Your ride today....


Convoi Exceptionnel
Quedgeley, Glos.
Out for a morning socially distanced ride with @Dark46 today. I got out to the garage early to check on the bike, but as nothing needed doing, I got a bonus little 6 miler in before turning up at @Dark46 's house. We varied the route a tad by heading out via Hardwicke, including a trip up and back down Sticky Lane .... which lived up to its name. Then down the A38 into the wind as far as Whitminster, where we hung a right down Hyde Lane and carried on to the canal bridge at the bottom end of Frampton-on-Severn. Then back via Epney, where the Severn looked quite full and fast flowing after all the recent rain.

A great little ride, that. A nice little 25.8 miler by the time I got home. Always nice to catch up with a mate and chat your way around. I say "chat", but it was more of a shouting match at times, trying to be heard into the wind on a main road. By the time I got home I'd shouted myself hoarse, and my missus said it reminded her of when I used to get home from the football after belting out "Keep Right On" from the Tilton End at St Andrews. The difference was that I arrived in a good mood.

Cheers, Donger.

footloose crow

Über Member
Cornwall. UK
17 Nov. Catch the ferry to St Mawes

I only have one cycling friend. This is due to my laziness and the (to me) unreasonable hour at which local clubs want to start rides. Every now and then the one cycling friend feels sorry for me doing long solitary rides along muddy lanes and texts me to suggest a ride. I don't mind riding alone - no pressure to go faster or slower or worry about the number of 'hedge-loo stops' or to be up at a certain time to do a particular route. Sometimes though it is good when someone else chooses the destination. I also liked the idea of the distraction of conversation when going uphill. Stephen talks; I listen. He talks continuously as though he were making no real effort to cycle up a long and steep hill and it may well be the case that he isn't. I am.

So when the text arrived, "Fancy catching the King Harry Ferry for coffee in St Mawes tomorrow?" it certainly seemed like a good way to tackle a hill I have been avoiding for a year. For those who know the King Harry Ferry will be aware there is a steep drop on both sides of it but the longest and steepest side zig zags up the south bank for 250 vertical feet at an average 9%. Not an Alpine hill or even a long hill but one I have been ignoring since first sliding down it on a wet November day last year. It was on the 'one day perhaps but not today' list.

Meeting up by the Park n Ride in Truro and heading off at an indecently fast pace in a blur of Castelli and flashing lights I wonder if he will slow down in a bit. However, I am determined not to lose Stephen's wheel whilst heading up the long hill out of Truro but draw the line on answering his questions as well.

'You are very quiet' he admonishes at the top.

"Can't.... breathe... and...' I wheeze asthmatically.

We push on downhill now, descending too quickly at a pace that makes my collarbone nervous, back to the height we were at the beginning of the day and now in front of us is a long Cat 3 hill. Snakes and ladders cycling in Cornwall.

'Start slowly' he says. And I watch him vanishing into the distance again, a single red light flashing through the drizzle, slowly fading into the gloom. I follow, clicking down the gears, disappointed when there are no more. The top arrives as it always does if you just keep spinning.

The route goes 'Cornish level' (just normal up and down) now as we spin along the road and for the first time I can speak and pedal. The trees are bare of leaves and drip on me, leaves have soaked into a mulch across the road and the drizzle intensifies for a while. I am enjoying this. We pass Trellisick gardens where the camellias and azaleas are still hiding and the paths are ankle deep in mud. This is the wrong month to visit Cornwall but there is a queue for the car park.

A fast descent from here and the river opens in front of us, a quarter mile of angry little waves, the white horses looking grey in this low November light. It has at least stopped drizzling. A few cars join us on the ferry. I remember in the last lock down crossing on this ferry as the only passenger. Just me and my bike. Fifty pence they earned on that crossing.


The bikes chat to each other.


Stephen contemplates how slow I might be on the next hill - and how he will avoid boredom or just falling over due to lack of movement.

I don't have any photos of the hill that came next. I didn't stop. It was fine. I started slow and in the right gear and just spinning and breathing and Stephen didn't ask me any questions. So I could have done this hill at any time. It is just a hill. I built it up a bit too much in my mind. Who hasn't done this at some point and then found that there was nothing to fear but the fear itself? At the top Stephen beams at me as if I were his best pupil who has just answered the hardest question ever. 'Not so bad eh?' he asks as he clips in and sets off again.

The next few miles to St Mawes go nicely and within thirty minutes of leaving the ferry we are chasing each other down the long downhill bends into the village, the road empty and smooth. The houses here are huge 1930s villas mixed in with modern glass and steel and built into the hillside so each has a view across the Percuil river and beyond to the Atlantic. They are occupied by retired admirals mainly, although captains of industry are also welcome. In the bay is a solitary anchored yacht tugging on its chain, bow dipping into the bigger seas running in with the now rather strong westerly blowing off the sea, tossing spray into the air as it throws it's head up, then dipping down into the next wave. That yacht is worth more than my house and I hope the anchor is securely dug in.

Stephen knows a place to get coffee. Of course he does. He seems to know a place to get coffee anywhere we go. We queue obediently and sit outside where I shiver in the cold and Stephen scolds me for not using gel cleaner. 'I am wearing gloves!' I protest and get a lecture on the proper use of PPE (and how Castelli cycling gloves are not proper PPE). It is too cold to linger long.


At this point it appears the bikes have fallen out with each other and are not talking.

'There may be some hills now' says Stephen enigmatically as we cycle past the harbour, clicking through the gears as the full force of the wind hits us. And there are hills, starting with a steep hairpin bend by the Tudor fort that guards the entrance to the Carrick Roads, bronze cannons still pointing out to sea in case of French fishing boats attempting to enter next year. We are still ready for the French and Spanish pirates here. The English Heritage flag is ramrod straight in the wind and the car park is forlorn and empty. Hopefully no foreign boats will attempt entry today as I don't think anyone is in the fort.

More hills as we head back towards Truro but the wind is behind us now and progress is rapid. I can see I am doing 20mph along here and it feels good to be pushed by the wind and by the sight of another bike in front of me that I have to keep up with. I don't have time to think about feeling tired and I am re-discovering the well known truth that cycling together is faster and easier than cycling alone.

We stop for chats. About people we know and places we have been and what things the government could do to make life better for everyone and how easy that would be and why we can see it but no one else and slowly we create a better world where old blokes make decisions whilst cycling. We talk about Audax and long rides and places we might go one day on a bike and the more we talk, the longer the rides become. We part ways in Probus as Stephen heads east into St Austell to talk to the bike shop about new tyres and I turn back into the wind for the last five miles home.

We agree to do this again and then with a click of pedals he is off, vanishing into the gloom, red light flashing, legs spinning tirelessly, another thirty miles ahead of him yet. I suddenly feel quite lonely.

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Active Member
2km then a puncture, ha! My fault, shouldn't have gone through Newton, their roads are practically made a broken glass (I may have pumped them up too much aswell).

Only done 40 miles on the new tyres!

Had a spare inner tube and pump unfortunately the valve was knackered and the pump didn't pump. Still not a long walk back and I had my headphones. Time for a replacement jog.

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An astonishingly mild evening, for November and so I headed out after working, to enjoy it. Quite windy from the South, but never felt too much of a struggle into it, for the first 7 miles of the ride, through Meole, Hook-a-Gate (where a number of houses have now put their Christmas lights up already) Annscroft and then Plealey.

I’d chosen some hills and so turned up the steep lane towards Oaks, which I’ve not ridden for a long while. Somehow felt longer in the dark, or maybe I’m just out of practice! Came up behind a chap walking, with sticks, on the very step bit and he was doing well, fair play to him. We exchanged a friendly hello and in as broad a Shropshire accent as you could find, he remarked “you’ve got some fair owd lights on that bike there mon” :okay:

I eventually reached Oaks and enjoyed some descending towards Pulverbatch. The small lane that I took, to reduce time on the busier main road, was very muddy and wet though.

The run from Pulverbatch to Stapleton is downhill all the way and with the wind behind me I got up good speed all the way to Dad’s, where I called in for a bubble chat.

Legs had stiffened a little, as I set back out, heading through Gonsal, Condover, Betton Abbots and home.

20.44 miles, at an avg speed of 11.9mph, which I was happy with considering the wind and hills. Less happy with the amount of traffic about, on what seemed like every lane I took. :wacko:


Tomorrow's ride today.

I've been having trouble finding time & weather coinciding to get this month's 100km challemge ride done, but the weather foreast for Wednesday looked promising with a south to south westerly breeze, dry and a bit of sunshine. However, after a very poor night's sleep I was up and about early this morning so I went out and did the ride today instead. It was a repeat of the same ride that I did in September - essentially Woodbridge, Wickham Market, Framlingham, Halesworth, Beccles and Lowestoft, but on as many back roads as I could find and without taking the obvious, direct route. Grey, quite cool and with a swirling wind that didn't help as much as it should have done. Followed by a nice & relaxed train ride home.

twentysix by twentyfive

Clinging on tightly
Over the Hill
It was a damp ride to Upton. It wasn't too bad and it stopped as Jules H and I chatted. A quick look at the radar showed a deluge on the way. And deluge it did. We had almost given up when it eased and stopped. So a change of plan seemed a good idea. Ashleworth using the standard set of lanes. Except we dodged by Durbridge for a change. Lots of water on the Ashleworth ham but the wildfowl were thin on the ground. We paused briefly at Tirley church for lunchtime snacks. We'd had no rain since Upton and the skies were clearing as I added in some loops at the end of the ride. 56 smiles
odd ride for me today, I had a limited window due to meetings and the weather IS foul, has been for an age now, off i went straight into the 35-40 mph headwinds and my speed was better than okay for the conditions, I had to alter my route because of the hedge cutting then the rain aka the mizzle so i looped back around to what should have been a side/tailwind and nope just a really slow side wind for the return journey, i'm guessing the wind picked up and or started swirling around rather than blowing in one direction, needless to say it was hard work as my HRM clearly showed.

I also watched leaves in my front garden spinning around like a mini tornado this morning and this evening.


Re member eR
My grandson's bike has a broken freewheel so my task today was to fix it. My son and his partner live 16 miles away by road so I set off down to their place to collect Joshua's broken wheel. A simple there and back and a nice ride out in the sunshine.
The freewheel is either completely broken or maybe through lack of maintenance the pawls have seized and stuck open. maybe the grease has become hard and it's stopping things working. I'll have a look later ..................or maybe just buy a new one.
1bike n wheel.jpg

32.4 miles and about 1400ft of up. Plotted again.
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Old jon

Well done @colly carrying a spare like that.

Blue skies, a few clouds being blown away by a north (ish) wind. And a bit cold. If its less than five degrees the motivation could be lacking, but it just scraped six, so off I go on the pretty bike.

Past the old library in Holbeck, it was once a pub, ah, I drank there a time or several. And I knew it was terracotta, just sort of assumed it, correctly, that it came from Burmantofts. Anyway, on to the towpath and ride away from Leeds, as far as Viaduct Road. Up to Headingley, there seemed to be a lot of traffic about. Further up, Lawnswood and the right turn onto Church Lane to cross Adel dam. Then to demonstrate that all this up is voluntary, climb up the east side of Golden Acre Park.

And down Kings Road, not the Chelsea version. Ride through Bramhope and the route became clear in my mind. Down the Leeds Road into Otley, cross the river and there is Farnley Lane, just waiting to be ridden up. So I did just that. Over the crest and start the descent, but look at that view of Wharfedale very nicely lit by the still low sun. Every pier on Arthington Viaduct almost shone. But not bright enough to take anything away from the dale. Worth the climb.

Down the hill, cross the River Washburn and turn right towards Pool. And turn left to leave the village on another stretch of A659. Under that viaduct and then turn right to climb Creskeld Lane. There was a doubt, see? Gone up it on the Spa but cannot recall the climb on the Bob Jackson or it’s former incarnation. Anyway, no doubt now. Dunnit.

And back in Bramhope. The A660 is the way home ‘cos the cold is reaching the ends of my fingers. So back to Headingley and the extra traffic again. Escape that to Kirkstall and the towpath. Which was also a bit busy, I think the dog walkers outnumbered just about everyone else.

That bit of Hunslet has spawned more roadworks, either side of the lot just about finished. Still, soon home through there, with a smile. It has been a grand thirty one miles though only 1660 feet going up. If you look at the right hand end of the elevation trace I was below sea level for some distance . . .




Convoi Exceptionnel
Quedgeley, Glos.
My second ride this week with @Dark46, and for the second time I finished on 25.8 miles. A different route to Frampton this time, calling in at Haresfield, Standish, Whitminster, Nupend and Eastington on the way. I mixed it up a little to include a couple of lanes that were new to @Dark46 , and it turned out to be very enjoyable.

Riding down Naas Lane at the edge of Quedgeley, it was a shame to see how the new housing estate is encroaching. That lane will soon be a real rat run. Then later, when we nipped into Nupend for a change, you could see another new development at Westend going up just the other side of the hedge. Several large bits of packaging for construction materials had been blown into the hedgerow, adding to the impending doom of the new estate taking over the village. You have to wonder where all the hares, pheasants, badgers, foxes and deer are supposed to go now. I am guilty of living on a relatively new estate in Quedgeley myself. I can remember when it was all cow pasture interspersed with R.A.F depots. Gloucester must have doubled in size since then, and Stroud council seems to be doing most of its new development well away from Stroud and bordering on the Gloucester suburbs. It is a real shame. Oh well, nice to ride these little lanes while they are still there, I suppose.

Another great endorphine hit from the ride, and a good long hot bath afterwards. Nice.

Cheers, Donger.
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Out this morning directly into a brutal WNW +30 mph really hard going for the outbound journey but i did manage a single max effort 1 mile at 25.5 mph, the ride back was tail side wind but very easy, average overall 17.5 mph that gives you some idea of how tough most of the ride out was, total distance 19 miles. Its the same forecast tomorrow i'm going to try for a 2 mile max effort :wacko:


Über Member
Bit of a strange day .... I plan a nice circular route, print off a map, put it in my panniers, and totally ignore it !
I'd gone off route within the first mile ..... :rolleyes:
Flat as a pancake on the Doncaster plain but the strong northerly wind took a bit of playing with.
SO .. rode around a bit in a fairly random pattern ... passing the same farm, from the same direction ... twice .. made me realise that i'd lost the plot ....
Riding down the canal to a dead end ... at my own sailing club !! ... was daft .... but the giggles of the lady as i passed her for the second time in 10 mins, from different directions, was shared ..

So .. pics

Having battled down the A614 ... with a tail wind .... being overtaken by huge HGV's and a psyco in a VW Golf at max mil ... i found this path along the river ... that i could have taken ........ :rolleyes:

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