Your ride today....

Dave 123

Legendary Member
A very close call this afternoon.

out from home to Creacombe, then I decided to go down Darkie Hill. Brakes on, muck, gravel and diesel on the lanes. At the bottom is a left hand bend. As I went round there was a car... I had nowhere to go!
My bike was skidding but I managed to wedge it and myself between the car and the hedge bank. Bike at 45°, me still on it!
The people in the car were really concerned I’d hurt myself, but other than a small cut on my left little finger I was fine! Lucky.

After that I tv was a drizzly, yucky ride.

10 miles.

https://www.strava.com/activities/4374821797
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Spiderweb

Not So Special One
Location
North Yorkshire
Out on the Tricross at 10.30am for a leisurely ride into York for a takeaway Cappucino. A bit nippy but a lovely day with loads of cyclists out. 34 miles with an average of 13.6 mph.
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Landsurfer

Über Member
No pics today .... forgot to charge the camera ... A lot less wiggly route than Thursdays .... rain, lots of fishermen with carbon poles at Ickles Lock .. they always seem to block the cycle / tow path when setting up but as i approached there where cheery good mornings and the poles where cleared for me to pass ... nice chaps ..
Lots of girls running along the cut this morning .... noticeably more ... not sure why .... managed not to run any of them over ...lol .. but always good mannered and wave me past ...
So in summary .... nice couple of hours on the bike ... but it always is ...

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Headed out onto the Heide again today. A modified version of a ride that I'd first ridden last year, but with the addition of some more forest roads I'd discovered rather than a dangerous section of road I'd used last time. The sky was overcast and it was a blustery day, but not too cold. The ride started on the quiet country roads I normally travel, before plunging into the forest after 6 km. Almost instantly I nearly come a cropper on the slippery mud, a reminder of how the conditions have changed as we get closer to winter. For several kilometres I ride through the forest, alternating between mud and grass having a great time. All around the forest is constantly changing and providing an interesting backdrop to my ride.

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As I get closer to Wildech I hit the sandy section, my wheels skip and dance across the surface scrabbling for grip. The sun briefly comes out and bathes the forest in light, the silver birch light up bright silver. Past Wildech, I'm back on gravel as the trail rises and plunges back through older patches of forest.

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Before long I'm out onto quiet roads for a couple of kilometres before arriving at Angelbecksteich, where I stop for a bite to eat and a coffee.

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From here it's a short sharp uphill on lovely gravel to the car park at the Teifental, before plunging back downhill. The moorland here is really popular in the summer when the heather is in bloom, but today apart from a few hardy souls walking up an appetite for their Sunday lunch, it's empty. I head up onto the crest of the ridge and ride across the top, skipping between deeper pools of sand and tree routes as the route plunges up and down.

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After a fun ride across the top, we turn North again and into the forest again. The track here is sublime, weaving between the trees in complete solitude it gets narrower and more technical as we go further along. The only thing out here are the occasional hunter's stools, there are no people and the silence is deafening.
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The track is littered with small sink holes that make progress really enjoyable, both me and the bike are getting plastered in mud and having great fun. One particular steep corner has me nearly overcooking it as the front wheel digs in, but I recover it and ruminate how good these rides are for learning bike control, often the hard way!

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After a while the fun ends and we emerge onto more gravel fire roads, whilst the technical demands are much less the scenery is still really impressive and I'm still on my own. At own large confluence of tracks there is a small bench and I stop for some more coffee and biscuits. The last kilometres have all been in new sections of forest I'd not traversed before, but proved to be a real delight to ride.

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Then it's a gentle but fun ride on lovely gravel roads down to Starkshorn and then down to Rebberlah. Another break for a banana under the sprawling oak tree, before I ride the last 8km of forest trails. Then it's out onto the country lanes I'd traversed earlier and the wind finally makes it presence felt. The last kilometres into a stiff headwind are tough on tired legs but don't take the shine off what has been a magical day out in the forest. 59km in total, the majority in the forest on what proved to be a nice, late Autumn day.
 

Donger

Convoi Exceptionnel
Location
Quedgeley, Glos.
I rang the changes a little today, and took advantage of the light Sunday morning traffic to head out towards Stonehouse. There I hung a left into Horsemarling Lane to have another go at Moreton Hill. This is a brutal little climb up to Westrip that operates as a short cut to Cashes Green for massochists. It hits a hairpin and a rutted, muddy stretch near the top, eventually topping the hill in the woods on the far side of the white house in the top right-hand corner:
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I'd been forced to dismount about 3/4 of the way up when I rode it for the first time with @KingswayRider earlier in the year and ended up admiring the view across the Severn Vale while I got my breath back. This time I set off full of vigour and determination..... Anyway, here's a photo from exactly the same spot!
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There is a large rock at the side of the lane that made for a good viewing seat, and I had a nice little chat with an old boy who was out for a walk. A couple of Audax Club Bristol riders span their way past me, spotting my Audax UK sticker and saying hello as they passed. Then, as I carried on through the woods I had a chance meeting with an old work colleague out walking with her mum. She still works in the land of Mordor, and said she was jealous of my life of retired leisure. The descent down through Westrip is a dodgy one when the lane is muddy and covered in wet leaves. When I got down to the T junction where left is for Randwick and right is for Cashes Green, I took one look at the gradient and went right ...just like last time (sod that!):
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After that, there was a fair bit more descending into Cashes Green before looping back home via Eastington, Frampton, Fretherne, Saul and Elmore. A really enjoyable, mostly leisurely ride out in glorious Autumn sunshine. 29.4 miles.
Cheers, Donger.
 
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gavgav

Guru
The sort of beautiful Sunny day, that you simply have to make the most of, on the bike, as you never know when the next one will come, this time of year. Perfect opportunity to get my November 50k challenge ride done. Set out with plenty of layers on and full finger gloves, as it was quite chilly.

I’d only done about a mile, through the nearby estate and along Wenlock road, but had witnessed 3 moronic drivers, 2 almost wiping traffic out head on, overtaking me and another passing me ridiculously closely. Thankfully things then calmed down, as I joined the road to Betton Abbots, Cantlop and Acton Burnell, where I paused to swap into my fingerless gloves, as I was too warm. I’d already seen loads of cyclists out and that continued for most of the first half of the ride, good to see.

I turned towards Kenley, but didn’t go up the steep hill today, instead turning off in the direction of Harnage Grange. This lane was unfortunately a complete mud fest, at times almost unrideable, but slithered my way through it and walked the bike around the ford, as too much water in it to ride through.

I dropped down to Harley and then began the steady climbing along the lane towards Hughley, really busy along there, with traffic, for some reason, as it’s normally quiet

View towards Wenlock Edge
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At Hughley I turned back uphill to Church Preen and the main climbing of the ride began, to Gretton, Cardington, up to Folly Bank, before the nice fast descent to Comley.

I joined some new territory, here, on a bike at least, with the climb up to the foot of the Caradoc hill and down through Botvyle. Lovely views across the Stretton Hills.
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I got a bit annoyed with 2 horse riders, on the descent who, despite clearly seeing me coming down quickly, decided to come out of the field, into the lane in front of me. There was then a remark of “watch out Dave there is a cyclist coming” from the woman and she says to me to watch the horse in front as he gets scared. I wouldn’t have had to watch it, if they’d waited for me to pass :wacko:

Crossed the A49 with ease and then began some climbing up via more new territory, through Dudgeley, with beautiful views back across to the Lawley and Caradoc hills, where I’d just come from.
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The only downside was another absolute mudfest of a lane, after the crossroads, before dropping down towards Leebotwood, then turning off and climbing through Walkmills. The descent down to Netley was good fun, with the wind behind me and I turned off before Dorrington, with impeccable timing, as a full articulated lorry was coming towards me on the fairly narrow road.

The short section on the A49 was very busy, but I quickly turned off to Stapleton and called in to have the rest of my lunch, that I hadn’t eaten in my snack stops, at dad’s.

When setting back out, an hour later, it had gone much colder and the legs had seized up a bit, as I climbed up to Exfords Green. I paused at Annscroft, to put the full finger gloves back on, before joining the main road through Hook-a-Gate, back towards Shrewsbury. Another clown overtook me, on a blind bend at Nobold and he wouldn’t have had a chance should anything have come round the corner. I was also turning off about 25 yards further on, so he gained nothing :wacko:

Final section was through Meole village and back home, with a thoroughly enjoyable 37.83 miles on the clock, 2353 ft of climbing, at bang on 11mph avg.

Gave the bike a full wash down, when I got home, as it was filthy.
 
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AndreaJ

Über Member
Yesterday’s ride was a wander around the lanes of Whixall, there are miles of narrow lanes so you can just make a ride up as you go, there is the occasional sign post but in reality it doesn’t really matter which way you go as you can always get where you want eventually. Unless you live in or near Whixall most people avoid it as it is so easy to get lost which makes it fairly quiet. 20.18 miles which apart from a very short stretch in Tilstock was all on quiet lanes, despite it being a nice day not many people out.
A longer ride today and much colder out but the sun was shining and no wind. Started out to Loppington following a slow tractor and trailer I decided to go through Loppington whichever way he didn’t so carried on to the pub and turned to Nonely, Myddle up the hill then down Lower Road to Merrington, Old Woods, Yeaton, Grafton up towards Adcote school into Baschurch then to Stanwardine, Bagley, Lee, Ellesmere up Swan Hill at the side of the Mere passing lots of parked cars who don’t want to pay to park in front of The Mere, onto Stocks down the filthy rough lane to Welshampton, Northwood and back home. A lovely sunny autumn morning to be out and lots of people out today including lots of horse riders. 33.26 miles.
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C R

Veteran
Location
Worcester
Forecast for today was bright, cool, but more importantly, no wind, so it would have been rude not to take advantage.

Out at my usual early time, still dark, and definitely cool, glad I wore this extra layer and the silk glove liners, should have worn the winter gloves, but just about bearable with the autumn gloves.

Plan was to head to Welland via Powick, so headed for the bridge at Lower Wick, and once over the river it I a quick run to Powick in the A449. The big roundabout was busier than usual, and it was a bit uncomfortable going through the narrow turn with a car behind trying to overtake where there really was no space. I made it out of the roadworks in one piece, and after Powick heading to Callow End, I had the road to myself.

The east was starting to look a bit pink now, and by the time I turned for Hanley Swan there was already a bit of daylight. The ride was uneventful, Hanley Swan went past, and Welland too, I was making good time and enjoying the riding.

Plan today was to explore a little further than usual, going as far as the A417, before turning back to Pendock.

Going through Berrow the light of the early morning made quite an interesting effect on the wet road surface, with the fog further down the road adding an eery tone. For recalcitrant once my phone camera did capture what I was seeing
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Without noticing, I took a turn too early, and ended up in Pendock without have reached the A417 first, but a check on the map clarified what had happened, and I was now on my way to Tewkesbury, roughly following the M50, which was surprisingly loud.

By the time I reached Mythe bridge there was full daylight, and I stopped for a bit of a rest and a cereal bar. Once refreshed, it was time to head for Pershore via Bredon and Ekington. Quite a few cyclists out now, but all going the other way.

Another stop in Pershore by the Abbey, and then the final bit up Holloway, which I like less every time I have to go up it, and then Wadborough and Littleworth, getting home bin a bit over three hours with exactly 70km on the clock. Lovely weather for a ride, just wish all Sundays were like this.

The map
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Mike_P

Guru
Location
Harrogate
A fine if cold Sunday morning and eventually headed out on the Defy on a south east route with plenty of cyclists about; initial plans to use the bridleway through the showground were scuppered by the sheer numbers of walkers that could be seen using it. Instead, across to A661 where fears of how chaotic it might be were not realised; there was a short spillage of queuing traffic tailing back from the recycling site while there was not much of queue of right turning traffic for Sainsburys meaning that for once going straight on was free flowing. A PR then followed to the bypass and thereafter turned to Follifoot to reach Spofforth via the route of NCN67. Back on the A661 to Wetherby where on the decent down Harrogate Road a car from a left hand side street turning right did so rather belatedly needing a touch on the brakes.

Then east pass Thorpe Arch to, almost, Wighill. Turned south-east towards Tadcaster and got stopped by a rather short length set of TTLs going red just as I approached them. Seemed ages before the car waiting at the other end came through and my dozing was disturbed by a car overtaking me- concluded they had failed, stuck on red, and followed the car. Continued south-east at Tadcaster to reach the xX of Oxton
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A narrow lane signposted Leeds (A64) did indeed bring me to the A64 with a convenient cycle track alongside that pseudo motorway, with strange signage; the cycletrack was in far better condition that pre ride research using Google streetscene implied.
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Riding back into Tadcaster a bench was stopped at perfect for munching on the lunch of cheese sandwiches with entertainment provided by a procession of unfriendly dogs on their walkies passing on the walkway on the opposite side of the road. Through the town and south on the A162 with clouds gradually combining to block the sun.

Approaching Barkston Ash the Wahoo instructed a left turn , um.. a sign said dead end. Then a right turn with a sign Private Road – No Public Access. Carried on passing a number of walkers,a chuch, and then without any possible junction having been passed the Wahoo started flashing as if I taken a wrong turning, took that to an error on its part and a short while later it corrected itself. Reaching a road I noted a public bridleway sign which did not seem to have been present at the other end.

Light rain started falling heading east through Church Fenton and beyond the village I stopped at a signed public viewing point for RAF Church Fenton to munch the remainder of lunch – an apple and a rather fruity flavoured Nakd bar; I had concluded during the week they did not go well with a coffee. The sign was somewhat out of date as the RAF use of the airfield ceased in 2013 and is now known as Leeds East Airport. A rainbow seemed to end at the airfield
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Continuing east still with the rainbow for company the way ahead seemed slightly questionable
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The road turned north parallel to the railway to bridge it and very quickly thereafter came the xY of Ryther
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West from Ryther and back over the railway to the xZ of Ozendyke
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There was now a headwind and I stopped at Ulleskelf for a further snack before continuing back to the A162 and Tadcaster for the third time. North west on the A659 the head cross wind somehow brought with it more rain despite the only raincloud being in the wrong direction. Took the NCN over the River Wharfe and then on road to a cheerfully named bus shelter of HM Prison Thorpe Arch for another snack with a dry bench available. West to Wetherby and then north-west to Knaresborough; the rain came again north of Little Ribston, this time more heavily, and having decided to once again skip the A658 and Calcutt route turned into the Nidd Gorge; Abbey Road and Waterside were quieter than normal for a Sunday afternoon but still a lot a of walkers about making progress slow and I stopped at the normally busy area by the cafes to scoff the final snack.

Stayed on the A59 on the climb away rather than the adjacent cycletrack and then the full length of Bilton Lane, on the urban section an expletive was uttered at a car driver who started to edge out as I was passing the road end; I had an equal idiot on Saturday whilst on the ebike cutting through Starbeck on the return from Morrison’s and a van parked on the other side of the road facing the direction I was riding in pulled out as I was passing. On the decent of Skipton Road the rain returned even heavier.

58.65 miles @ 13.3mph avg 2234ft climbed.
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wafter

Über Member
Location
Oxford
Some cracking photos guys :becool:


"Proper" rides have been very thin on the ground recently; due mainly to working taking up most of the day, along with a 10-mile round trip there and back every day but obviously not helped by the loss of the summer's free and easy weather and generous daylight hours.

This is my last week in the city and I'd come to accept that I'd probably had my last proper ride since I planned to come home over the weekend to get a lot of jobs done. Plans changed and I ended up coming back today instead, so planned to get a ride in yesterday. As it happens I didn't feel it on the day and resigned myself to a day of Scotch and self pity on the sofa..

Sustanance was required so the Raleigh given a bit of a tour of the local shops, which turned into a 7 mile waft through town. Some hours later I think the sugar hit from my reduced 46p cream-filled donuts got me back off the sofa and since it was such a nice night I set out on a final ride on the CdF.

As was to be expected the city was very quiet and the night fairly still. I just did a couple of loops in / around / through the city for a generally wonderfully peaceful 16 miles with a sublime dub-techno soundtrack. The evening was relatively mild for the time of year but I was still starting to feel the cold near the end..

As per my other thread I had to take a photo for a cyclist mate's birthday card being compiled by his mrs, so this morning I popped up to chiswell lane for a more picturesque location. After sodding about for maybe half an hour I got an acceptable shot and of course couldn't go straight home as it was a fantastic, sunny morning packed full of smiling walkers and fellow cyclists..

I ended up doing another 15 miles in the sun, finally finding the limits of the slick Contis in the mud after deciding to chance a really slippy piece of path. Tbh going in I gave it a 50/50 chance and within a few yards my sin of touching the front brakes saw me on my arse. First time I've come off the CdF in over 2.5k miles and it was not much more than walking speed and onto grass. Thankfully no impact damage to me or the bike, although I think I might have jarred my neck a bit. No big deal and I feel pretty comfortable with knowing the limits of the tyres now!

The CdF is now at home and I only have the Raleigh in Oxford to serve me for my remaining handful of days. At least I managed to squeeze in one final ride on such a nice day.

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Rickshaw Phil

Overconfidentii Vulgaris
Moderator
Yesterday's ride:

After hardly getting out on the bike in the last week (apart from a couple of utility rides), seeing a good forecast tempted me to get out to make the most of the day and get in my final qualifier for the Lunacy Challenge.

I was up early and as hoped from the forecast it was chilly but not cold enough for a frost, which was just as well as the roads were all damp from rain the previous evening. I used the knockabout bike and set out a few minutes before seven onto deserted roads to do a repeat of the lockdown route from last time (staying within a 12 mile radius of home) with some changes for variety.

Heading for Condover I had the A49 entirely to myself and didn't see my first vehicle until entering the village. The next one was at my turn off for Wheathall and Berriewood then it was just me on the road as I returned to Condover and headed for Kingstreet and Berrington. Over 10 miles with only two vehicles seen!:ohmy:

There were a few vehicles on the A458 between Cross Houses and the turnoff for Cound Stank then it was quiet again to Cound and Harnage. The sun was up by now and people started getting out and about as I headed to Cound Moor and Acton Burnell. A second breakfast stop was taken at the crossroads near Longnor then it was on along some muddy lanes to the climb of Folly Bank. Tracks on the road told me that there were other cyclists out by now but the tracks were all I saw of them. Folly Bank was a slow and steady plod as usual on this bike but the descent into Cardington was enjoyable as usual. I picked up a bit of a tailwind on the way to Longville which made things a bit easier, especially on the flowing downhills that come on the way to Hughley. A squirrel came within an inch of meeting a sticky end on one of the descents when it dashed into the road and managed to make a 90 degree turn just before hitting my wheel.

After Hughley I came up behind a horse and rider (the first of many today), tinged my bell, saw the horse look round and they kindly moved over to the verge. On passing the rider jumped out of his skin as he was too engrossed in what he was listening to on his Ipod to realise I was there.:laugh:

Shortly after Cressage (about 35 miles in) I was overtaken by the first cyclist I'd seen. At the next cross roads I made my first change to the route by going left and heading to Eyton on Severn and along the quiet lane to Wroxeter where I took my elevenses stop by the Roman city. I hadn't expected the visitor centre here to be open but it was, with about half a dozen people taking the tour. The cyclists were starting to come out properly now and several passed while I was stopped.

On the road again and I headed past Atcham Business Park and along the main road to Walcot. Even though the traffic wasn't busy on this stretch of road I wasn't overly enamoured of it and glad to turn onto the quieter lanes again. I went through Withington like last time (got held up behind another horse for a short while) before going to Rodington Heath, Roden, Poynton Green, Bing's Heath and round to Astley via Ebury Wood. This is all nice easy flat riding but turning into the wind for Bing's Heath I realised I may have pushed on with a bit too much enthusiasm earlier in the ride.

Hadnall, Plex and Harmer Hill were next up and being a sunny day Harmer Hill was even more popular than last time with people walking. Tinging my bell for one couple, the chap was looking round on the floor thinking something had dropped out of his pocket.:laugh: Shortly after a young girl on a mountain bike popped out into the road from a path without looking and I couldn't help thinking it was just as well I wasn't going quick.

My next variation from the last ride was to carry on into Myddle then take the lane past Fenemere to Baschurch. I paused in a gateway en route for my lunch stop and was just composing a text when I hear "Is he having a wee? He is having a wee!" from a couple of cyclists passing by (a little insulting that they assumed I'd be that indiscrete). About 100 yards further on one of them suffered a sudden puncture. I did ask if they had everything they needed.:whistle:

After Baschurch a dip into a valley and the climb out the other side showed that the legs were getting pretty tired now. Despite that I did catch and overtake a couple of other slow cyclists near Little Ness. The climb over to Pentre was another plod especially as it was also into the wind. For that reason I decided to reverse what I'd done last time; heading to Melverley first and hoping to have a helping hand on the longer side of the loop through Argoed, Kinnerley and back to Pentre. I was following fairly recent tyre tracks again and on the long straight after Pentre I did catch sight of the riders ahead. The spirit was willing to give chase but the legs were weak and I just couldn't manage to go any faster than I already was. A photo stop by the Royal Hill removed any feeble hope of catching up.

Turning towards Argoed did bring a bit of a boost from the tailwind, but only a bit, however through Edgerley the cruising speed crept up to a nicer figure (about 15 mph). I had a drink stop before tackling the climb back to Great Ness and a passing rider commented that "These gradients just keep getting steeper".

Taking a right at Little Ness I came up behind a pony and trap (not something I see often even though this is a horsy area). Nib Heath, Yeaton and Old Woods came and went. I was running out of energy a bit climbing out of Old Woods so a snack stop at the top of the climb was welcome. I used the lane from Merrington to Harmer Hill again then retraced my steps to Hadnall and Astley. The A53 was quietish so I cut the corner to Bing's Heath and enjoyed having a tailwind on the return to Poynton Green. At Rodington Heath I did the same as last time: took a right then a left onto Drury Lane but found myself running out of energy on the couple of small climbs on the way to Upton Magna so paused on the bridge over the railway to open the jelly babies. These helped to Atcham where the air was going quite cool after the sun had set so I needed to put on the full finger gloves.

The rest of the way back through Cross Houses, Berrington and Condover was in a nice twilight, getting properly dark for the last few miles to home.

109.2 miles at 12.5 mph moving average. Total including stops was approx 10 hours 20 minutes. That's my thirteenth century ride of the year which completes the Lunacy Challenge.:dance:

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Sunrise over Wenlock Edge.

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Cardington

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The Wrekin from Cressage Bridge.

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View towards the Stretton Hills from the lane to Wroxeter.

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Elevenses stop at Viroconium (Wroxeter).

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Jumping on a fair way, the view across the Severn to the Brieddens from the Royal Hill.

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Dropping down into Yeaton.

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At Harmer Hill.

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The sunset was a bit of a damp squib but the afterglow looks nice at Atcham.

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En route back to Condover - it was quite a bit darker by this point than the camera makes it appear.
 
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gavgav

Guru
Yesterday's ride:

After hardly getting out on the bike in the last week (apart from a couple of utility rides), seeing a good forecast tempted me to get out to make the most of the day and complete my Lunacy Challenge.

I was up early and as hoped from the forecast it was chilly but not cold enough for a frost, which was just as well as the roads were all damp from rain the previous evening. I used the knockabout bike and set out a few minutes before seven onto deserted roads to do a repeat of the lockdown route from last time (staying within a 12 mile radius of home) with some changes for variety.

Heading for Condover I had the A49 entirely to myself and didn't see my first vehicle until entering the village. The next one was at my turn off for Wheathall and Berriewood then it was just me on the road as I returned to Condover and headed for Kingstreet and Berrington. Over 10 miles with only two vehicles seen!:ohmy:

There were a few vehicles on the A458 between Cross Houses and the turnoff for Cound Stank then it was quiet again to Cound and Harnage. The sun was up by now and people started getting out and about as I headed to Cound Moor and Acton Burnell. A second breakfast stop was taken at the crossroads near Longnor then it was on along some muddy lanes to the climb of Folly Bank. Tracks on the road told me that there were other cyclists out by now but the tracks were all I saw of them. Folly Bank was a slow and steady plod as usual on this bike but the descent into Cardington was enjoyable as usual. I picked up a bit of a tailwind on the way to Longville which made things a bit easier, especially on the flowing downhills that come on the way to Hughley. A squirrel came within an inch of meeting a sticky end on one of the descents when it dashed into the road and managed to make a 90 degree turn just before hitting my wheel.

After Hughley I came up behind a horse and rider (the first of many today), tinged my bell, saw the horse look round and they kindly moved over to the verge. On passing the rider jumped out of his skin as he was too engrossed in what he was listening to on his Ipod to realise I was there.:laugh:

Shortly after Cressage (about 35 miles in) I was overtaken by the first cyclist I'd seen. At the next cross roads I made my first change to the route by going left and heading to Eyton on Severn and along the quiet lane to Wroxeter where I took my elevenses stop by the Roman city. I hadn't expected the visitor centre here to be open but it was, with about half a dozen people taking the tour. The cyclists were starting to come out properly now and several passed while I was stopped.

On the road again and I headed past Atcham Business Park and along the main road to Walcot. Even though the traffic wasn't busy on this stretch of road I wasn't overly enamoured of it and glad to turn onto the quieter lanes again. I went through Withington like last time (got held up behind another horse for a short while) before going to Rodington Heath, Roden, Poynton Green, Bing's Heath and round to Astley via Ebury Wood. This is all nice easy flat riding but turning into the wind for Bing's Heath I realised I may have pushed on with a bit too much enthusiasm earlier in the ride.

Hadnall, Plex and Harmer Hill were next up and being a sunny day Harmer Hill was even more popular than last time with people walking. Tinging my bell for one couple, the chap was looking round on the floor thinking something had dropped out of his pocket.:laugh: Shortly after a young girl on a mountain bike popped out into the road from a path without looking and I couldn't help thinking it was just as well I wasn't going quick.

My next variation from the last ride was to carry on into Myddle then take the lane past Fenemere to Baschurch. I paused in a gateway en route for my lunch stop and was just composing a text when I hear "Is he having a wee? He is having a wee!" from a couple of cyclists passing by (a little insulting that they assumed I'd be that indiscrete). About 100 yards further on one of them suffered a sudden puncture.:whistle: I did ask if they had everything they needed.

After Baschurch a dip into a valley and the climb out the other side showed that the legs were getting pretty tired now. Despite that I did catch and overtake a couple of other slow cyclists near Little Ness. The climb over to Pentre was another plod especially as it was also into the wind. For that reason I decided to reverse what I'd done last time; heading to Melverley first and hoping to have a helping hand on the longer side of the loop through Argoed, Kinnerley and back to Pentre. I was following fairly recent tyre tracks again and on the long straight after Pentre I did catch sight of the riders ahead. The spirit was willing to give chase but the legs were weak and I just couldn't manage to go any faster than I already was. A photo stop by the Royal Hill removed any feeble hope of catching up.

Turning towards Argoed did bring a bit of a boost from the tailwind, but only a bit, however through Edgerley the cruising speed crept up to a nicer figure (about 15 mph). I had a drink stop before tackling the climb back to Great Ness and a passing rider commented that "These gradients just keep getting steeper".

Taking a right at Little Ness I came up behind a pony and trap (not something I see often even though this is a horsy area). Nib Heath, Yeaton and Old Woods came and went. I was running out of energy a bit climbing out of Old Woods so a snack stop at the top of the climb was welcome. I used the lane from Merrington to Harmer Hill again then retraced my steps to Hadnall and Astley. The A53 was quietish so I cut the corner to Bing's Heath and enjoyed having a tailwind on the return to Poynton Green. At Rodington Heath I did the same as last time: took a right then a left onto Drury Lane but found myself running out of energy on the couple of small climbs on the way to Upton Magna so paused on the bridge over the railway to open the jelly babies. These helped to Atcham where the air was going quite cool after the sun had set so I needed to put on the full finger gloves.

The rest of the way back through Cross Houses, Berrington and Condover was in a nice twilight, getting properly dark for the last few miles to home.

109.2 miles at 12.5 mph moving average. Total including stops was approx 10 hours 20 minutes. That's my thirteenth century ride of the year which completes the Lunacy Challenge.:dance:

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Sunrise over Wenlock Edge.

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Cardington

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The Wrekin from Cressage Bridge.

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View towards the Stretton Hills from the lane to Wroxeter.

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Elevenses stop at Viroconium (Wroxeter).

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Jumping on a fair way, the view across the Severn to the Brieddens from the Royal Hill.

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Dropping down into Yeaton.

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At Harmer Hill.

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The sunset was a bit of a damp squib but the afterglow looks nice at Atcham.

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En route back to Condover - it was quite a bit darker by this point than the camera makes it appear.
Well done!
 
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