Your ride today....

delb0y

Guru
Location
Quedgeley, Glos
Quick ten miles round the lanes after tea as I continue to try and find some of the fitness that I lost during the first part of the lock-down. Alas, not sure where it's hiding.
 

wafter

Über Member
Location
Oxford
Yesterday's ride again; starting with a trip of about 7 miles out of town to meet a mate for some socially-distanced exercise.

Historically we've both been a bit on the rotund side and have each had reasonable success with weight loss at different times; he lost quite a lot through diet a while ago but has put it all back on again, while I'm currently doing well in this regard. I'm trying to encourage his cycling as (apart from knowing how thorougly miserable being fat and unfit can make you) we're both knocking on the door of 40 and the implications of his lack of fitness for his health concern me.

As usual non-serious-cycling mate was somewhat under-prepared with his non-technical, absorbant clothing, single, small rucksack-stashed bottle of drink and tatty old hybrid. He made an admirable effort though and it was good to see him. We ended up doing about 23 miles around the lanes; slowly ( a bit less than 9.5mph average) at a very low HR (102bpm / 80% zone 1) with lots of stops and some pushing up fairly punishing 10%-ish hills on his part, but again he did make a valiant effort and got to the top of a few.

Tbh the sedate pace was welcome as it was bloody hot and I was still a bit achey / tired from the previous day's ride; although I think the lack of speed was also responsible for me picking up the only five insect bites I've had on rides this year :sad:

While it was good to see an actual mate in real life and I idealise about riding with friends, I often find the reality a bit stressful and less fun since I have to be aware of what they're doing while also potentially distracted by our chatting. I'm also a bit conflicted about riding two-abreast on the roads, although as the ride went on I got more confident about this and didn't get any stick from drivers for not pulling into single-file when they approached (which I know can actually make things worse as it makes for a longer object to pass).

Mate safely deposited back in his village I found the remaining solitary 9 miles back into town and home quite welcome as I could zone out with some tunes and put some effort in; this last portion apparently burning energy at about twice the rate of the rest of the ride to give a total of 38 miles covered at around 11.2mph / 113bpm average.

I think I have some utility riding coming up tomorrow so today had better be taken as rest I guess..:blush:
 
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EltonFrog

Yup, no, that didn’t work.
I took the MTB out today, after mending the puncture, which was a leaky patch, I cleaned it up and re patched it.

The only place to go off road around here is up to, on and around The Ridgeway, this time I went a different route up via Alden Farm, then followed my nose along the byways, bridle ways and fire tracks. I went down one I’d never been to before which was fun and a bit of a challenge because it was over grown with weeds. I ended up in the village of Compton and although I’ve been there before I’m not that familiar with it. But it has got a village shop called ‘The Village Shop’ it was open and the had Mint Magnums, so I bought one and sat on a memorial bench and enjoyed every morsel.

Onwards I eventually found a different track back up to The Ridgeway and after a mile or two I saw a cyclist fixing a flat, I offered to help but he knew what he was doing and we stood around for fifteen minutes have a socially distant chat, he had a really nice Bianchi C/F off road machine the model name escapes me. (ETA Methanol)

Back on territory I know I made my way in the direction of Wantage, but when I got to near Ginge I dropped down headed home via Harwell Campus.

16.80 of lovely warm peaceful sunny miles.
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colly

Re member eR
Location
Leeds
8.30 out and it was east to the flat bad lands and towards Selby.

Cross Gates, and Garforth came and went and at Monk Fryston :
monk fryston 1.JPG

monk fryston 2.JPG


I turned for Hillam :
hillam.JPG


Monk Fryston is on the main A63 so is kind of busy with through traffic but Hillam is a sleepy little place just a few hundred meters away.
I took the Gateforth road which runs parallel to the A63 all the way into Brayton and a swift turn to the north takes me in Selby.
Selby is an odd town. It has an abbey:
Selby Abbey 1.JPG

Selby Abbey 2.JPG

Which would suggest a place of importance and it was in times past, being situated on the River Ouse, but industry has come and gone through it's history and as a centre it never really caught the moment, it has sort of been left behind. Which in some respects is probably no bad thing.
It had a shipbuilding history until not so very long ago but if it's still there now there is precious little evidence of it. Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior was built here in 1957.
Under Selby are massive deposits of good quality coal and nearby Wistow Colliery holds the record of over200,000 tonnes of coal mined in a single week. The mines were closed in the early 2000's because they were uneconomic leaving 3 times as much coal in the ground as was ever taken out.
In the last decades of the last century Selby was held back to some degree by a toll bridge over the river. It didn't cost much to use it but the traffic delays were horrendous. Using the A63 to get to Hull from Leeds took you through Selby and it took ages to crawl through the town. It must have been a nightmare for the people living there.
Of course things move on and when the M62 was built it took much of the heavy traffic. Next was the Selby by-pass and then the owners of the bridge were bought out by Selby council or the county council and the town has begun to thrive once again.
So anyway...........
Out of Selby into Barlby and I collect the cycle path leading upto York. The Solar Way. Posted about on here many times before (including by me)
It's along the route of the old East Coast Mainline railway running from York down to Selby. Dubbed The Solar Way because just outside York on the path is a Sun :

sun.jpg

About 2.5m in diameter. The planets are laid out along the path in the direction of Selby all sized in proportion to the 'sun' and all at proportional distances.
The Earth and Moon, in proportion are set about 200m away:
earth and moon.jpg


Pluto and it's moon Charon are something like 12km distant and is the size of of a small pea.
I was coming up towards York and so Pluto was the first I passed.
Along the path I stopped and bought refreshments from a pathside stall. In York I pitched up at a 'Park and Ride' and after getting into the deserted car park..............I couldn't find a way out again.:wacko: I did eventually and picked up the path that leads to Copmanthorpe.
Then, I lost my way.
I ended up at a crossroads with not a sign to be seen. I took a punt on a left hand and my sense of direction told me I was on course. I was, but I chickened out when I came across a railway bridge that I had seen before on a previous ride and thought I was heading back in a roundabout way to York. Had I trusted my senses a right at the next junction would have seen me on track.
Instead I did a swift about turn and I found myself passing for the second time a nice little place called Colton. Eventually I ended up (not by design) on the cycle path running alongside the main A64.:eek: In fact it wasn't so bad. Reduced traffic meant not so much noise or pollution.
I don't pay a lot of attention to my average speed generally but for the next few miles I was stuck behind a woman on a 'Dutch' bike ambling along, swinging side to side on the track, headphones in and not a care in the world. So my average will have dropped by some margin. The path was 1.2m /1.5m at most and I called out but she didn't hear me, so rather than try and brush past I just hung back and waited.
I got off the A64 at Tadcaster and after the town centre I made for Bramham where I picked up Paradise Way and headed for Aberford.
Here I went off piste and headed across country along Parlington Lane:
parlington lane.JPG


It's more track than lane and after the gate in the photo it gets decidedly more rough.
I was on a road bike and had I not recently put on some wider, deeper tyres I would have struggled. Someway along here is Parlington Dark Arch:
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parlington dark arch 2.JPG


The rooflights are mostly obscured now and being curved you can not see the far end and so it looks really spooky. It's probably 50m long and coming from bright sunlight into the gloom only makes it worse.
Eventually Parlington Lane leads on to Garforth Golf Course where you can ride directly across the course on the public right of way. This brings you into the back end of Cross Gates and Manston Lane.
It's recently all changed around here, houses, new roads, fresh developments. Not least the old Barnbow munitions factory. Latterly tank manufacture. In the first world war 16000 people worked here. Reduced today to a series of 8m tall stacks of concrete and brick rubble. Progress of sorts I guess but electronic components factories and offices housing engineering design companies is preferable to places making war machines.
Cross Gates then and home. :okay:

A good morning out under mostly sunny skies.

60.4miles and 2000ft of up.

View: https://ridewithgps.com/trips/49187015

Edit: Some old pics and some taken from elsewhere. My phone was at home. (which was really, really useful)
 
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Rickshaw Phil

Overconfidentii Vulgaris
Moderator
A couple of rides to report on:
Yesterday: After a foggy start it brightened up into a gorgeous, hot day and I got to enjoy one of those rare things; a ride with my brother (all within the rules of course). He had a route in mind but, after a recent ride, discovered that he's lost more fitness than he thought. I offered an alternative route - still climbing a reasonable amount as he wanted but nothing too challenging. The planned route was similar to one I'd done recently - over Lyth Hill to Exfords Green & Stapleton then up the long but steady climb to Pulverbatch and aiming to return via Oaks, depending on how Doug felt.

Before starting off I changed the saddle on Doug's bike. Although he's been stoic about it, I've seen for a while that he's not been getting on with the saddle he's got, so I've lent him a spare Brooks B17N to try out.

Setting out, there were loads of people up at Lyth Hill and a surprising amount of traffic on the way to Stapleton but after that it was really nice and quiet all the way to Pulverbatch. Reaching the village Doug said he'd prefer a shorter way back to the one I'd suggested and as it turned out I'm really glad he did. The main road from here to Annscroft is mostly downhill and today the tailwind was just right so we really flew along. We even caught and overtook a couple of cyclists at Longden.

The good run finished at Annscroft and the climb back over Lyth Hill started. Doug needed to rest a couple of times but it is a fairly steep climb on a hot day. He did find the enthusiasm to add a bit of extra distance at the end which rounded up the mileage nicely.

I had been disappointed to see that Doug was finding the saddle a bit uncomfortable from about the seven mile mark, however he says it's better than the other one and wants to keep it on the bike for a few more rides to see how he gets used to it.

A fraction over 17 miles at 10.6 mph average.

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Taking a break on the way to Pulverbatch.

Today: Stuff to do in the morning so I got out after lunch to expand my horizons a little.

I had intended to use the Galaxy today but by the time I got round to it, thought the Raleigh might be a better idea as this would be the longest test I've done on the new Cambium. I set out to Condover and Cantlop at a nice sprightly pace then just before Pitchford took a left and headed for Cound Stank, Cound and Harnage. The flag at Cound today was the unofficial version of the Shropshire flag, which was nice to see..... but it was flying at half-mast which wasn't.:sad:

After Harnage I was onto roads I haven't ridden since the lockdown to Harnage Grange, Lower Springs, Hughley, Longville (well, almost) and Cardington. This stretch of the route is undulating but the general trend is upwards so I wasn't particularly quick. I had a nice section of nearly five miles where I didn't encounter another vehicle, but there seemed to be quite the rush of them when I eventually did.

Seeing a hare running along the road ahead of me was nice then the road starts to climb more steeply through Gretton, Cardington and up to Folly Bank. The descent on the the Stretton side of Folly Bank is always entertaining and going this way it's more apparent why some of the local clubs call it Corkscrew Hill.

I picked up the tailwind at Hollyhurst and had a good fast run to Longnor and Ryton with only a kamikaze squirrel to watch out for (I missed it). Leaving Ryton there was a rider ahead on a much sportier bike with what looked like Team Sky kit but without the logos. I was surprised to find that I was gaining on him and by Condover I had caught up. On the little climb into the village he was holding me up so when the oncoming traffic cleared I overtook. Shortly afterwards I heard the whirr of gears and he comes storming past looking absolute daggers at me.:ohmy: Getting overtaken is no big deal but I wasn't having that glare, so I gave chase. I kept up for a while but on the drops he had the advantage on the flat and slowly got away.... as far as the next junction, then I caught him again on the next climb.:laugh: I don't suppose he'll read this but just in case: I wasn't taking the piss, I only overtook because at that point you were really slow. Your reaction made it worth rattling your cage. I wonder how I'd have got on with drops on this bike too.;)

Nice to get out and get a longer ride in again. Not as many cyclists seen this time - 12 in all and most of them in the last 10 miles.

31.9 miles at 14.7 mph average.

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At Harnage.

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There does seem to be a lot of work being done on the roads at the moment. Hopefully good quality.

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Some idyllic quiet lanes.

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Furry cows.

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View to Wenlock Edge.

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The Royal Oak at Cardington. I hope it survives the current crisis.

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By Graham Bufton's memorial bench at the top of Folly Bank.
 
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gavgav

Guru
Out after home work, for a warm evening ride, but the lovely sun had been replaced by a blanket of cloud. Less wind than earlier in the week, before what looks like 3 days of strong winds. Typical when I have a few days off work, other than a couple of on call mornings.

Took a different evening route, through Meole and then along the fairly quiet main road to Hook-a-Gate and Annscroft. From there I encountered loads of traffic, on the normally quiet lanes to Exfords Green and Stapleton. Where was everybody going?

Crossed the A49, without a car in sight or sound, practically unheard of, then through Gonsal, where I unhelpfully swallowed an insect of some sort, which caused me to begin coughing and retching. Paused for some water, which settled things down.

Along the straight wide road, towards Condover, I encountered the one moron of the ride.........female on a bike, who came past me with about half a metre, at most, of clearance. I would have been annoyed in normal times, at how close she was, never mind in a pandemic. I shouted “2 metres” at her, but clearly her aero position and speed were far more important than social distancing. Really not impressed 🤬

After Condover, I followed Lyons Lane to King St crossroads, where the road closure is still in place and on through Betton Abbots, to home.

14.86 miles at 13.9mph avg
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
I was on a road bike and had I not recently put on some wider, deeper tyres I would have struggled. Someway along here is Parlington Dark Arch:
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parlington-dark-arch-2-jpg.jpg


The rooflights are mostly obscured now and being curved you can not see the far end and so it looks really spooky. It's probably 50m long and coming from bright sunlight into the gloom only makes it worse.
Ah, I wondered about the 'Dark Arch'! I can't remember if you mentioned it to me, or I had spotted it on the OS map when planning a possible forum ride route.

Along the straight wide road, towards Condover, I encountered the one moron of the ride.........female on a bike, who came past me with about half a metre, at most, of clearance. I would have been annoyed in normal times, at how close she was, never mind in a pandemic. I shouted “2 metres” at her, but clearly her aero position and speed were far more important than social distancing. Really not impressed 🤬
I've had that done to me a couple of times on the A646 near here. I think that they are staring down at their computers and not looking where they are going, That's how this sort of thing happens... :eek:


As for My Ride Today...

I recently spotted a local climb that I had not ridden before... Allescholes Road up from the A6033 at Walsden. I had toyed with waiting for the lockdown to finish before going to check it out, but thought about it and decided that there was absolutely no reason why I should not ride up a public road and then down a public bridleway. I have people walking 1 metre from my front door every 4 or 5 minutes during the day, so why should I avoid riding 10 metres away from someone else's!

So, I did a little warm-up ride on my best bike and then headed for the climb. The descent on the far side is gravelly and a bit scary on a road bike but my CX bike is furloughed with a dodgy fork. (There is a recall notice on it but I am not going to mess about trying to get it replaced with coronavirus messing everything up!) My MTB is also off the, er, offroad, so best bike it was, given that the climb is far too steep for my singlespeed bike.

The climb was really nice. It is steep and hugs the side of the valley until it gets to the top so there are fine views. Eventually, the road comes to a gate and beyond that is a right of way that joins the Pennine Bridleway. I didn't stop on the road to take pictures, but the Streetview car managed to get up there. If you'd like to view that coverage, use THIS LINK. Note - the car stops before the gate but you can rejoin the bridleway later on for some handheld Streetview. (Google is gradually extending Streetview from roads to offroad paths such as bridleways, important footpaths, towpaths etc. The Pennine Bridleway section was obviously considered important enough to be featured.)

I stopped to take some photos on the bridleway after the gate but before it joins the Pennine Bridleway...

Looking back towards Walsden
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Looking towards Summit
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I had a chat (at a distance!) with the friendly mountain biker who photobombed me!

I took one more picture. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, given that I was holding my phone at arm's length above my head to get a more spectacular angle for the photo. You can see why they have flooding in the valley below - just look at how flood waters have carved a gully down the hillside over time!

Warland from Reddyshore
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It was actually fine to ride until the aforementioned gravelly descent to Calderbrook Road, which was a bit much for 25C slick tyres. I scooted the bike down the worst bit and descended the rest VERY carefully.

Paging @Littgull! Brian, I don't know if you have ever spotted this little gem before? Well worth a look, but watch it on that gravel!!!

PS I know that some of you are interested in local history, so here is some for you! The Streetview picture below shows a ventilation shaft for the railway line between Littleborough and Walsden which passes along a tunnel through the hillside at Summit.

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A freight train caught fire in the tunnel in 1984, with extremely spectacular results!

 
Ah, I wondered about the 'Dark Arch'! I can't remember if you mentioned it to me, or I had spotted it on the OS map when planning a possible forum ride route.


I've had that done to me a couple of times on the A646 near here. I think that they are staring down at their computers and not looking where they are going, That's how this sort of thing happens... :eek:


As for My Ride Today...

I recently spotted a local climb that I had not ridden before... Allescholes Road up from the A6033 at Walsden. I had toyed with waiting for the lockdown to finish before going to check it out, but thought about it and decided that there was absolutely no reason why I should not ride up a public road and then down a public bridleway. I have people walking 1 metre from my front door every 4 or 5 minutes during the day, so why should I avoid riding 10 metres away from someone else's!

So, I did a little warm-up ride on my best bike and then headed for the climb. The descent on the far side is gravelly and a bit scary on a road bike but my CX bike is furloughed with a dodgy fork. (There is a recall notice on it but I am not going to mess about trying to get it replaced with coronavirus messing everything up!) My MTB is also off the, er, offroad, so best bike it was, given that the climb is far too steep for my singlespeed bike.

The climb was really nice. It is steep and hugs the side of the valley until it gets to the top so there are fine views. Eventually, the road comes to a gate and beyond that is a right of way that joins the Pennine Bridleway. I didn't stop on the road to take pictures, but the Streetview car managed to get up there. If you'd like to view that coverage, use THIS LINK. Note - the car stops before the gate but you can rejoin the bridleway later on for some handheld Streetview. (Google is gradually extending Streetview from roads to offroad paths such as bridleways, important footpaths, towpaths etc. The Pennine Bridleway section was obviously considered important enough to be featured.)

I stopped to take some photos on the bridleway after the gate but before it joins the Pennine Bridleway...

Looking back towards Walsden
View attachment 524013

Looking towards Summit
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I had a chat (at a distance!) with the friendly mountain biker who photobombed me!

I took one more picture. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, given that I was holding my phone at arm's length above my head to get a more spectacular angle for the photo. You can see why they have flooding in the valley below - just look at how flood waters have carved a gully down the hillside over time!

Warland from Reddyshore
View attachment 524016

It was actually fine to ride until the aforementioned gravelly descent to Calderbrook Road, which was a bit much for 25C slick tyres. I scooted the bike down the worst bit and descended the rest VERY carefully.

Paging @Littgull! Brian, I don't know if you have ever spotted this little gem before? Well worth a look, but watch it on that gravel!!!

PS I know that some of you are interested in local history, so here is some for you! The Streetview picture below shows a ventilation shaft for the railway line between Littleborough and Walsden which passes along a tunnel through the hillside at Summit.

View attachment 524021

A freight train caught fire in the tunnel in 1984, with extremely spectacular results!

That's a great ,discovery Colin, Allescholes Road and fantastic pictures you have taken. I'll definitely take a ride up there soon. I've often passed the bottom of Alllescholes Road as I've ridden through Walsden on the valley road but never ridden up it. The beauty of those quiet roads that rise up very steeply from the A6033 is that the tracks they often lead to continue over very wild remote moorland yet you are never more than a few miles from 'civilisation' should the weather turn really bad or the bike incurs an unfixable problem. A few weeks ago I rode up Inchfield Road from Walsden, another very steep climb (initially). I had ridden up it before but because I had not been on my mtb I did not continue along Foul Clough Road which becomes a rough (and rocky in places) track after a while. This time I rode Mrs Littgull's e mtb. It was a fabulous route. I rode just over 4 miles high up across the remote moor across Hades Hill and to the wide track that leads off the moor down to Land Gate at Britannia near Whitworth. I didn't see a single person between the top of Inchfield Road and reaching Land Gate. I then continued on the road to Bacup and rode the very quiet road/track which is Old Todmorden Road that eventually comes out above Sharneyford before taking the long descent down to Gauxholme and on to Littleborough. It's definitely a ride I will repeat many times. Not one to tackle after weeks of heavy rain though as it would be a quagmire but thankfully the past few weeks of dry sunny weather had completely dried the terrain out making it very enjoyable to ride. Here is a picture I took of the remote part on Inchfield Moor.
 

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JPBoothy

Über Member
Location
Cheshire
There are a lot of good interesting right-up's on here which the tourist board would be proud of I'm sure. I am often envious of some of the beautiful places that you live in but, I suppose that the grass always looks greener (literally) elsewhere doesn't it. Keep it up folks, I find your tales of the days ride and accompanying photographs and facts to be a good read, especially when I am struggling to motivate myself to get out there :okay:
 

wafter

Über Member
Location
Oxford
Had planned to have a day off yesterday, but after the day's heat decided on a short, slow, cool evening jaunt through the woods. I headed out along the usual bridleway to Bagley woods and through their more westerly section. Heading back towards the road past (what I assume to be) the sawmill I was disappointed to see a "Private - No Access" sign that i'd previously missed / had only just been installed.

Being someone who's recently increasingly questioned their previous unyielding subservience to authority in always having done what they've been told, (and it being outside working hours) I ploughed through the remaining few hundred yards to the road regardless, to find the gate still open and spotting (presumably) an employee at a distance; who either didn't see me or didn't care.

The next disappointment came upon reaching the continuation of the track on the other side of the road; to be greeted by a closed gate and another "Private Property" notice. A shame as I'd previously ridden this path oblivious to the notices on the open gates; and it gave a nice little through-route encompassing the woods rather than having to enter them, do a lap and leave again. I guess that's the last time I ride that stretch, then :rolleyes:

I left the closed gate alone and travelled further down the road to use another entrance. Wondered around on the woodland tracks for a bit; encountering various piles of ballast in places along them - unsure if this was there for future use or had been placed there to restrict vehicular movement. Eventually I reached the footbridge over the A34 to Kennington, lugged the bike over and set off back towards the city on the other side.

Not far along the track disaster struck as a largish stick flicked up at the front wheel; jamming against the mudguard and caused it's "sh*t the bed" safety-mounting system at the fork to deploy; popping the stays out of their plastic clips on the fork. Better than going over the handlebars I guess but a bit of a pain to sort. Managed to push one side back in with a stick, but had to remove the other mount from the fork in order to get enough force on it to mate the components back together. No real harm done but despite the lower evening temperature sweat was dripping off me while I put it all back together and I evidently managed to lose one of the plastic caps off the end of one of the stays during the initial incident (a quick search of the darkend area where it happend with my headtorch turned up nowt), so that's a bit more expense.

I continued on the path and noticed a clearing on the RHS, so investigated. This unfolded to reveal a gloriously brutalist pre-fab building that remindeded me instantly of the Consec building in Cronenberg's epic Scanners (in style if not actual appearance); with its mix of stark grey concrete, lush greenery and water features. A quick mosey revealed I'd discovered the University's Said Business Centre at Egrove Park. Pity such an interesting building couldn't have been devoted to a more worthy cause, but there we go.

I took one crap picture on the potatophone (which gives an idea if not conveying all of the complex's glory) and was on my way, soon finding the familiar road through Kennington and continuing into town and back home.

Image018.jpg


All in all a somewhat mediocre and disappointing ride; the only highlight being the achectecture stumbled upon. To add insult to injury when I got back I discussed the route with a mate, who told me that cycling in Bagley Woods is prohibited all together. I've never seen any signs stating this and info referencing this on the net is year old (so perhaps this has changed now..?) In any case I can't see any harm in riding there so until I'm told not to I'll continue to do so (I have a pathalogical aversion to be told off, but need to build resistance and what's the worst that can happen?!), although the shine's worn off it a bit in light of tonight's experiences.

Upshot was 10ish slow miles at (I'd guess) a pretty low HR.

Was planning on a utility ride back to the family homestead today, but it's windy (potentially a lot worse tomorrow for the return journey), while my back, legs and feet ache so perhaps I'll give it a miss.

Last night was also the first time in a long time that I've not instantly uploaded my ride to Polar / Strava; not that I expected to have bested any times but since Strava crippled its functionality for free members my interest in using it has plummeted.. I really can't justify the cost of subscription though so will hold out in the hope that maybe they bring in a cheaper, lower-tier sub or some other more welcome changes.

After all the fantastic rides I've enjoyed recently, circumstances have conspired to put me at a bit of a low-ebb again in terms of cycling. Meh.
 
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This was a ride I did on Wednesday, not today. So apologies for late posting.

The easing of the lockdown restrictions to now allow unlimited exercise led me to start getting back on track with trying to achieve my annual target of 12 imperial century rides per year. I make a habit each year of riding these between mid March and mid September so as to be more likely to get decent weather and also to avoid riding long hours in darkness. This year I managed to get 2 centuries completed in early/mid March before the COVID 19 virus lockdown began. Once the lockdown started my rides were obviously restricted to short very local routes.

So with the restrictions eased I set about planning a century ride that allowed comfortable social distancing and never reached any further than 25 miles from home at it's most distant point. I decided to make the century comprise of two loops both of which began and finished in my home village of Littleborough, Lancashire. The first loop was 60 miles and took me through Rochdale, Birtle, Walmersley, Summerseat, Ramsbottom, Edgeworth, Chapeltown, Belmont, Rivington, Horwich, Bolton, Bury, and back to Littleborough. The second loop was 40 miles and I plotted a route that involved visiting and riding through a total of 6 country parks spread throughout GreaterManchester. Some I had visited previously, others were completely new to me. All looked absolutely majestic in the gorgeous May sunshine. My pre-planning had worked a treat. Each park had very wide tracks and though there were quite a few people walking and exercising the social distancing guidelines were very much complied with by everyone I passed.
It was a great day out on the bike and very satifsfying to bag my 3rd century of the calendar year.

Here are some pics.
The moors near Rivington
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Alexandra Park, Oldham
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Boggart Hole Clough, near Blakeley
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Heaton Park, Manchester
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Alkrington Woods Country Park, Middleton
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Alkrington Hall
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Bowlee Community Park (in between Middleton and Heywood)
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Queens Park, Heywood
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