Your ride today....

Old jon

Veteran
Location
Leeds
A bit of breezy drizzle out there this morning, but also patches of blue (or azure, for the zed count) sky. Trying hard to find another word with a ‘Z’ so I could have four in the first sentence, may have to give up on that though and write about riding the geared bike this morning.

Got it!! The fourth ‘Z’, that is. OK, ride the bike now, through a corner or two of Holbeck, cross the Aire on Crown Point Bridge and ride up to the clock at Oakwood. For a change (a different steep hill) turn left and go past the posh gates of Roundhay Park. Turn right shortly after that, cross the Ring Road and climb to the lights at Slaid Hill. Likely that is the name of the hill also, but the nearest name on the map is Oak Hill. I dunno.

Aim for Wike. Some roads are so much fun to ride, and this is one of them. In this direction there seems to be more down than up and there are bends enough to increase the grin factor too. Through Wike, pass a couple of golf courses and a scout camp which I have never seen in use. There is a farm, or maybe stables and a gentle rise to what the OS map tells me is a reservoir. How that works at the top of a hill I know not. Down the other side is East Keswick.


Which provides a bit of uphill riding on the way to the A659. I checked the Potts clock at the bottom of the steep bit and was about to congratulate myself for reaching here so quickly. Then realised that the tailwind should have the credit. Ah well, turn right towards Collingham. And then cross the Wharfe at Linton Bridge, pedal up that little hill and on to Wetherby.

The B1224 goes to York from here, I travelled a couple of miles along it and turned right to Walton and Thorpe Arch then back across the Wharfe to Boston Spa. There is a choice of at least three roads to Clifford from here, I may have taken the shortest. Ride past the former convent to Bramham, the breeze was brisk, and next is Thorner. Cars parked in stereo, on what should be a wide Main Street.

Sandhills is one way out, and after that I chose the more or less direct route back. Quick enough down Boot Hill and back past the Oakwood Clock. Return to Crown Point Bridge, the river is between me and home, which I returned to after thirty six miles of enjoyable pedalling. With a smile.

The map, garthings do this really well.

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twentysix by twentyfive

Clinging on tightly
Location
Over the Hill
Eventually I felt a bit human after a grotty start to the day. I saddled up and headed for the Marcles beginning by climbing the Wyche. It's pleasant riding out through the lanes to Ashperton and Tarrington. I was briefly on the main Hereford road before turning to climb. I paused to check out the little Chapel at Durlow having first made the wrong turn but being put right by a cyclist who happened to live there. Odd little thing it is. Curiosity satisfied I topped out onto the ridge to then climb again and drop to Canwood with it's weird sculpture. I skirted Woolhope and took a lane I haven't ridden for many a long year. The phone box was interesting. I then climbed to Capler Camp for the views of the Wye and a quick banana. The wind was a bit chilly up here so I headed for Sollers Hope and rode another bit of lane that has also been neglected for a few years. I climbed onto the ridge again to pass alongside the transmitter. I opted to take another neglected lane off the ridge which dropped me on the wrong side so another bit of up was needed. It was a fast drop to Much Marcle where I took to the standard route back by Brooms Green and the Castlemorton lanes. What a wonderful ride around I had in superb Herefordshire countryside. 60 smiles
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footloose crow

Senior Member
Location
Cornwall. UK
21 May. How south can we go?

May blossom has scattered the lanes with confetti and the sky is cerulean blue. My wife has switched off her battery and is still matching my speed and we spin side by side along hedge lined lanes in the early summer scent of Cornwall. Stithians Lake is behind us and quickly hidden again in the folds of this ancient wrinkled landscape. The car is back there and will remain waiting patiently until we have been as far south as we can and the land completely runs out, heading into the knife cold south easterly whilst our backs are warmed by the sun.

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The route runs downhill as we have started on Cornwall's roof. A long, rambling downhill on a broken surface that makes the bike rattle and my hands shake. Madame Crow complains about a numbness she is experiencing but is unprepared to detail exactly where. I am sympathetic as I think I have the same. The lanes shuttle between light and dark, from expansive views across tiny Celtic era fields, stone hedged and ringed with gorse and bracken and then into a green tunnel beneath old oaks and beechwood, the last purple flush of blue bells now just fading.

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The downhill peters out in the marine dominated village of Gweek at the head of the Helford River, the boatyard full to bursting and the tide drained river lined with the rotting carcasses of abandoned yachts interspersed with renovation projects, new paint glistening in the sun. From here it is uphill and then downhill, uphill and then downhill as we cross the small tributaries that run at ninety degrees to the river and the road. Each small tributary has its own stone bridge providing a convenient place to stop and admire the views before the next uphill grind.

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Another long uphill as we leave the river and head onto the horizontal moorland of the Lizard itself. Dominating the stone age field systems now overrun with fern, gorse and coarse grass is the space age Goonhilly Earth Station, its satellite dishes pointed up beaming thousands of conversations and characters around the world. The lanes here are flat and we can spin faster and faster, running side by side, Madame matching me every time I increase the pace. Her battery is humming and my tyres are hissing. Joy!

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Lizard village arrives, eerily empty perhaps due to the large sign on the edge requesting visitors to go away as the village is self isolating. Despite the unwelcome sign the village ice cream and take away is open. "Too soon' says Madame. I think she is referring to a degree of over eagerness in opening up again but she means it is too soon in the day to be allowed a treat like ice cream. We are on an "eat to win" diet today.

The lighthouse is also empty, the museum curiously old fashioned and also closed. The car park looks forlorn. The sun glints on the sea and the waves roll in from the south west foaming over the rocks at the foot of the cliff. There are two bulk carriers and a container ship a few miles offshore on what should be one of the busiest shipping lanes in the south west. We saw fourteen cargo ships anchored under Falmouth earlier this week, something no one has ever seen before - evidence of the impact of Covid 19 on global trade. Now we are furthest south of any humans still on the mainland. There is no one in sight apart from us and we can spend our time, as we did at Lands End last week, taking photos by the signpost that shows all the places that are a long way from here.

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Time to head north. There is no alternative to north apart from swimming the hundred miles or so to France. Unless we missed the Pointe de Raz and headed instead for Brazil, far to the south west and even more Covid infected than us. Past the ice cream shop, Madame setting the pace and her gaze averted from the temptation.

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My electric MAWIL forges ahead, the wind on her back and legs spinning in a blur. I trail in her wake, standing on the pedals on the hills to keep in touch with her relentless pace, her extra 250 watts leading me on. We drop into Mullion, empty shops, empty streets, a flyblown estate agents window and then down to sea level and Poldhu Cove. At last I am allowed an ice cream! The road heads up from here; there is no alternative from sea level and the ice cream revolves around my stomach as I try to revolve the wheels up the 15% slope. Madame waits for me patiently at the top but I am too breathless to comment.

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On, on, more spinning, the sun warming us and more layers removed as we pass the vast naval air station at Culdrose where flags snap in the wind with messages of support for the NHS. Helston is busy with the 4pm rush hour that now replaces the 5pm rush hour in these Covid days. It is a relief to get to the quiet and tiny lanes that lead back uphill to the roof of Cornwall and the grassy car park at Stithians.

A magnificent ride, fast for us two and neither of us particularly tired despite nearly 3000 feet of ascent. The bikes are loaded on the car and cold beers on the deck at home are waiting for us. This is the life. I sit on the deck and alcohol infused ambitions are spoken aloud, of long rides and far destinations, of challenges and journeys. Madame listens patiently. She doesn't need to tell me that we have a long wait before any of that happens and I don't want to hear it, buoyed on by beer and dreams.

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Donger

Convoi Exceptionnel
Location
Quedgeley, Glos.
By 'eck it was windy this evening. I just stuck the bike in middle gear, made sure I kept hold of both bars at all times and set off along a gauntlet of full-on wind tunnels, sudden side gusts and unpredictable squalls. After a couple of rural miles, I did 2.5 laps of one of the local housing estates before heading off into a business park and another housing estate. A couple of times I was unable to indicate left when turning, for fear of being blown off the bike. On the way back home down the lanes, I made a point of nipping down to the riverside at Weir Green, as I think I've only ever been down that dead end lane about three or four times in twelve years of cycling. That brought up 15.5 miles tonight despite the conditions and leaves me on 491 for the month so far. I'm trying to get out every day for a month and average over 20 miles per day. If the predicted 40mph winds materialise tomorrow, I may not get out, but at least I'm ahead of target.
Stay safe everyone. Donger.
 
By 'eck it was windy this evening. I just stuck the bike in middle gear, made sure I kept hold of both bars at all times and set off along a gauntlet of full-on wind tunnels, sudden side gusts and unpredictable squalls. After a couple of rural miles, I did 2.5 laps of one of the local housing estates before heading off into a business park and another housing estate. A couple of times I was unable to indicate left when turning, for fear of being blown off the bike. On the way back home down the lanes, I made a point of nipping down to the riverside at Weir Green, as I think I've only ever been down that dead end lane about three or four times in twelve years of cycling. That brought up 15.5 miles tonight despite the conditions and leaves me on 491 for the month so far. I'm trying to get out every day for a month and average over 20 miles per day. If the predicted 40mph winds materialise tomorrow, I may not get out, but at least I'm ahead of target.
Stay safe everyone. Donger.
Yes grounded here by gale force winds. Didn’t get out yesterday and looks like Monday before things ease. Seems more frustrating when the sun is shining and it’s a weekend!
 

Mike_P

Veteran
Location
Harrogate
As the trees across the road do a ballet dance and fences question their vertically in the wind/gale today, Thursday evening was a lot more sedate to the point the wind farm was stationary due to the lack of sufficient wind as opposed to their being too much today. The intended full extent of Tuesdays ride was undertaken by the simple measure of starting out 45 minutes earlier and, although I felt slightly sluggish, the 3.42 mile cat 3 climb from Hampsthwaite to Menwith (575ft upwards) was completed in a new PR @ 9.9mph avg. This is the top part of the climb away from Birstwith;
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Then as intended on Tuesday I carried on west to the end of Menwith Hill Road before dropping down Meagill Lane to the A59. A brief westerly ride on that A road to the sharp descent of Parkinson’s Lane, a now something of an annual visit to see if Busky Dike Lane that it continues as high on the hillside above Fewston Reservoir has been repaired. Got the feeling some bits might have been as I recalled having to zig zag past pot holes far more but plainly there were parts that seriously need attention;
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Somehow I found myself on completely the wrong chainring for a climb – the attempt to change merely resulting in the chain socially distancing itself from any chainring and that worrying moment of becoming stationary part of the way up a climb resolved successfully with a unclipping of the right shoe and touching ground before the bike toppled. Thereafter directly east to the B6451, not a way I often go due to the steepness of the left turn onto the B road; the patched area being avoided for the gentler slope towards the centre of the road.
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Then Penny Pot and Oaker Banks with a total of 20.49 miles @ 13.5mph avg and 1348ft climbed.
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EltonFrog

Yup, no, that didn’t work.
Gawd! It ain’t arf windy today. And sunny, but cold, and warm but rainy, yet dry.

The Fragrant MrsP rode to Oxford today and I met her when she was on the way back in Abingdon where we had a coffee and cake in the market square.

I used the road bike today, left via the Hagbournes then on past Lady Grove estate to Appleford, where I was past by a racing snake in a Didcot Phoenix cycling kit. Just past Appleford I stopped for a couple of photos, then on to Sutton Courtney for some more photos then to Abingdon.

The return journey was mostly along the NCN 5, at Sutton Courtney we got a bit damp by a rain shower, 2 minutes later it was gone. We continued along the cyclebehind the old power station, where we saw a woman running with her dog who was carrying her water bottle ( see screen shot)

At Didcot we stopped at Sainsbury’s to get a bottle of milk, nowhere to put it except the bottle cage.

20.03 miles .
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roubaixtuesday

Über Member
I have Hill Craving but it's far too windy to head for the Peaks.

Alderley Edge is my nearest hill, not too high and plenty of trees and hedges to provide shelter. I decide to cycle up a few different ways - the area has no shortage of back lanes.

Off I go: Macclesfield Road first, then Chelford Road, then the pavé on Swiss Hill, followed by Artists Lane. Lastly the gentler curves of Birtles Lane.

This is about as far as I'd intended, but the legs are willing, so onwards! Sandy Lane, then Pepper Street, and I recall there's another pavé option up Bradford Lane. I'm really knackered now, but I do fancy one last blast, so up Oak Road it is, my commuting route in more normal times.

9 ascents in the ride, 71km and over 900m climbing, despite never being more than 10km from home.

Time for a rest!

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roubaixtuesday

Über Member
Gawd! It ain’t arf windy today. And sunny, but cold, and warm but rainy, yet dry.

The Fragrant MrsP rode to Oxford today and I met her when she was on the way back in Abingdon where we had a coffee and cake in the market square.

I used the road bike today, left via the Hagbournes then on past Lady Grove estate to Appleford, where I was past by a racing snake in a Didcot Phoenix cycling kit. Just past Appleford I stopped for a couple of photos, then on to Sutton Courtney for some more photos then to Abingdon.

The return journey was mostly along the NCN 5, at Sutton Courtney we got a bit damp by a rain shower, 2 minutes later it was gone. We continued along the cyclebehind the old power station, where we saw a woman running with her dog who was carrying her water bottle ( see screen shot)

At Didcot we stopped at Sainsbury’s to get a bottle of milk, nowhere to put it except the bottle cage.

20.03 miles .
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Beautiful looking bike that
 

Shearwater Missile

Über Member
Location
Heart of Suffolk
Well, I am glad the wind was back for today`s ride, I don`t know how I have managed without it for a few weeks ! Actually to be honest it was`nt too bad as I chose my route carefully, doing what is becoming a favourite route and therefore familiar too. This route was out to Stowupland and then Westward to Old Newton, Haughley, Woolpit Green and Drinkstone, Rattlesden, Harlesden Green and Onehouse. So although a lot of the route was going into the wind, a lot of that was also sheltered by hedges and trees etc. The last few miles the wind was behind me which does not half make you feel like you are flying. 22.9 miles at 16.8 mph so was pleased as the wind was 23mph WSW with gusts of 33. Had I have chosen my flatter route then I would have noticed that wind more as that route is like riding the Prairies at times.

I saw a yellowhammer today and either two kestrels or one kestrel and a sparrowhawk, not sure. Plenty of small birds about, unlike the last ride two days ago when I saw none, two warm probably. The highlight of the ride today was seeing a field of flax, which was`nt in flower two days ago. I must take the camera next time as it just looked like an inland sea.

Another positive note was my saddle. I may have mentioned before that I had angled it down a touch more had had improved the rub on my inner thigh. I had noticed that as the ride went on the rub had vanished. What I had`nt realised was this was because the saddle had actually askewed to the left. This has happened before and I have always put it back to centre because I thought that was right. So I thought hang on, if it is more comfortable like that why not leave it like that, who knows and who cares ? Well actually I care about my comfort. I angled it about 3mm to the left and it was fine but will try it 5mm to the left and see. I have read so much about saddles and all the technical stuff and fore/aft, tilt up,tilt down, level, sit bones etc etc etc. So maybe something as simple as askewing to the left makes all the difference. Has anyone else found this or am I just a late finder ?
Happy ride, happy rider. Stay safe.
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NorthernDave

Never used Über Member
Someone might have already mentioned it, but by 'eck it was windy.

Out for a ride regardless, through Shadwell and Slaid Hill then Alwoodley Gates where I turned and headed back to take the ridge road to Scarcroft.
This was better, with the wind behind me as I bowled along in the mid teens mph at next to no effort.
Out onto Wetherby Road and down the big hill - speed camera van half way down the hill, nothing for me to worry about, but some heavy braking from the cars that were about. Right at the pub for the descent and then climb up Scarcroft Hill aka "Hell Hill". Hard work, but not as bad as I'd feared.
Onto Milner Lane and the wind was really making its presence felt now.
A couple of loops on the largely sheltered lanes between Rigton Green and Compton and just as I was starting to think about staying out for a metric half, I turned into the maelstrom and was nearly unseated twice in the space of a hundred yards.
It was hard going now - lowest gear, struggling to do more than 5 or 6 mph and constantly buffeted by a howling gale.
No metric half today then - better live to ride another day!
Home via Thorner, Carr Lane and Coal Road.

23.5 miles and 1,456 feet of climbing.

Sorry no pics today. Looking at the forecast for tomorrow I might have a day off. ^_^
 

Mrs M

Guru
Location
Aberdeenshire
21 May. How south can we go?

May blossom has scattered the lanes with confetti and the sky is cerulean blue. My wife has switched off her battery and is still matching my speed and we spin side by side along hedge lined lanes in the early summer scent of Cornwall. Stithians Lake is behind us and quickly hidden again in the folds of this ancient wrinkled landscape. The car is back there and will remain waiting patiently until we have been as far south as we can and the land completely runs out, heading into the knife cold south easterly whilst our backs are warmed by the sun.

View attachment 524165

The route runs downhill as we have started on Cornwall's roof. A long, rambling downhill on a broken surface that makes the bike rattle and my hands shake. Madame Crow complains about a numbness she is experiencing but is unprepared to detail exactly where. I am sympathetic as I think I have the same. The lanes shuttle between light and dark, from expansive views across tiny Celtic era fields, stone hedged and ringed with gorse and bracken and then into a green tunnel beneath old oaks and beechwood, the last purple flush of blue bells now just fading.

View attachment 524169

The downhill peters out in the marine dominated village of Gweek at the head of the Helford River, the boatyard full to bursting and the tide drained river lined with the rotting carcasses of abandoned yachts interspersed with renovation projects, new paint glistening in the sun. From here it is uphill and then downhill, uphill and then downhill as we cross the small tributaries that run at ninety degrees to the river and the road. Each small tributary has its own stone bridge providing a convenient place to stop and admire the views before the next uphill grind.

View attachment 524172

Another long uphill as we leave the river and head onto the horizontal moorland of the Lizard itself. Dominating the stone age field systems now overrun with fern, gorse and coarse grass is the space age Goonhilly Earth Station, its satellite dishes pointed up beaming thousands of conversations and characters around the world. The lanes here are flat and we can spin faster and faster, running side by side, Madame matching me every time I increase the pace. Her battery is humming and my tyres are hissing. Joy!

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Lizard village arrives, eerily empty perhaps due to the large sign on the edge requesting visitors to go away as the village is self isolating. Despite the unwelcome sign the village ice cream and take away is open. "Too soon' says Madame. I think she is referring to a degree of over eagerness in opening up again but she means it is too soon in the day to be allowed a treat like ice cream. We are on an "eat to win" diet today.

The lighthouse is also empty, the museum curiously old fashioned and also closed. The car park looks forlorn. The sun glints on the sea and the waves roll in from the south west foaming over the rocks at the foot of the cliff. There are two bulk carriers and a container ship a few miles offshore on what should be one of the busiest shipping lanes in the south west. We saw fourteen cargo ships anchored under Falmouth earlier this week, something no one has ever seen before - evidence of the impact of Covid 19 on global trade. Now we are furthest south of any humans still on the mainland. There is no one in sight apart from us and we can spend our time, as we did at Lands End last week, taking photos by the signpost that shows all the places that are a long way from here.

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Time to head north. There is no alternative to north apart from swimming the hundred miles or so to France. Unless we missed the Pointe de Raz and headed instead for Brazil, far to the south west and even more Covid infected than us. Past the ice cream shop, Madame setting the pace and her gaze averted from the temptation.

View attachment 524176

My electric MAWIL forges ahead, the wind on her back and legs spinning in a blur. I trail in her wake, standing on the pedals on the hills to keep in touch with her relentless pace, her extra 250 watts leading me on. We drop into Mullion, empty shops, empty streets, a flyblown estate agents window and then down to sea level and Poldhu Cove. At last I am allowed an ice cream! The road heads up from here; there is no alternative from sea level and the ice cream revolves around my stomach as I try to revolve the wheels up the 15% slope. Madame waits for me patiently at the top but I am too breathless to comment.

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On, on, more spinning, the sun warming us and more layers removed as we pass the vast naval air station at Culdrose where flags snap in the wind with messages of support for the NHS. Helston is busy with the 4pm rush hour that now replaces the 5pm rush hour in these Covid days. It is a relief to get to the quiet and tiny lanes that lead back uphill to the roof of Cornwall and the grassy car park at Stithians.

A magnificent ride, fast for us two and neither of us particularly tired despite nearly 3000 feet of ascent. The bikes are loaded on the car and cold beers on the deck at home are waiting for us. This is the life. I sit on the deck and alcohol infused ambitions are spoken aloud, of long rides and far destinations, of challenges and journeys. Madame listens patiently. She doesn't need to tell me that we have a long wait before any of that happens and I don't want to hear it, buoyed on by beer and dreams.

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Lovely bikes :smile:
A guy passed me last week on the white Cube, I was a wee bit green ^_^
 
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