The end of the 3rd week of my 30 minutes a day challenge.

Well, this week has been a whole lot better. The weather has been cold – not altogether unexpected in during January, in England though – but no wind to speak of and no rain either. Well, not much and not at riding time, which is the main thing.

Monday was just little old me, out on my CX, Eric. Just up to Padstow and then back via Polmorla road and back to make up some time. Nothing exciting at all. I did stop for a natter with some tourists at the quarry area, on the way back. They were planning on upgrading their 10 speed cassettes and their LBS has quoted a couple of hundred quid each. I nearly fell in the Camel with the shock. I asked if they had a cassette tool in their bike tool kit, which they did. I suggested looking on Wiggle, buying a cassette and doing it themselves. A 10 speed Shimano cassette is only about £45 for an Ultegra one. I think that they are going to have a go. £200 each! I also suggested a different LBS. I think that they were quite new to this cycling lark.

Tuesday was nice too. Just a gentle pootle to Padstow and back with Kenn. Nice and steady and getting our feet cold. Well, mine were OK, his were cold for some reason. It was 7 degrees C out there so not frosty.

Wednesday was my day off so I rode a quick 10 miles to Padstow Bridge and back. Again, I stopped at quarry to look at the view and chat with other cyclists. There were hundreds of birdwatchers out on the trail today. Literally hundreds of them. I guess a rare bird must have been spotted or something. People with monopods with lenses trained out over the water. They looked cold if you ask me. Got home with minimal mud on Eric too, so that was a bonus.

Thursday was ‘the visit’ from the potential homeswap partner. He duly turned up, we chatted about bikes and gave him the tuppenny tour while swigging coffee. We swapped paperwork and put ours in to the Council while he drove 330 miles back home again. His paperwork went in Friday morning. Naturally, we have both taken copies and have put them safe for when one of the landlords lose the forms. It always happens.
Friday was off too as I was not feeling myself and my sciatica was playing up a smidge.

I managed to get Kenn out on Saturday. Padstow again. Just to the carpark where the diggers are, and back again. I was a smidge short of the hour so rode on a little on the ‘towards Bodmin’ side of the trail. Just to the river bridge and back, so an extra couple of miles to take me over a 20km ride. As you do.

Today, Sunday, was the best ride. We left it to about 3, when the sun came out, the drizzle stopped and it got warm – for January – it was very nice. We got the bikes out and decided to ride up to Nanstallon. Much muddier but I am bored to tears with going to Padstow and Kenn is not in a frame of mind to think about doing any climbing whatsoever today. At Nanstallon gates we turned around by the tea shop that we have never been in. We are unlikely to either, it’s only 4 miles from home.
As I was turning Kenn was visited by a Robin on his handlebars. I was not quick enough with my camera. I was quick enough to snap him when he hopped onto my back wheel though.
16142595_1208595215915276_7822242583530390132_n

It was tricky but I just turned my phone upside down so I could poke the button with minimal fuss and thought I’d just sort the orientation later.

Master Robin (he looks young to me) then hopped off and went to visit Kenn again.
16195933_1208595225915275_5364806164303877763_n

Not the greatest pictures but I only had a phone on me and I’d zoomed in a little, which was probably a mistake.
We then rode home again and hosed the bikes off. It’s the dirtiest they have been all week.

This week’s scores on the doors was 4:43:18 on the bike and covered 57.41 miles. I was an hour and a quarter over target, but that’s OK. Same again next week, but I expect that the weather is going to change again. Freezing fog has been forecast. Joy.

Onwards then.
R

Advertisements
Posted in Cycling | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Week 2 of the 30 minute challenge…

…… Didn’t go as well as I planned.

It was very windy last week. 28mph winds with gusts of up to about 45mph and I didn’t fancy it much. There was pouring rain on the milder days and temps of below 3 degrees on not wet days all accompanied by howling wind. On one of the days I did consider going out – milder than normal and not raining – I was nearly blown over on my way to the shop and my watering can, which was full of water, got blown across to the bus terminus. When I went off to retrieve it, I was overtaken by my own bin with it’s half breeze block in the bottom, so I fetched that back while I was over there. Cycling didn’t happen.

I did get out a few times though.
Monday 9th I did a quick 6.75 miles in a smidge over half an hour. Through the wind and rain.
Tuesday 10th, I managed 12 miles in an hour and 5 minutes, more wind, and I was frozen stiff even with thermals and my winter boots on.
Thursday 12, I rode 6.66 in just over half an hour. I battered into the wind one way and zoomed back the other, with the wind at my back.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday the weather was just vile. Even the dogs didn’t want to go out in it.

I started a new week on Monday 16th.

On the house moving front, since last posting we have been contacted by a chap with a bungalow in Lincolnshire who really wants our flat. We had to speak to his landlord and housing officer as we are 2 years too young for the bungalow. However, renal failure counts as a medical need. The bungalow chap is a cyclist and is coming to view here in 2 days time. Very excited as he is bringing the exchange paperwork from his end. I think it might well be a done deal as he is coming to see the area rather than the flat. Not counting chickens though. He might hate the place, but I hope not. The rooms are about the same size as his and I’ve emailed him all the flat measurements and as many photos as feasible. We do have everything crossed as a life in the flatlands would be marvellous, again. I have barely ridden my roadie this year.

The bikes went in for brake services the other day. I’ve been having a couple of issues with my rear brake as the lever seemed to be too stiff to move. There was some grit in the cabling somewhere. All sorted now with new cables. Both of the CX bikes have a ton of wear left on the brake pads too, so that’s one less thing to worry about.

Onwards with the new week then. The weather is much improved so far, but it’s only Tuesday so anything could happen.

R

Posted in Cycling, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

2017 already!

In the end I clocked up 1717 miles for 2016. Pretty pants really. I did get some riding in during December. The weather was quite mild and I managed to give myself a metaphorical kick up the bum.

Sadly the Oxford flat fell through so we are back perusing the home-swapper listings without much hope really. We’ve decided that we don’t mind where we go as long as it’s not as hilly as where we are now. We have been asked some daft questions in the last few weeks such as ‘how long have you lived here’ like that has anything to do with anything. Questions about the area, amenities, transport, parking etc are fine but how long we have been here, where we lived before and have we ever had any cats before seem somewhat irrelevant questions.

The week between Christmas and New Years Eve meant that I got on my bike for the equivalent of 30 minutes a day. I challenged myself to do that. I actually decided on a total of 3 hours & 30 minutes for the week and in 6 days managed 3 hours and 45 minutes and decided to start the next week on New Year’s Day, as it seemed like the thing to do. The 3 1/2 hour thing was so pleasing to me that I decided to do it again for the first week in January. It seemed like a plan anyway. It’s been very successful for me. Mentally, I can cope with the thought of just half an hour a day with my arse in the saddle. Kenn has embraced this too for his non-dialysis days. His challenge was for 2 hours across the week.

The week went thus:
New Years Day. 11.03 miles to Padstow and back in a smidge over an hour. that was me half an hour up on the challenge already.
2nd Jan: 6 miles in 35 minutes with 110m of climbing. I have decided to get my big-girl-pants on and get some climbing done as I am bored to tears with the trail.
3rd Jan: 20.26 miles in 2 hours and 20 minutes on the Coast to Coast from Portreath, with Kenn in about 3 degrees C. We took it very steadily as it’s pace that does for Kenn and not time. Even so, we did the last 5 miles a bit more quickly as it’s slightly downhill and I was pretty bored with 7.5mph to be frank.
4th Jan: Day off as our kit was in the wash
5th Jan: 10.14 in 50 minutes with Kenn. He stopped at the quarry and I carried on to the bridge and back to get my mileage into double figures again. Anyway, I felt great.
6th Jan. I decided to try another slightly hilly route and rode out past Egloshayle, left up the A389 and up the hill to the roundabout at the top of Govenna and then carried on along the A39, which was a bit hairy. I stopped at the big bridge and took a pic and then slogged up the Cat 4 hill to the roundabout at the top of Wadebridge. I took a country lane home and actually walked down part of the hill as it was so skiddy with the mud and the 18% drop and bends. A couple of cars had roared up and I didn’t feel overly safe on that road. 6.3 miles in 35 mins or so.
7th Jan. Just up the Camel Trail to the quarry area and back, with Kenn so nice and steady. 6.3 miles again in 32 and a bit mins.

My total for the first week was a smidge over 60 miles and nearly 6 hours so well over my target and very pleased.

I took a pic from the big bridge, in the grey and miserable weather.
view-from-the-bridge
There have been a couple of suicides off here of late. While I was photographing, a car stopped and the passenger asked if I was OK, which was nice of them. I assured them that I was just out for a ride and wanting to take a pic.

Anyway. The week of Jan 8th to Jan 14th, my plan is 3 hours and 30 minutes for the week. I’m not stipulating 30 mins a day as the weather report is not amazing for the coming week.

I have got 2000 miles on my target clock for the year. If I can move from Cornwall, that might well be raised. I just cannot stand the hills and am going to do everything in my power to move. I think that moving here was a horrible mistake really and I don’t think that, after all the financial trauma that we’ve had, Cornwall likes us. Since moving here, getting a job and saving where we can, we are actually worse off. This is such an expensive place to live. We are going to go.

See you in a week for ride reports. I’ve got a plan to blog more often too. We’ll see how that goes.
Raffie

Posted in Cycling | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Late November Sun

I have not been near my bike since about the 8th November. The weather has been horrible and I have been stuck in a crisp eating, bun munching morass. I’ve looked at the bike several times, even washed it once. I am just not feeling the love of riding. I’ve ridden just over 1600 miles this year, which is seriously pants. Even the mighty Kaysa Tylan beating Billie Dovey’s record failed to rouse me. What did today, is that it was a lovely day, I’ve been trying to learn Esperanto and I’m having a struggle at the mo and it was either do a lesson or ride my bike. Procrastination is the friend of reluctant cyclists, it seems. Also, I’d made myself a new playlist for my iPod.

I only rode to Padstow and back and it took 51 minutes and  a few seconds, so no record breaking, no PBs on Strava and definitely no QOMs but I got out. It was nice. I am pretty sure that someone has moved Padstow about 100 miles up the trail though. Boy oh boy that seemed a long way today. I had Dire Straits on the way back so that sped things up. Dire Straits always seem to make me ride faster, that awesome solo on Tunnel of Love never fails to inspire me and I still can’t blimmin’ play it very well. More practice required there too.
The weather was a tidge fresh and my feet were cold at the end of the ride. Good job I have warm, winter riding boots for when it really gets cold. The Camel was a flat calm, good water skiing terrain but there were no skiiers. Must be a warm weather activity, mind you the surfers are out in all sorts of weather. The late afternoon sun failed to be very warming, but the goldie coloured light looked nice and cast a warm glow on the hedges and bushes as I rode past them. The ride was slow and fast all at the same time. I was back before I knew it, but as I turned from the Car Park in Padstow for home, I thought ‘oh my God, 5.5 miles to ride’ and it felt like a million miles at that moment. I am so unfit. It was nice to get back on the bike though, I’ll make a bit more effort for the remaining November days if the weather holds for me.

I am still working at weekends, just 11 hours a week at the same place that I’ve been all summer. I love my job but the money is pants. Actually all jobs around these parts pay absolutely rubbish. Everything is minimum wage (except for Lidl and they have a heck of a waiting list for would be employees). Most work here is seasonal and low paid. Kenn is deeply fed up with the day to day financial struggle. He wants to move on.

In the past it’s been me with the wanderlust but we are here now. The flat is great, the neighbours are OK and the walking is nice. I have a job that I adore and they seem to like me. Couple of beaches around the corner to give the hounds a blat on, it’s all good. The bike riding is rubbish here though. Oh, don’t get me wrong, if you love hills, it’s fantastic. The Trail is lovely and ever changing, whether that be colours, wildlife, terrain (packed earth or deep mud). Kenn, misses road riding without having to slog up hills or get off and walk all the time. I think that he misses Norfolk, or at least East Anglia. Who’d have thought it. I, however, am not ready to go back to Norfolk just yet. He definitely misses a hospital within a sensible distance. He’s dialysing at Plymouth this week, that’s 60 miles each way! Next week, he’s back to Launceston so it’s only 28 miles each way. He’s fed up with it all. Kenn said that the only thing keeping me here, is my job. He’s not wrong. When I really thought about it he was spot on.

To that end, I’ve told Kenn that if he wants to move, he needs to do the driving with it. When we move, I do all the list making, the packing, the organising of a van, liaising with the swap partner, councils, hospital, blah blah blah ad nauseum. He said OK, found a flat just outside Oxford in a tiny village. 5 miles from a huge dialysis and transplant unit and with good roads for riding. The flat is a 1st floor jobber, which might be interesting for the bikes, but it has a decent sized garden, a gate at the bottom onto a footpath which leads to a network of paths that go all over. The swap chap has family near Newquay and wants to move here to be closer. He also has spinal issues and needs a shower room and a ground floor flat. He loves this place and did the paperwork on Sunday, while I was at work.

We’ve seen his flat. It’s nice. Bigger windows than here, laminated flooring throughout – a bit dark if you ask me – but he’s teamed it with oversized (mahoosive) furniture and a ton of fitness equipment so it looks tiny and cramped. However a tape measure doesn’t lie and it’s roughly the same size as this place, the kitchen is bigger and has a huge window so not nearly so dark and pokey as our current one – I miss the one in Felixstowe, I loved that kitchen. The riding will be better, we had a good drive about. It’s lumpier than Norfolk but way, way, way flatter than here. It’ll be fine.

So, off we go again then. Not until sometime in January, or early Feb though. We made some big sacrifices to move here. Not all worth it, if I’m honest. I love my job and going there has been my ‘happy place’ for a a few months. I’m sure that I’ll find another and we wend our way back to Norfolk. I reckon a couple of years and Norfolk will be back on the radar for a permanent stay. Never been to Oxfordshire for anything but a visit to the Pitt Rivers Museum or through it en route to somewhere else. It will be good.

R

Posted in Cycling, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

50km September ride. Just in time

I have been hardly anywhere on my bike this month. I got a job at the local children’s Adventure Park and I run rides. There are 14 or 15 of them and I can run them all from the little kiddy teacups to the big 5D Simulator Theatre. Best of all, I can do it with my stupid wrist. It’s seasonal and we are now only working 13 hours a week until half term and then we stop for the winter after that. With this new job, I’m walking 20,000+ steps a day and by the time I’ve come home, walked the dogs and foraged for some tea, I am just shattered so not riding. The last couple of weeks has been wet & windy, sometimes just wet, sometimes just windy. Plus there has been a certain amount of inertia when I’ve felt that I just cannot be fagged to  get the bike off the rack.

Today, after being up half the night playing guitar, dawned fine and bright. The wind of yesterday had gone and I thought ‘why not’ just a few miles won’t hurt me. I got my Roadie down, even though I knew that I was going to ride on the trail. The Roadie has Gatorskins on, the CX has something a whole lot cheaper and I have been plagued with visits from the P-Fairy this year and I’m just fed up with fixing holes and changing tubes. I figured that a Conti Gatorskin on front and a Conti 4 Seasons on back would be OK. The 4 Season tyre is the weapon of choice for the Paris Roubaix riders so reckoned that it would cope with the Camel Trail.

I rode up to Nanstallon, which is around 4 miles from my front door and I felt OK so thought that I would ride to the end of the Trail at Bodmin. Not going in to Bodmin as there are roadworks there and the motorists are getting very antsy. The improvements are going to be for the benefit of cyclists so thought that I wouldn’t take the risk of getting on the wrong side of some BMW driver with an axe to grind. Once at the end of the trail, I rode back and stopped at the junction that would take me either back home or on towards Wenfordbridge. There was a nice couple there, on their hols and we had a wee natter and it was then I decided to go down towards Wenfordbridge. I was feeling OK and again thought ‘why not’.

After riding down the bumpy hill, I came across a young couple walking their mountain bikes. I asked if everything was OK and the lass said that the bloke had a flat. I offered the use of my patches, pump and tyre levers but they said that it was OK as they were going to walk to the Snails Pace Cafe and fix it there as it’s a bike hire place. I said “that’s 5 miles away” are you sure that you don’t want me to fix it for you. After a brief convo between them, the guy said that he’d love to borrow my stuff. He got the wheel and tyre off very quickly and it then took us both an age to find the tiniest hole in the world. Once found, I stuck a patch on for them and he got the tyre back on and pumped up. I wasn’t offering to pump, nor was I offering up my compressed air emergency thing. Happy to help strangers, but not when it costs me £2.99. Call me mean, if you like.

On I rode again, the little break was lovely and my legs had benefited from the rest, and caught up with a nice guy, going about the same speed as I was. Totally forgetting about turning for home, we rode to the Snails Pace together. En route, I noticed a phone, face down in the mud, and popped back for it. Somehow, it wasn’t broken. I popped it in my back pocket with the idea of handing it in at the Cafe, then totally forgot until I got home again. As you do. At the cafe I hosed off the worst of the mud, from my roadie and topped up my water bottle. The trail is in a right old state. I’ve never seen it as bad as it is at the moment.

The home run was nice. I saw a chap on a hand trike and waved to him, I’d seen him on the way up the trail, going along. They are incredible bits of kit. I had a sit in one, in Norwich, that belonged to a chap doing the LEJOG for charity a year or two back. I just mention this in passing, as you don’t see too many of them about.

The last 2 miles off the trail was blooming hard work but as I approached my home, I realised that if I rode another 6 miles, that would be my 50km ride for the month. As I have ridden nowhere near enough this month, I thought that it’s probably a plan and rode past and through the town. One the Camel Trail towards Padstow, there was a horrible headwind, coming straight off the sea/estuary. That took my speed down to about 10mph, if I was really working. Cursing myself for deciding to do the extra, but feeling committed so not about to turn back, I plodded on. Laughing grimly to myself as I’m on a 7.2kg bike, built for speed, and struggling to keep the speed in double figures. Not nearly enough riding has occurred and the whole putting on a stone thing. I’ve done at least one 50km ride, every month thus far and I really want to do at least one, every month for the year. Today was my last chance. I didn’t set off with the plan of riding that far and had mentally let go of this arbitrary challenge. Glad that I did the ride. Now I have 31 days to keep up with the challenge. Might have a couple of days in the New Forest next month, get a flat ride in.

I battered on until I got to the quarry and the views over to Padstow & Rock. Looked at the view a few minutes and then turned for home.

IMG_0673

With the wind at my back, life improved dramatically. I suppose I could have gone the extra 3 miles to Padstow and then the 3 extra miles back to that point, but I was knackered and my knees were starting to ache. This is the longest ride I’ve done for 6 weeks or so and I was feeling every pedal stroke at that time.

Winging my way back home was mostly lovely but my shadow was a funny shape. I put my hand to my back pocket and discovered the phone that I’d picked up earlier. Thought ‘I’d better get that back to it’s owner’ and then for the next couple of miles I wondered if it was locked and then I wouldn’t be able to call ‘home’ or ‘mum’. I got home, wheeled my roadie straight to the bathroom and then found my specs and had a look at the phone.

Very nice phone actually. A big Sony jobbie with a mahoosive screen without much of a border, like my iPhone. No home button either. Poking at it, I managed to make the camera film my feet and sofa. It took me nearly a minute to make it stop and then another couple of minutes of randomly poking at it before a different screen came up. I saw a shape that was like a house, so poked that and it brought up the homescreen. Yay. I found the ‘call’ icon and could see that there were 2 missed calls. Bonus, I thought. Someone is trying to ring it and find it. Wonderful. I poked it and there were two missed calls from ‘Home’, so I returned the call. A chap answered saying ‘Hello’ and I replied ‘Hi, I’ve found your phone, how can I get it to you’.

Chap was very happy, he’d lost in on the trail. I said that was were I had found it, and you’ll never guess who it belonged to. The guy on the trike handcycle. He drove over straight away and collected it and gave me £20 for finding it. That can go towards some hound neutering. I expected to see him in a wheelchair, not up on 2 legs and said as much (foot in mouth, no filter! Definitely an #isitok moment there). He said that he has a prosthetic leg after a road accident a decade ago. Can’t ride a regular bike. We chatted about his bike for a while and then I gave him Bodmin missing directions, as he got caught in the roadworks. I hope that he got home OK. The back route is embedded in to our heads and fine if you know the way. Probably a bit complex if not. He has a GPS, he’ll be fine.

https://www.strava.com/activities/729910883 for anyone interested.

I’ve had a shower now and no longer smell so bad that the dogs won’t come near me – or want to roll on me. I’m now going to hunt down some supper.

Posted in Cycling, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Exploring again today

Voting in the EU referendum today and I really wanted to avoid all the campaigners banging on doors and bunnying on and on and on and on. I went, voted, came back and grabbed a coffee and then took Eric out for a spin. Kenn came too, on his Whyte Kings Cross (roadies have been hanging on the wall pretty much since we’ve been here and we’ve done less than 100 miles on them since moving). We planned to ride to the Snails Pace Cafe and back, nothing much really. Neither of us could face anything that didn’t involve being on the flat.

We made good time to the Cafe and had a coffee there and a chat about Garmins, CX bikes and North Wales with some folks. I suggested to Kenn that we rode up to Michaelstow and he could have a go at that hill. I said this in the full knowledge that he would tell me to poke right off and, on the off chance that he would agree, that he’d get half way up the hill and want to head back. I don’t like that hill, it’s horrid. At least the steep, horrid bit is at the beginning so zapps your legs straight off and doesn’t go up gently, lull you in to a false sense of security and then ramp up the gradient when you are not looking.

He said ‘OK, lets do it then’. I was a bit taken aback but not daft enough to ask if he was sure. We rode up the hill. I got past the bit where I had to get off and walk last time and actually got all the way up to the top. I waited for Kenn and then rode back down a bit to see where he had got to. He was still on his bike, muttering a bit but pedaling along. I rode back up to the top with him. We rode along the B road and turned to Michaelstow again but at the junction where the big polytunnels are, we decided to go right, instead of left.

I quite like an adventure but it’s always nicer to adventch with someone else. We followed the signs to St Teath and then followed a little road, that looked nice, and ended up at the A39 and a load of roadworks. We sat about 5 minutes there, waiting for the convoy man to arrive to lead us down the road. The workmen said that we could clear off down the inside of the cones, as the road is all freshly topcoated with that loose gritting stuff that really hurts when you fall off on it. I know this from experience.
We got right through the roadworks and around the left hand bend before the first convoy car caught us up. The lovely workmen had given us a cracker of a head start. This meant that we weren’t close passed on the thin bit. Thank you lovely workmen.

We really got on with riding on the A39, we didn’t want to be on there for a minute longer than necessary. It was a gentle climb but, after getting out of the Camel Valley, it was a doddle. We were spinning up there at a good pace and we pulled into the bus stop layby at the top. I suggested going back via St Tudy and the Camel Trail. Kenn was all for 8 miles on one of the busiest, twistiest road in Cornwall. I told him that he was welcome but I’m going the pretty route and staying alive. I started heading for the left hand turning, some 100 yards up the road when we were very very close passed by a 4×4 towing a big caravan, followed by a camper van with bikes on the back that dived in so sharply, he nearly took Kenn’s front wheel off. Kenn decided that he was riding via St Tudy with me. He said that he preferred hills to death. Good choice.

We rode along a gorgeous bit of road for the best part of 200 yards before it started climbing. I got well over half way up and then ran out of legs and thought that I would enjoy the view and wait for Kenn. It was a lot more uppy than the picture looks, let me tell you.

IMG_0788

Once Kenn had reached me, we got back on our bikes and kept right on pedalling. I hate hills. Have I mentioned this in the past, loathe them, with a passion. There is absolutely no actual need for the dang things. Hate, hate, hate, hate hills. My legs are not right keen on them either.
I got to the top first and the view was great. While I was waiting a BMW arrived and waited for Kenn to ride that last 30 yards or so and didn’t just drive down and batter him out of the way. We were mightily impressed with him. It made a real change from being forced into hedges.

Once at the top, I thought that I might not hate hills as much as I thought that I did. Kenn made it up and we stood for a while, looking at the view and letting our bikes have a breather. We took a pic of the hill sign. We’d got past the difficult bit when I got off and walked. Kenn had decided to walk at the steep bit. It was on a tight bend so not my idea of a laugh to ride along.
IMG_0794

We followed the signs to St Tudy and rode through the village, following a downhill route. Kenn reckoned that downhill was the way to go, back to the Camel. We should have asked. We rode around in a big circle and ended up back at St Tudy. We rode up more bloody hills and I got back to hating them. Especially after..
IMG_0795

I got off and walked again. After that hill, I asked for directions from a chap who we think had a small holding, guessing by the couple of cows, couple of pigs and lots of chickens scratching about. Lovely black lurcher who was woofing and wagging like a big daftie. It wasn’t scary barking, he sounded far to high pitched and giggly for that. The chap was telling us what a cracker of a rabbitting dog he is but there is no money in rabbits now. Nobody wants to buy rabbits for the pot nowadays. Kenn likes rabbit but I don’t. However, the dogs love some nice raw bunny for dinner.

We followed the chap’s directions, back to St Tudy, followed the sign to Michaelstow which took us up a road, over a crossroads at a B road and I regognised the turning immediately. I waited there for Kenn as I’ve got a faster climbing cadence than Kenn has. We followed the road along, straight over the next crossroads and down the hill that I’d ridden down just the other day and to Pooley’s Bridge.

From there, it was straight home along the Camel Trail. No more climbing for us. Yay. I did a quick lap of the park, on the way back, as I reckoned that I’d be getting home at around 34.85 miles and that’s just not on. Looping the park just gives me an extra little bit so I came home to 35.13 on the GPS.

My disc brakes have started ringing so I need new pads. Kenn is going to have a look at them in the morning, he says. Hope so anyway. If we can’t change the pads, I’ll take the bike to the LBS and get him to do it.

https://www.strava.com/activities/618444236

Posted in Cycling, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I have been out exploring (a bit) today

I really wanted a ride yesterday, but it was tipping down. I got soaked through walking Toffee dog in the morning and the weather got progressively worse as the day went on. It stopped raining somewhere about dark but I couldn’t be faffed then, anyway I don’t think my front light is charged up.

Today dawned wet and miserable. The BBC forecast said that it would get out nice in the afternoon but, after a morning of rain, rain and more rain, that seemed very unlikely. However, the BBC was right and as soon as the rain stopped I thought that I’d better check the charge in my Aftershokz and my iPod and then immediately put them on charge and thought that I’d go out after lunch.

I wasn’t planning a long ride, although I did have the fact that I’ve not done my 50km ride this month as yet and we are 2/3 of the way through June already. I checked that I had the correct innertubes in my bag and had a rummage around to make sure that Kenn had put my tyre levers back in the bag (he had), changed and got out of the door. It was dry but I’d put my 3/4 length shorts on, I had contemplated long sleeves but thought I’d risk short sleeves. Right choice for once, as it turned out.

I headed off out of Wadebridge, along the Trail towards Bodmin and caught up with a chap with a Planet X jersey, as I passed him I said “Oooh Snap” and pointed to his bike which was the same as Eric. We rode together for 4 miles, chatting about PX bikes (his has a single front sprocket and an 11 speed SRAM gearset plus hydraulic disc brakes so a newer model than my bike). Chap went off to Bodmin while I headed off towards Wenfordbridge. I had planned to ride to Bodmin but my legs were feeling great so made the decision to kick on a bit.

Looking down at the weir, when I passed it, was interesting. I’ve never seen it after torrential rain for 3 days and it was a lot less clear and white than normal.

IMG_0786

It was also, very noisy. There was a lot of water going down there today.

I got to the Snails Pace cafe in well under an hour, I didn’t stop, and carried on over the road and towards Camelford. It’s a heck of a climb out of the valley and I am a rubbish climber. Very quickly, I was in granny gear and muttering a bit. I could see the gable end of a barn and told myself that I’d get to it, then I saw a road opening and told myself I’d get to that and then, a bit after that, I had to stop as I’d have fallen off. I was going that slowly and losing balance. I got off and walked for 50 yards or so, which brought me to a false flat where I got back on and got pedalling.

Once moving again, it was all a lot better and I got to the top of the hill and eventually got to a main road and followed it for a bit. The ‘main road’ was actually a very fast B road and I didn’t want to be on it for too long so took a left hander and got to a dead end. I turned around and took the other turning in the junction (2 left handers in one) and followed the road down the hill to Michaelstow. The road gradient wasn’t too bad and I figured that I could ride back up it without too much of a problem. At the bottom, there was a T junction so I went left and reckoned that I’d probably just do loop and go back to Wenfordbridge so abandoned thoughts of turning around and going back the way I’d come. Anyway, I have a GPS so can’t get very lost, can I?

At Michaelstow I came across a Nursery with huge polytunnels. It really struck me so I took a quick pic. I had to wade through hip height grass to get a decent shot – naturally I only had my phone on me and no proper camera.

IMG_0783

After riding past I then rode on a narrow road and had a near miss with some numpties in a (not so) hot hatch. They came screaming down a hill, scattering walkers and me into the bushes. They were really shifting. I was in the wrong gear to get going again so rode down a bit then turned around and rode back up, in a better gear. I had decided that walking twice on one ride today, was not happening. It wasn’t much of a hill anyway. Speeding along narrow, twisty country roads seems to be a local sport here. I’m rapidly going off Cornwall as I don’t want my demise to be at the hands of some plonker who can’t drive, brake or steer. The numpties in the hatchback were really really shifting. The hikers were a bit shaken up, even more so when I said it was pretty normal for these parts. Car was going too fast to get a number.

I carried on along the road and came back to the main road so headed left and back towards the Snails Pace. It didn’t look overly familiar to me so I did wonder if I was on the right road at all but then, on the left, there was a road with a sign for the Cafe so I took it and rode down the hill. Again, it didn’t look familiar. As I rode down a 17% hill that I knew for a fact that I hadn’t ridden up, I did wonder where I would come out and was I going to have to climb up some monster Cornish hill, but it brought me out at Pooley Bridge and at the bit of the Camel Trail with the big fish sculpture on it. Picture taken on a previous ride and on a much sunnier day.
IMG_0511

By the time I got back to the trail, both my shoes were wet and Eric and I were very muddy – a sure sign of a good time. I stopped to take a pic of the river in full flow, it was really shifting and doesn’t normally look like this.

IMG_0784

It’s normally a lot calmer than this. A lot quieter too. The pic doesn’t really do justice to the flow rate on that curve.
From there on, I just got on with going home, it was well after 6.30pm, the temperature was dropping and I was pretty sure that it was going to rain again – it didn’t – but I wanted to get on with getting home. I got up the little hill with the Strava Segment ‘rattle your fillings out’ and it took a good 10 seconds longer than normal but I still headed left to Bodmin as I needed an extra couple of miles for my metric half century distance. Nothing worse than riding past the house for a mile or so and then back. I might just be weird though.
The Council have resurfaced the track at the edge of the playing field going towards Bodmin Goal and jolly lovely it is to ride along too. At the end of the trail, I turned onto the road and rode back to the carpark that I’d just passed and back on to the trail and home. The trail was lovely and muddy. The state of Eric necessitated him getting the first shower. He’s been drip drying in the shower room. I think that I really needed a shower today 🙂
IMG_0787After my shower, the shower room needed a shower to clean it up. We were pretty muddy. My kit has gone straight in the washing machine, my cycling shoes are on the windowsill along with my trainers which got wet walking this morning. The bedroom windowsill has boots drying on it. It’s been a damp few days. Hopefully something will be dry for dog walking in the morning or I’ll be down to walking in flip-flops.

https://www.strava.com/activities/615357443

For anyone who may be interested. 31.4 miles in 2 and a half hours.

Posted in Cycling, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment