Main Menu

Cycling 2022

Started by Slim, January 28, 2022, 03:22:34 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


February Wordle league table here



Nice and clean for the time of year.


Hello you foul-faced bunch of dweebs :)


Welcome, Barney! I think I've worked out your TNMS identity from the clue in your username here ;)

I doubt it will be busy but that's fine - this place was conceived as a lifeboat for the handful of us who took part, or lurked, in the cycling thread on the good ship TNMS. But everyone's welcome.

If you have any cycling questions do fire away, there's a decent wealth of experience here.
February Wordle league table here


Well first potential cycle day on the new forum and I have wimped out (based in the South). Drizzle and mud, miserable stuff. I only have one assembled bike, a BMC team machine about 6 years old, a Specialized Allez hangs on the garage wall, I tried changing the rear bearings, ballsed it up and have never been able to put it back together again. So I want to keep my one good bike in reasonable condition so tend to take it out when dry, if it rains on route that's ok.


Really a rather nice day for cycling, dry and sunny with a moderate wind coming from the west. The wind was supposed to pick up in the afternoon.

I planned something a bit different. The idea was to go up through Coleorton, Melbourne, up over Swarkestone Bridge and west along the Beloved A Road as usual, but to come back a different way - down through Tutbury, then through Burton on Trent, which I've never done on a bike before. Then to Ashby, and back the usual way from there.

The route looked pretty simple, so I didn't bother committing it to the eTrex or a GPX app. I should have done though, because I took a wrong turn out of Tutbury which took me some way out of my way. Quite hilly round there, fun to be exploring new territory though. I managed to navigate my way to Burton without difficulty with the aid of Google Maps, but I came a different way through the town than I'd intended. Slightly scary - dual carriageways and multi-lane roundabouts aplenty. But a lovely view coming over the river.

I followed directions to Moira, from where I knew I'd find Ashby easily enough.

The wind didn't really seem to pick up in the afternoon. I didn't notice the tailwind at all.

Listened to the Australian Open singles final on 5 Live - absolute classic, although I didn't catch all of it. I also listened to a fascinating programme on 6 Music in which Tom Ravenscroft and Damon Albarn looked through some of Tom's dad's massive record collection (Tom's dad being John Peel of course). Tuned back to 5 Live in time to hear Medvedev giving what was a pretty gracious and good-humoured runner's up speech in the circumstances. He was two sets up to love, but he lost.

Really a fun run out despite the hills and the conspicuously urban content through Burton. Still hoping to try the route I intended soon.

Back on 45.36 miles, which takes this month's total to 416. Seems a lot for a January, not quite sure how that happened. I suppose the weather must have been kinder than usual.
February Wordle league table here


Chill but with bright skies I did my usual route. The roads however were wet under rubber and often had either a thin film of liquid mud,running water or general clods of mud on them.Took it gently as didn't fancy coming a cropper, first time I wore my big gloves out and that also was a potential pilot error waiting to happen scenario.


Another mild day with the wind coming from the west. No chance of rain, but the roads were a bit wet. Mostly cloudy, but the sun did come out from time to time.

I thought of doing the Dad's Army route as far as Dordon. I hadn't been quite that far along it (as far as I recall) since I first used it on a run to historic Worcestershire and back, about eighteen months ago.

It's mostly the Twycross route until you get to the junction with Pinwall Lane, then it goes west. I'd forgotten what a rubbish little road Dordon Hall Lane was. Narrow, hilly, heavily potholed and covered with a thin film of mud. I'll take a longer way round next time. I narrowly avoided getting liberally doused in muddy water when an oncoming Land Rover went into a deep puddle in the ditch, though to be fair he only hit it because he was trying to give me room to get past.

Anyway - I went as far as Dordon, then came back via the second part of a Twycrosser, so in fact this ride ended up as a Twycrosser with an extension to the west at the bottom. Took this pic near Dordon, a few minutes after sunset. Nice view from there, looking back toward Orton and Twycross.

I really want to go a bit further next time, at least as far down to Kingsbury Water Park which I remember was really nice. But I'll devise a better route.

Listened mostly to 5 Live Drive. Lots of talk about Hormone Replacement Therapy, and I must say a conversation about "vaginal atrophy" made me shift uncomfortably in my saddle.

Back on 37.29 miles.
February Wordle league table here


Not much cycling so far this month, but I was able to leave work reasonably early and set off at 4pm. Cloudy with a hint of dampness in the air, but the forecast reassured me that rain was highly unlikely.

I was going to go up over Swarkestone Bridge and west along the A road for a bit, but I took a longer route to get there, up Top Brand and to Isley Walton. Not long after I took the left turn at Walton though, my saddle started to feel oddly uncomfortable .. a bit low at the back and erect at the front, exactly like it did on a Fondo to Eastwell and back a few weeks ago.

I stopped at Stanton under Bridge to have a look, and yes - it had shifted back again. No worries I thought, I'm sure I left the appropriate Allen key in the frame pack .. but nope, I must have taken it out.

It wasn't too uncomfortable but I didn't fancy going too far, so I turned for home there and then. However rather than take the turn to go south through Melbourne (ie the quick way home), I came back the way I'd come, through Isley Walton.

Stopped to eat a cheese & onion pasty at the top of Top Brand, and a miserable, cold drizzle started to descend. But it only lasted 20 minutes. Took this at Peggs Green.

On a whim I came through Swannington rather than Coleorton over the last couple of miles - something I've only ever done four or five times, since it involves a long, steep climb. I stopped about half way up and could feel my ticker beating like the clappers. Not sure how great that is really for an older gentleman like myself, but I didn't give me any trouble. I do have a friend who had a heart attack while cycling about ten years ago; something I do think about from time to time.

I'd definitely tightened the saddle down properly so I shall look for a new seat post for the X. You can see where the clamp on the seat post has shifted. The single bolt design ones are rubbish.

Back on 25.65 miles, a modest 63 miles this month.
February Wordle league table here


Having fitted a new carbon seat post to the X, a test ride seemed to be in order. It was very nice weather for cycling on the whole this afternoon – dry, sunny, a bit windy and cold but not bad enough to spoil the fun.

I faffed around a bit near home before deciding what to do, then I decided to go up Top Brand to Isley Walton. From there I went west to Melbourne as I often do, but rather than going up over Swosser Bridge I decided I'd turn for home there, but come the long way through Ticknall, Hartshorne, Boundary and Ashby.

I set the seat post slightly too high but apart from that it was fine. I must admit I didn't pay careful attention to the saddle position before I dismantled the old seat post but the riding position felt very comfy. I got the impression that it was a slightly more comfortable ride than usual but that could be psychological, or possibly just a different saddle angle than before.

I also used my Olight torch as a front light. Despite being small and light (it takes a single AA) it's adequately bright, but the battery didn't last that long. I turned it off at some traffic lights for road works near Ashby to save juice, but when I turned it on again it wouldn't come on. I assume the battery was low. Would be ironic if it's a fault as it's one of the very few LED torches that I own that's a reputable brand rather than an anonymous Chinese product.

Had a beautiful view of a half moon in a clear blue sky just before I set off. Didn't notice any stars after dark, though. Actually I did get 15 minutes of rain near Ticknall so it must have clouded over after sunset.

28.17 miles, 91 this month. Enjoyed that one.

I used my Xoss bike computer and I was delighted to discover that the phone app now has a feature to replay your route as a 3D aerial view – a bit like that Relive facility that was popular a few years ago. It saves the video to your phone's gallery, but I uploaded this one to YouTube. You can alter the perspective while the track is playing but if you do, it will record your changes to the video (it works as a sort of screen capture function, hence this would have worked better if I'd been holding the phone in a landscape stylee rather than portrait).

February Wordle league table here


The weather forecast promised a day off from the rain and it was sunny when I set off on the Boardman this afternoon. The roads were a bit wet, but nothing too troubling. A strong wind was blowing from the west. I decided to go up and west, along the A road for a bit.

I went out through Swannington, unusually. I used to go that way often, but it fell out of favour. It's a bit rattly on the long downhill stretch.

Up to Isley Walton, then west. The flags outside Donington Park were flying dead straight in the direction I was coming from. The wind was gusting strongly, like an invisible hand lunging at the brake levers.

Not long after I crossed Swarkestone Bridge, the rain started to come down. It only lasted a few minutes. But it came down again fifteen minutes later. As I stood at my favourite rest stop near Willington munching a cheese & onion pasty in the pouring rain, I decided to turn for home. Very nice to have the tailwind coming east.

I came back the quick way through Melbourne and Coleorton.

Despite the wind and the rain I remained in good spirits, and even ascending the North Face of Rotter's Rise in the dark didn't piss me off. Much. By then the rain had stopped again.

Had an extraordinary view of the Moon looking huge just above the horizon near Coleorton, with a streaky cloud in front of it - it looked like a ghostly huge Saturn.

I was listening to Drive on 5 Live, and people were texting in their anecdotes for Random Act of Kindness Day. Here's one to melt the hardest heart. I've just listened to it back on BBC Sounds so I can transcribe it:

Ten years ago my teenage daughter was new to both cycling and London. One very cold winter Sunday she found herself with a puncture to fix at the side of the road with fingers so cold she couldn't do it. A stranger stopped his car and fixed it for her. A third party saw what was happening and posted a picture on social media - of Mark Cavendish fixing her bike.

Feel like I'm leaving the February Fondo a bit late, but next week looks OK weather-wise and I won't be on call.

Back on 31.76 miles, 123 this month.
February Wordle league table here


A decidedly windy day but it's been slim pickings so far this month so - since it was at least dry and sunny, I felt I should try and do at least 25. For some reason though, the wind didn't seem so bad once I was underway, even going directly west.

I went up through Coalville and Belton to Isley Walton, up over Swarkestone Bridge, west along the Beloved Flat A Road. I was feeling unusually thirsty for some reason so I decided I'd go as far as the garage near Hatton and buy a drink. I didn't have a lot of water with me. Chilled Lucozade. Lovely. I also ate a cheese & onion pasty I'd brought with me before I mounted my bike to come back the same way.

The return trip, with a tailwind and having fuelled up a bit, was a real joy. Until I stopped for a wee near Willington, and dropped my phone. The screen cracked, rendering it inoperable, and making it impossible for me to send a message to say I'd be later than expected. Even worse, I was using it to listen to the PM's press conference on 5 Live because my DAB batteries had died - and I didn't want to use the spare AAs in case I needed them for the front light. Worst of all, 'er indoors started ringing me and it was impossible to answer calls.

Needless to say she was irate when I returned, and my explanation only placated her partly. But Lib Dem supporters can be impervious to reason, sometimes.

That was a really nice run out apart from writing off my phone. 47.30 miles, but felt more like 35. Beautiful starry night, with all of Orion clearly visible. The fields near the river at Swarkestone Bridge were waterlogged like lakes which was actually quite a beautiful scene.

Only 170 done in February so far. Would really like to get that up to 300 if I can, but it's a short month.
February Wordle league table here


Been off work today, ostensibly to give Mrs S a bit of company in her half-term week and to make a start as an executor of my dad's will. But hey, guess what, the sun's shining LET'S RIDE!!!!

It was bloody hard work :( I think every one of my last few rides has seen the wind just ramp up another notch, it's no fun cycling along the flat at 7mph! I saw in the tour of the UAE the other day that the headwind was so strong a rider got off his bike and pushed it as quick as the others were cycling. It was one of those days here.

I had fully intended on doing 40 miles, but realising that up on the tops was no fun at all I came in at 32. At least I had the wind behind me on the way back and it was good to overtake someone going up the Grange Lane Koppenburg, I know it's not much of a hill, but it's good to average 23.5 mph uphill!

So, that's just got me over 100 miles for February and I'm 440 miles down to where I was this time last year - due to weather and no furlough.


Just went through Strava in honour of the new site and created a spreadsheet for this year's cycling.  Just on 200kms for the year.  Slow start in January due to getting Covid so didn't start til 23rd Jan.  That's from 6 spins so averaging 33kms per trip.  Seem like I'm pretty slow moving at the moment.  I did feel stronger on the last trip and that was the hilliest so far this year too ( a pretty miserable 258 metres).   That was on 12th Feb so I've probably lost some of that momentum.  Not sure I'll be out this weekend either as it's the wife's birthday.  May get out on Saturday.

It's been a very windy start to the year !