Your ride today....

Rickshaw Phil

Overconfidentii Vulgaris
Moderator
Today's rain cleared out of the way earlier than anticipated so I grabbed the chance of a ride this afternoon. Another fairly local loop starting off the same as yesterday (Great Lyth, Annscroft, Exford's Green, Stapleton) then climbing up to Pulverbatch before turning back towards Wrentnall, Oaks, Plealey, Arscott, back to Exford's Green then over Lyth Hill again via Hunger Hill and Little Lyth.

A little windier but less cold than yesterday and the roads were every bit as wet. Still not as many cars up at Lyth Hill as there have been lately but there seemed to be more people arriving on foot than I'd usually see which I think is good. I saw my first cyclist of the trip here too.

Dropping down to Annscroft the roads are still nice and quiet - I only got passed by a couple of vehicles this time on the way to Exford's Green. The lane to Stapleton has had the hedges cut today and was completely strewn with cuttings (something to note @gavgav). Checking the tyres at the end of it I found a thorn slap bang in the middle of the tread on the rear.:angry: I decided not to disturb it in the hope I'd get all the way round without losing too much air.

The lane to Pulverbatch was into the wind which made it a plod. There were more people walking along here than I expectedand all seemed quite friendly until the couple I met just after Church Pulverbatch. The lady gave me The Look followed by a slow head shake. Not really happy with that but it is the first time so far in the whole pandemic that I have met with disapproval for being out so I can live with that.

Reaching Pulverbatch and turning onto the main road I had a good tailwind which made for an enjoyable run to Wrentnall and an easy climb to Oaks where I encountered the second cyclist of the trip. I had the descent to Plealey to myself, except for a couple of walkers near the bottom of the hill, then decided to take the lane that cuts across to Arscott Hall and didn't see a soul along it.

Back on track heading for Exford's Green again the tailwind had picked up and I enjoyed a faster second run through, taking a left this time to head towards Hunger Hill. Although I turned back towards the wind on the way to Little Lyth the climb seemed a little less of a strain compared to yesterday. I didn't get bothered by traffic but it sounded like there was a drone buzzing somewhere round my head as I tackled the steepest bit. Watch out for the news report making an example of me soon.:laugh:

20.6 miles today at 12mph average. I had the (very muddy ) back tyre off at the end of the ride and luckily the thorn hadn't got through. Worth checking I hadn't picked up any others while I was at it.

It doesn't feel right stopping for frivolous things like photos on these lockdown rides (especially after Pulverbatch) so I just grabbed a couple of snaps from Lyth Hill on the way there and the way back.

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View from the top - still overcast but a nicer day than yesterday.

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At the top of the climb from Little Lyth - ooh, look: sunshine!
 
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Dave 123

Legendary Member
Photo Winner
Lovely photos, is that the Great Mew Stone over in the distance?
Yes. Round here they drop the Great.
 

ianbarton

Über Member
Yesterday's ride on my now very well travelled Market Drayton, Ightfield loop. Mostly sunny, but some very wet and muddy roads. It's raining again this morning, there is a big flood outside our gate and the stream through the wood has burst its banks, so probably back to the turbo trainer for a couple of days.

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Tractor kindly pulled into the gate so I could get past. Luckily no punctures!
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The first of several floods. Luckily none of them were too deep.
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Refuelling at Sainsbury Local in Market Drayton.
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A well behaved motorist giving me plenty of room on the single track Heywood Lane.
 

Rickshaw Phil

Overconfidentii Vulgaris
Moderator
Today didn't go the way I expected. The forecast was for rain all day but early on it had stopped and looked like it was going to stay dry so I thought I'd grab the chance and get a short ride in. Fetched bike out and; oh drat, the back tyre is pancake flat. Looks like I'm not getting out after all.:sad:

The puncture turned out to be a split tube rather than me having missed a thorn as I'd suspected. Very disappointing and I can only think that I must have pinched it when refitting - It was fine when I put the bike away. While the tyre was off I thought I'd get a job out of the way that I'd been planning to do fairly soon and swap these well worn wheels with the practically new ones that the ice tyres are on. That turned into an unexpectedly arduous fettling session and it wasn't until I was finished that I noticed the small bulge on the front Marathon.:angry: On close inspection I'm pretty sure it's just a cosmetic defect...... but to be safe took the tyres off again and swapped front to back.:rolleyes:

Following a bite of lunch and three hours after I'd initially intended, I got out heading over Lyth Hill to do the shorter version of my Acton Burnell loop. Relatively quiet on the hill and this time I think it is the weather putting people off. There were a handful of folk walking or running on the way to Condover then I didn't see a soul outside a motor vehicle until I'd got most of the way round the loop near Ryton.

With the weather having held off all through the morning I hoped I'd be lucky and it would remain dry a little longer, but it wasn't to be. There was occasional drizzle most of the trip and proper rain showers started from about Longnor. I'd also turned back into the wind at the same time which was brisk and the kind of seeping cold that gets through layers. Returning over Lyth Hill wasn't enticing this time so I took the shorter and flatter way back along the main road.

Not what I'd hoped for but a bit more distance added to the rather meagre 2021 tally. 18.4 miles at 12.9 mph average.

A couple of snapshots from near Longnor:
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Rickshaw Phil

Overconfidentii Vulgaris
Moderator
leather Brooks in the rain? no cover? I can identify with best made plans ... not turning out as planned. but so long as other responsibilities aren't tugging at us, one might as well persevere. & viola, you were rewarded with a ride!
I've got Brooks saddles on the better bikes but this one is a cheaper lookalike from Spa Cycles which I don't mind if it gets wet. To be honest they'll all cope with a bit of rain - some treatment when they've dried out brings the looks back.^_^
 
I've got Brooks saddles on the better bikes but this one is a cheaper lookalike from Spa Cycles which I don't mind if it gets wet. To be honest they'll all cope with a bit of rain - some treatment when they've dried out brings the looks back.^_^
got mine soaked one summer. I was traveling for a 1 week vacation, took a ferry w/ the bike on the car, sunny when we got on the boat, but pouring on the other side. by time we got to our house, it was done for

soaked Brooks.jpg


I played it safe the 1st day (not riding) & it seemed to dry thoroughly
 
My bike has been attracting attention at work for the snow spikes that apparently are a bit revolutionary in this region, which allegedly has a Mediterranean climate and is known as the "German Tuscany" at least in the tourist information brochures, so they haven't heard of snow tyres.

This morning it snowed, then over lunch time it snowed, and this afternoon, then this evening by way of variation it snowed a bit more. On leaving work I discovered that the unfenced road to my village was now an adventure in improvised navigation, especially as it was still snowing, and contrary to the German stereotype of efficiency and logic the road wanders all over the rather flat landscape because apparently it was really important for everyone to experience that field just there, and also because it is theoretically a traffic free route and thus only a couple of cars had ventured along it, so I had some tyre tracks for guidance and that was it.

The snow had drifted randomly between the trees in the forest, and drivers using the route as a convenient shortcut had skidded in the slush, (spraying snow for good measure) and the mess had since frozen solid in places. Winter tyres for bikes are a marvellous invention but when the front wheel finds an interesting groove in the ice it's going to follow, spikes or no.

The result was probably the slowest, most carefully executed and certainly ugliest cycle commute recorded in southern Germany, a form of forward motion that developed as ride, wobble, panic, dab, scoot along a bit; repeat.

Eventually this section ends at the edge of my village where the cars have broken down the snow a bit more, so I could accelerate a bit and trust the spikes to break through the snow and slush. The last couple of kilometres were merely a bit damp as opposed to white knuckle territory.

Well, if it was always a Mediterranean climate it'd be boring...
 
Edit: Yesterday! A slow 10-miler on the Scott. Was supposed to be on the Revell, but a snapped seat pin put paid to that idea...
Just a run out to Horrabridge and back. Plenty of walkers, some cyclists, traffic not really that much reduced.
Still quite muddy, the bike and I needed a good clean afterward!
Stats:
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Not quite as cold as the last ride, extra layers helped.
 
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Jon George

Mamil and couldn't care less
Location
Suffolk an' Good
No-where near as dramatic as the ride @Andy in Germany 'enjoyed', but I went out today in conditions that I judged to be somewhere between 'Intrepid' and 'Stupid.' After about the fifteenth vehicle dumped a huge wave of slush on me (the snow had mutated to sleet), I paused to take a few photos and headed back.
Undressing at home, I discovered that the water/slush had penetrated several of my core layers and so, with the advances in waterproofs probably meaning I can solve that particular issue, I have decided that I'm going to use some un-spent birthday money on a new winter coat. Whether I will ever be able to discern the line between intrepidness and stupidity is question I doubt I'll ever answer ... :whistle:

Suffolk in Winter.
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a.twiddler

Senior Member
More like my ride yesterday actually.
Out on the Linear at 2:15 pm hoping to get back home before school emptying time. Mainly a test run for the bar end gear shifters and new B/B. All layered up with thermal underwear, woolly hat, hiking socks and ski gloves. It was cloudy and cold, but not as bitter as the previous few days.

Once more a crisis of confidence as I haven’t ridden this bike for nearly a month what with working on it, domestic things to sort out and ‘orrible weather. I visualised the chain falling off, gears crunching, stiff bottom bracket etc.

Despite my qualms the unfamiliar gear levers worked easily, and despite the right hand one being non indexed it was smooth and easy. (It's a vintage Sun Tour Bar Con).The left hand one, a Sturmey Archer bar end shifter, worked as well as the trigger shifter it had replaced. Once launched, everything fell into place.

What I couldn’t get used to though was the intensity of traffic. Compared to the first lockdown there were cars everywhere, and the amount of tyre noise made it hard to detect where they were all coming from, particularly on lift off from between parked cars.

Up our back lane, stopping to adjust mirrors, then left into Swanlow lane, straight on through the uphill traffic lights, along Swanlow Lane to the A54 roundabout, left down the long hill on Oakmere Road to the roundabout at the bottom, straight on then a sharp right onto the mixed use cycleway past the Cheshire Police HQ. Here I stopped for adjustments as there was a daydreamer with headphones dawdling all over the path ahead and a woman walking a dog so it gave them a chance to get clear too.

Just as I caught up again my phone bleeped so I stopped to answer it as I was expecting a call, then laboriously texted a reply with rapidly cooling digits once my gloves were off. I delude myself that I’m up with the tech now, innit.

By the time I’d sent it off the other path users had turned off somewhere so I had a clear if slow ride to where the path ends, and turned left up Littler Lane.

A bit muddy with a scattering of puddles and potholes, but quite rideable and with the advantage of no traffic. A surprising number of walkers about, two groups coming my way, one with a bristling spiky off white terrier type thing being held on a short lead. A bit further on a rather elegant woman with long blonde hair and a smart coat passed by on her own. She said hello and I replied. I wondered what she was doing walking up this muddy lane in her nice gear, still, she was probably wondering why I was riding about on that thing.

Next a T junction with a slightly larger lane, Blakeden Lane, turned left, mostly downhill, muddy and wet, following a lot of foot traffic. Ten runners going the same way at 8 or 9 mph not socially distancing, followed by a dog walker so I kept well back until the road widened enough to pass. This didn’t happen until two more dog walkers had come the other way, then a white van came up from behind filling the lane so I slowed down into a field access on the left while he passed without me having to stop. The lane turned sharp left into Woodford Lane West and widened but was filled with a rank of minibuses down one side waiting for pupils from the Hebden Green Neuromuscular Centre. What I’d hoped was going to be a pleasant trundle down an empty lane had turned into a convoy following a rent-a-crowd. There were trucks and vans parked further along the lane but eventually there was enough social distance to pass everybody. I came up to a T junction, turned right through an estate and headed for home. Too many schoolkids about, too much attention, bad timing really.

So many cars! So many people! Don’t they know there’s a lockdown!

Certainly feeling a bit underpowered today, but the bike had performed as anticipated. Where have my recumbent legs gone? Distance a mere 4.7 miles though it felt a lot more. Max speed 17 mph, average 9.0 mph. Speed on the flat not so inspiring but I found the uphills easier, if slower, than expected. Must get out more and get the miles in, and avoid the people.

First ride (ridelet!) out on a bike this year and it’s the recumbent. Starting as I mean to go on, hopefully. Next time, there will be a better timed out of town route.
 

twentysix by twentyfive

Clinging on tightly
Location
Over the Hill
Hurrah. It's almost balmy weather although the temps are still not in double figures. And the sun came out. That makes things seem even better. So off around the White Rabbit run with added in Hillend to see how the floods on the Marsh were doing. It's very marshy but the flooding has subsided. I called in at the Garden Centre at The Mythe to pick up some seeds I couldn't get the other day. All set for spring planting and growing when the time comes now. 36 smiles
 

philtalksbx

Über Member
Location
Oxford
It's been a tough few months so it's really good to get a bike out of the shed and actually ride somewhere. A bit of fettling this morning and a ride out this afternoon, just like old times.

I lost November to Covid, December was a recovering washout and so far January has just been too cold or wet. I made a short 16k loop through Woodeaton and thought that was quite enough for the first time out. What I did notice was a total loss of condition on my part - having to go two or even three gears down from previously on a couple of the climbs. I'm sure it will come back but it was quite noticeable, and so was the slowest time ever on Strava for that loop. Onwards and upwards as they say.
 

13 rider

Guru
Location
leicester
During this lockdown I'm cutting back my mileage and staying local so today's ride was my standard hour loop ( well it took an hour when I started doing it ) . Waited for the rain to pass and out after lunch . Anstey ,Newtown Linford . Bradgate park was noticeably quieter than previous week's not sure if it's lockdown or the weather . Ulverscoft lane and onto the biggest climb of the loop of Polly Botts lane ,attacked the bottom half in the big ring which resulted in my legs exploding :surrender: so dropped down the gears and spun up the rest of the climb . Round the back of Markfield to Thornton dropped down to the reservoir and climbed back out to Markfield ,Newtown and home in a new fastest time if 48 mins 10 secs .13.9 miles at 17.4mph with 1000ft of upness . Despite setting a new record time I collected no Strava prs . Saw no other cyclists out which considering the weather was odd
 

gavgav

Guru
It's been a tough few months so it's really good to get a bike out of the shed and actually ride somewhere. A bit of fettling this morning and a ride out this afternoon, just like old times.

I lost November to Covid, December was a recovering washout and so far January has just been too cold or wet. I made a short 16k loop through Woodeaton and thought that was quite enough for the first time out. What I did notice was a total loss of condition on my part - having to go two or even three gears down from previously on a couple of the climbs. I'm sure it will come back but it was quite noticeable, and so was the slowest time ever on Strava for that loop. Onwards and upwards as they say.
Well done for getting out again
 
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