back. I also wanted some updated photos of Drinkstone smock mill with the work in progress. The roads were pretty quiet and almost totally dry. The last time I did this route in January the bike was filthy from the mud off the fields. The sun stayed out and it felt rather pleasant for a change. I saw one buzzard which passed right in front of me majestically and also two kestrels, not much else on the route.
Once I turned the corner near Rattlesden airfield I picked up a kind of tail wind, may be more from the side but still better than a head wind. I quickly went through Felsham and the Gedding and past Gedding Hall, looking splendid in the sunshine. The second half of the ride certainly went a lot quicker than the first but no supersonic speeds. It was an enjoyable ride with 862 feet of climbing at a 16.3 mph average but what the heck.
Now we have another storm on the horizon, oh whoopie !




Thanks to @Donger and Claire today is the first time I've been out on he bike since the middle of May last year . @Donger said that he hadn't seen me on here either , but as I've not been riding I've been sim racing at home there hasn't reallybeen anything o report. But I've been doing cars and not bikes obviously that doesn't do alot for your fitness.

I'm so glad that Claire suggested the ride last week as I've also got a slight chest infection and I was glad to get out the house in the fresh air.

I didnt really know what the plan was jus getting out with 2 of my best cycling friends was good. I found I tough going on the wa back with the inclines as my legs didn't want to go much. The ride was great as riding in the night you don't notice the gradients and chatting too helps greatly .

One of the worst things about going out after a look time of the bike is somehow losing kit in the house. Some I've lost one of each of my pairs of leg warmers!! So how does that happen? On the ride Claire's shopping list of things she needs to get during the grew and grew. After getting home and thinking about it I'm going to have to do a list, as there is definitely a few things I need now.

During the ride both @Donger and Claire kept mentioning that my jacket wasn't reflective as before. So I took a photo at home 504320
and it looks fine, anit a bit dirty!!


Convoi Exceptionnel
Quedgeley, Glos.
.... During the ride both @Donger and Claire kept mentioning that my jacket wasn't reflective as before. So I took a photo at home View attachment 504320
and it looks fine, anit a bit dirty!!
It was really odd. Last time we rode together at night, @Dark46 was Radioactive Man .... lit up like a flare every time a light hit him. This time he was The Invisible Man. The same grey Proviz jacket just looked dark grey for the whole ride, and whenever Claire came between me and his rear light, you just wouldn't know he was there. Is this a known issue with Proviz stuff? Anyone experienced similar?
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