Your ride today....

footloose crow

Über Member
Location
Cornwall. UK
22 Feb Reasons to be cheerful Part 2

1. I can see my shadow for the first time this month. It also rides at the same pace as me, never gets in the way, never drops me, won't give me Covid-19.

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2. The sky is blue. Once you get out of the valley floor......

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3. The lanes are less muddy...or at least relatively less muddy compared to last week. Which is odd because it has rained every day. Maybe rain is good for muddy lanes?

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4. I didn't get a puncture on the gravel sections. This is part of the Clay Trails. Worth exploring if you are in Cornwall at any point this year. Hardly known, pretty empty, interesting scenery if you like flooded clay pits, piles of clay residue, living on the moon, stunted oak, birch and ash woods sitting in boggy wildernesses....which I do.

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5. My 'new' eBay saddle is not very comfortable. That is not a reason to be cheerful unless you are a sadist. Perhaps you are...so included in case. I read today that the French government has banned the sale for export of the last book written by the Marquis de Sade. Continuing to use this saddle would make me a masochist I guess. (It's a Prologo Scratch in case you were intrigued enough to care by this point). On eBay soon to make someone else's bottom hurt. So selling this makes me a sadist too perhaps?

6. It didn't rain. It wasn't windy. It was even warm at times in the sun. It was however hillier than I expected. Is it just me or does everyone find that planning a route on RidewithGPS underestimates gradients and height gain by at least 25%? There was a sustained 17% hill! No one plans to go up a hill like that do they? I don't. I effectively cycled up Ben Nevis today. I call it 'Nevising'.

7. I saw lots of interesting things I hadn't seen before, probably because it has been raining every other time I have been this way. This is Roche Rock by the way. Roche (to be pronounced 'rosh - eh' unless you are Cornish in which case it's 'roach') is the up and coming aspiring middle class area of the Clay Country but only in comparison to the depressed, seedy, falling down and generally poverty stricken nature of the rest of the area. Someone once told he thought the South Wales valleys were poor until he came here.

The Devil lives on this rock apparently. Or a giant. Or something legendary. I didn't see anything.

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8. There may be more days of sunshine ahead this week.

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T.M.H.N.E.T

Disc brakes - Stopping things since 1902
Location
Northern Ireland
Took it to the seaside

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AndreaJ

Über Member
A longer ride today as it was such a lovely morning- warm sunshine and no wind. Set off to Northwood then dodging potholes/craters/ large puddles towards Bettisfield turning back towards Hampton Bank and over to Lyneal and Colemere finding a road closed sign. I decided to keep going and see if I could get past, there had been some work going on involving a big hole but there was room to get by on a bike and I carried on as planned to Spunhill. I don’t often go down this lane in that direction for some reason. Crossed the Shrewsbury- Ellesmere road passed Whitemere, through Lee and Bagley as far as Weston Lullingfields, Marton, Burlton deciding as it was such a lovely morning to take a longer route home so turned to Myddlewood, Ruewood down the mud covered lane back to Nonely, Loppington, Wolverley and home. There had been quite a lot of rain overnight so plenty of large puddles to get round. 31.57 miles.
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a.twiddler

Senior Member
My ride yesterday.


21/2/21
It’s relatively mild today so time for a test ride. The Linear recumbent is a bit weird and wondeful in the gears department. I’ve spent a few days experimenting with a home made derailleur mount and a refurbished Sun Tour X-1 front changer. This would let me change gear on the go rather than having to stop and manually change – not that I have ever changed the chain over manually to date. If you are going to get off to change the chain over usually its just as easy to push unless you’re faced with an immense hill. The cogs are 28, 38 and 52. Up to now I have found the 38 chainring adequate but sometimes needing lower ratios. The 28 should give a bit of overlap plus lower ratios. Using middle gear as normal the hub gear gives -25% and + 33% so a bottom gear of 20” on the 28 and a seldom used top gear of 111 on the 38.

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After some pondering I wondered if I actually need the big chainring that gives a high gear of around 150 inches. I am not exactly Reg Harris. I experimentally removed the big ring (interestingly, it has “Stronglight” engraved on it, so maybe the other rings could be resized with Stronglight/cyclotouriste rings if necessary) and found some washers to make up for the thickness of the missing ring. After some adjustment, it works fine. I now have 42 gears which ought to be enough for anyone surely? Unless they’re used to the full 63 of course. Then they might get withdrawal symptoms.

Due to the long chain I don’t think there is much of a problem with crossover. It could be shortened but I’m not doing anything drastic yet in case some unforeseen problem arises and I have to put it back to original.

Everything works fine on the bike stand. Time to hit the road! It's a grey windless day, even some glimpses of sunshine!

Out through the back gate, down the lane to Swanlow Lane and across the no-longer-so-challenging uphill traffic lights. Straight on to the A54 roundabout, across to Delamere St and Chester Rd. There is a mess of road works, cones and traffic lights along this stretch at the moment which pose some interesting stop/start challenges. After the first one I find that the time given from the green light changes quickly and is not geared to cyclists, particularly slow accelerating recumbentists, so the second one being at red sees me hopping up the pavement for a short stretch. The lights are red again at the junction for the Whitegate road so I follow the pavement further down and cross when the light changes. After a steep downhill the first real uphill stretch of today’s ride appears. I climb it in the usual gear but it feels more of a struggle than last time I came this way on 2/2/21.

I follow Dalefords Lane along what deceptively looks like it should be a long gradual downhill but disappointingly isn’t. According to BikeHike it's definitely uphill. While I am struggling along here a group of four motorcyclists vroom by and the first one looks back and gives a thumbs up. I nod back. Finally I reach a short downhill which quickly becomes a short steep climb out of a dip. Definitely feeling underpowered today. Finally cresting a rise I see the distant traffic lights on the A556 at Sandiway and try and time my arrival at green. Alas, they change just as I cross the line so I have to kick forward to get clear before the lemmings’ rush begins.

Straight on to the oblique junction with Weaverham Road, turn right downhill then follow this road across a junction, over a railway bridge and swoop down the long hill to Mill Lane. Straight on to Gorstage lane, passing my first cyclist coming the other way, a woman in yellow, before diving under a railway bridge and climbing on to Forest Road in Weaverham and doing a sharp left/right before another swooping downhill stopping on an upslope at the A49. Across the dual carriageway and right to a decent cycle lane which is separate from the road. A photo at Acton Bridge Swing Bridge over the Weaver and a crossing over the A49 to a lane to Little Leigh.
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A few mudguarded cyclists pass in both directions before I manage to cross. I follow a lane for Little Leigh marked “unsuitable for HGVs”. A few pedestrians pass in the other direction but no vehicles. The lane climbs steeply up to a canal bridge and I try out my small chainring in earnest. The lane continues to climb after the bridge and I realise that I am still in the middle gear on the hub gear. I change down to the lowest gear and find I can change up a couple on the rear derailleur. This is very gratifying. I come to a side turning signposted Barnton so follow that. Another drop handlebar cyclist with mudguards passes the other way and I see that there are arrows at strategic points, so there must be an event on. I pass through Little Leigh and come out on to the A533 , left for Runcorn, right for Northwich. I turn right and am soon in Barnton. It has been spitting lightly with rain for about half an hour and it becomes heavier now. I stop at a garage for a snack and shelter and it eases off. My photographic plans come to an end as I put the camera away in the dry and forget to take it out later when the rain stops. Coming out of Barnton the road “S” bends sharply downhill. I had intended to stop and take a photo of the entrance to Barnton Tunnel but realise that it was further up hill. As there is a good downhill I carry on. I stick it in top to see what I can do but I still can’t push hard enough to make it worthwhile so I change down and freewheel.

At the traffic lights for the right turn for Northwich I have to stop behind traffic but soon get going again. I go straight through Winnington traffic lights and find myself slowing up Winnington Hill. A couple on bikes pass me dancing on the pedals, and are held up at the lights at the top of the hill but they get going and it is my turn to stop as they turn red again when I get there. From there it is downhill to Northwich town centre and I get on to the route to the underpass just after the bus station. As I descend the spiral into the underpass I spot the two cyclists who passed me earlier having a break by the roadside. I get into a low gear ready for the climb out then follow the river Dane to the Northwich Viaduct. The cycle path runs in the shadow of the viaduct, crosses the road at a light controlled crossing, then follows the river Weaver. I haven’t cycled here for a long time and find this very pleasant, not many people about and I notice the rain has faded away. Soon I can see the distant A556 bridge high above the river, reflecting blue in the evening light. The cycle path follows the Weaver beyond the A556 to Winsford but has several swing gates from that point. I could manoevre through them but just don’t feel like it today.

I decide to follow the path up to to the A556 then go through Davenham. I could ride up the 12% slope to the road level but this time I take it slowly and walk up. Once I get rolling again I notice cramps at the top of my knees. There is still a steep slope and I try to press on but it becomes very painful. This is a new experience. I stop, then engage the low ratio on the hub gear. That is much better, and I can roll along slowly for a spell, before changing up and moving at a better pace. Perhaps the muscles I used to walk up the slope needed more time to let them recover. Perhaps it is a sign of the Recumbent Legs developing. Perhaps I need to get out more.

Through various residential roads in Davenham, right on to London Road, then right on to Jack Lane for Moulton. Right again on to Niddries Lane through an estate and then follow it uphill as it becomes unsurfaced. Downhill towards the West Coast Main Line and through the two tunnels to Meadowbank swing bridge. I notice that the surface has deteriorated a lot since I passed through in January. Much less crowded today than last time, just a woman walking her dog. I follow the road across the swing bridge then turn left where it meets Bradford road. I notice that I’m still in the lowest gear on the rear hub but still feel slow. I change to middle gear as I pass the salt mine but need to change down on the rear derailleur. Feeling strangely lacking in go today, as I have done from the start. Finally manage to get going as the road levels then slopes downhill, a quick right on to the entrance to the Whitegate way then stop to change my shades for clear glasses once I’m in the gloom of the enveloping trees.

Not far now, I reassure myself. I take stock of the gear situation (just because I can). Big cog on the front, which used to be the middle one. Middle gear on the hub gear. Middle ish gear on the rear derailleur. Pretty normal for this slightly uphill rail trail. Brakes feel free enough. Why are my legs protesting? At a similar distance earlier this month they were OK. Ah well, just not one of my better days. I press on. I drop down a gear on the RD and keep on rollin’. Usually good for 8mph + along here without much effort, nearer 6 today. After the old Marton level crossing the track levels out and I find it much easier. Before I know it I am at Grange Lane, balancing down the nadgery access track and turning left on to the road. The climb up to the sports fields is fine. There is a psychological factor now that I have another range of low gears which makes it more likely that I will use more of the previous lower range since I am less worried about running out of gears. Certainly I feel that the modification has been successful up to now. I put the lights on as it’s getting dark. I am looking forward to having a go at my nemesis uphill A frame barrier on the way out of the sports fields. I trundle across the car park into the network of paths. I ease right off, select low on all the ratios (poseur!) and roll along at minimal speed until the downhill ends and I can start pedalling up the slope.

It is quite dark by now, and I can’t quite get lined up. I end up paddling through, then start off pedalling out of the barrier. Bottom gear jumps and I make several false starts. I suspect that the RD cable might need tensioning now that it’s bedded in and stretched slightly (it had a new cable when I fitted the bar end shifter) though it hasn’t caused any issues up to now. I try the next gear up but can’t get the balance. I hear voices behind and get off and push up the hill. It’s too dark to make any adjustments so I ride off from a level spot further uphill in a higher gear and have no problems.

As I ride through the estate I pass some teenagers kicking a ball about the other side of some parked cars and one of them spots me after I have gone past, calling excitedly to his friends,” Hey, did you see that! That’s really sick!” I don’t know what it is, but this bike seems to cause some alarming reactions within the adolescent cranium. Perhaps it’s not just me that needs to get out more, though at the moment, none of us are getting out very much.

Along Delamere St. with its road works then across the A54 roundabout to Swanlow Lane then home via the garage door so the Linear is facing the right way to go straight on the bike stand for some gear inspection.


Mileage 26.06 . Max speed 28.8 . Average 7.9.


Total Ascent:​
754​
ft​
Total Descent:
756​
ft​
Start Elevation:
191​
ft​
End Elevation:
188​
ft​
Min Elevation:
31​
ft​
Max Elevation:
259​
ft​
 

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Ian H

I am an ancient randonneur, & I stop often for tea
Location
East Devon
Blue skies and sunshine yesterday, though the lanes were still muddy & wet. I followed my nose along to the airport then went south through Clyst St Mary to Topsham & Ebford. I diverted through lanes with a vague idea of where I was going, over Woodbury Common. I emerged at Colaton Raleigh, then headed north again, exploring lanes & detours. Arrived home with 69.5k on the clock, so rode past to make the 70.
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https://www.strava.com/activities/4830603904
 

Jon George

Mamil and couldn't care less
Location
Suffolk an' Good
A shake-down ride today around Ipswich.

I've had Patsy #1 The Carbon since new and she is a 2013 Orbea Orca that originally had a 105 groupset that was getting tired. For my winter re-build I splashed the cash and upgraded to Ultgera R8000 and converted it to a GRX 42T 1x chainring. (I appreciate that I am a Suffolk buh and the 'hills' around here tend to only be sharp rises compared to the rest of the UK, but I liked the idea of turning this bike into something that would enable me to progress faster up them. The idea occurred to me a few weeks ago when I nearly burst vital organs trying to keep off a couple eventually overtaking me through Playford. It turned out they were on e-bikes. :blink:) I did the gearing calculations of what I've comfortable doing on the original set-up and decided on an 11-32 cassette. I also bought an Ultegra RS700 wheelset and Ultegra pedals. The gold chain came courtesy of a mistake by Chain Reaction. My honesty in admitting they'd sent it ended with them deciding it would be lass hassle if I kept it. Cheers!

The result? Today's ride was something akin to nirvana. I don't think I have accelerated away from lights as fast. Nor enjoyed myself so much on a bike. And on the chief tester 'hill' - Constitution Hill - I went up it far quicker, and with less effort, than I ever done. Here's a pic of her at the top in her new clothes. (I'm still dialling in the shifters, so the bar tape will come later.)

Show me summer! ^_^

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Old jon

Guru
Location
Leeds
Another fair day dawns. I didn’t see the dawn, when I looked outside it was dry, a bit of breeze and the temperature was almost in double figures. Must go and enjoy this!

A stretch of towpath seemed a good idea to start with, have to traverse a bit of Holbeck to reach this. Leave the waterside at Viaduct Road for the familiar ride up to Headingley on Cardigan Road. Continue to Lawnswood, adding altitude all the way, then turn right, through Adel and on to the left turn to ride up by the side of Golden Acre Park.


Which is about as high as the ride goes today. A bit less than 200 metres according to the garthing, cannot see a close spot height on the map. So, down the hill into Bramhope, turn right and ride to the Dyneley Arms and turn right again. More downhill! Not cluttered with vehicles either, which increased the grin factor considerably. Cross the River Wharfe after leaving Pool, take the next left turn, its the B6161 or Leathley Lane. The left after that crosses the River Washburn and then climbs to Farnley.

And from Farnley to Otley is another whizzy descent. Stop at the bottom, next to the Wharfe, for a bite and sup, and go on, back across the river and through the town to the Pool road, a.k.a. the A659. Yes, I know I have just left Pool. There is an ulterior motive. Stay on the A659 to leave Pool and pedal to Arthington. Under the viaduct and turn right shortly afterwards. And gasp and wheeze up Creskeld Lane.

The uphill ends in Bramhope, ride along the A660 back to Leeds, specifically Headingley. All these suburbs between me and home, Kirkstall is the next suburb then I can and do choose the towpath again. Reaching Leeds Basin, ah, what did I forget? To call in Woodrups for some bits. The towpath bypasses the shop. Fool I am, but I am also used to it, so never mind. Home it is, only a short distance now, around a couple of Hunslet corners and up a bit. Thirty four miles and 1900 feet uphill and a big grin. The ride was great.

rights and lefts and ups and downs,

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Jon George

Mamil and couldn't care less
Location
Suffolk an' Good
Oh, what a lucky, lucky, lucky man am I.
Whilst gently coming to stop at the top of a hill on Pasty #3 The Hybrid on a utility ride into town, a handlebar adjuster bolt sheared off, causing the bars to drop as you can see, rather than doing so half-an-hour previously when I was going down the same hill at about 30mph. :blink:
I am celebrating with a lunch-time pale ale ...

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Grant Fondo

Oswalds legs look strangely human?
Location
Cheshire
Oh, what a lucky, lucky, lucky man am I.
Whilst gently coming to stop at the top of a hill on Pasty #3 The Hybrid on a utility ride into town, a handlebar adjuster bolt sheared off, causing the bars to drop as you can see, rather than doing so half-an-hour previously when I was going down the same hill at about 30mph. :blink:
I am celebrating with a lunch-time pale ale ...

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Ooh, that could have been very nasty! Adjustable stems, what bright spark thought of that one?
 

Jon George

Mamil and couldn't care less
Location
Suffolk an' Good
My Ride Today (Part 2).
I raided the bike-bits bin and Patsy #3 The Hybrid is on the road again! (Perhaps looking and feeling a little more 'unique'.) A shake-down ride up and down the street to test it. (Plus another 3 miler on Patsy #1 The Carbon to check out an adjustment to the shifters. Nearly there!)

Oh, the beers went down well ... :whistle:

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Jon George

Mamil and couldn't care less
Location
Suffolk an' Good
About 10 miles to try out Patsy #1 The Carbon. A fantastic little ride! I went out to a couple of local 'rises', namely Playford (where I recently got overtaken by ebikes and decided some sort of hill bike was for me), and Tuddenham St Martin. I also came back via a flat section that runs alongside the hospital and really went for it ^_^. I'm happy to report that I've got the gearing absolutely right for me - I can now rush up the hills, whilst speeding like a banshee on the flat.

Here she is at Playford: tweaked, bar-taped, and enjoying the action.

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Archie_tect

De Skieven Architek... aka Penfold + Horace
Location
Northumberland
Out on the Orbit tandem with Mrs A_T, complete with sandwiches kitkats and a flask halfway- it was good to be out in the sunshine though a blustery 14mph headwind out to Bolam, so very fast home [11mph out ; 19mph back!]

23 miles [and 1200' of up] so both very happy- maybe do it again tomorrow if it's as sunny!
 

ebikeerwidnes

Über Member
Looked nice out and I seem to be OK after the vaccine so I went out on the bike

decided to risk the canal path I have been avoiding for months due to mud - it was OK but a bit bumpy after all the rain
then discovered I was 10 miles from home and it was all into a headwind - getting hard work and I was getting worried about asthma or vaccine problems
until I realised I had knocked the ebike motor assistance off on a busy section of towpath a few miles before - if it is on it gets difficult to keep the speed down so I knock it off
got easier after that but I could still felt the effort in my legs which is good - so I hear
(note - still low assist - only use Turbo if I am having breathing problems !!)


anyway total of 24 miles - or 23 according to Strava
probably more mileage on my heart when going through roadworks in Warrington when I was scooting past an artic stopped at temporary traffic light and it started moving!!! = I probably should have stopped as the gap was a bit marginal - I normally ride better than that!!
 
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