Sunday, 27 May 2012

Summer Rides Again...

At last hot sunny weather has arrived. I cycled 3 times to work this week and as I worked at home on Friday as usual I went for a quick ride over Ashridge (top pic). This morning I did a 38 mile round trip to Great Horwood (bottom pic), which is north of here and can be accessed entirely on minor B roads (or less). There was not much traffic - in fact almost as many bikes as cars. I set off early to avoid the heat and there was a pleasant breeze. Total mileage this week 98 miles.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Olympic Ride

Nicky and I, along with 3 others cycled from her school in Hemel Hempstead yesterday to the Olympic site at Stratford. This was a sponsored ride and we raised over £500 for teaching equipment for her special needs school. The weather was mild, dry and occasionally sunny. Nicky had planned a rural route that took us through pleasant countryside, villages and small towns such as Shenley and Cuffley. The London Revolution ride was cycling the other way for about 5 miles of our ride. We stopped for lunch at a picnic spot in the Lee Valley Park at Cheshunt, then cycled the remaining 10 or so miles along the canal towpath on the edge of Tottenham and Hackney to the edge of the Olympic site. The final leg was quite an interesting mix of pretty wetlands and willow trees, canal boats, massive power lines and factories and modern apartments backing onto the canal. It's quite a cosmopoltion area, and as it was Saturday there were quite a few othodox jews in their massive furry hats or fedoras, coats and tights. It was a 45 mile trip - and we loaded our bikes into the minibus for the return home. 

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Exmoor Ride

Nicky and I travelled to Lynmouth in Exmoor on the Friday night and my brother Mike (pictured) joined us on the Saturday for a bike ride. Mike's cycling from Paris to Nice with Discover Adventure next month and hasn't had much time for training. My original plan was to cycle along the north coast, but having driven up and down the 25% hills at Porlock and Lynmouth the night before we decided that the less steep, but still challenging, climb over to Simonsbath was preferable. We set off at 10.30 in a cloudless blue sky, that lasted all day. I'd had a full English at the hotel, whereas Mike had just had cereal before his 7am start from Penzance - so I had an advantage. We both got up to the moors ok though along the wooded valley and stopped at 11.30 for coffee at Simonsbath, then on to Exford and Dulverton for a pub lunch. There were quite a few steep hills that tested our legs and gears, and if I was on my own I would probably have got off and pushed once or twice. We got a bit lost at one point and ended up cycling on some pretty minor roads more like farm tracks, then found our way to North Morton and had coffee and a chocolate bar each. It was quite a long climb up to Simonsbath, for more tea and cake around 5pm before heading down the wooded valley to our hotel. A great day only 55 miles but with some testing climbs, that should be good training for Mike's Tour de France. Route  here 
Today Nicky and I did a walk in the morning before heading home. Nicky had done a 12 mile walk along the coast whilst we were cycling and took some stunning photos.

Monday, 7 May 2012

May Day Weekend

I did a 20 mile ride on Sat in the Chilterns in quite nice weather. Today I did a longer ride of about 50 miles past Watlington, mostly in the rain. I can't say the exact mileage as the battery in my mileometer sensor seems to be flat. It started raining as forecast after the first hour of my ride, but I had mudguards and waterproof jacket on so didn't mind. I could have done with my neoprene overshoes on but my wet feet didn't get too cold. Just a base layer and my packable waterproof kept me just the right temp, and my Nikwaxed polyester tights worked well. Happy to report dry bum and legs!
I sheltered from the rain at one point in a bus shelter near the M40 and a chap got talking to me who said he used to have the exact same road bike as mine. Also he used to live in Tring and teach at our sons' school. Bit of a coincidence!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Wet Bum

I went for a 15 mile ride after dinner last night on one of my usual circuits via Wingrave and Mentmore, as it was a nice evening. I hadn't allowed for the fact that the roads were full of massive puddles though from the recent rain (although it stopped raining at lunchtime). I hadn't put my clip on mudguards on so my cycling shorts were sodden and my jersey got splashes up the back. I can't understand how road cyclists on long trips where rain is inevitable, refuse to put on mudguards.
I've been riding to work twice a week lately, but not done much at weekends for one reason or another.