A rare Friday evening ride for an hour-and-a-half. After cloud and showers earlier, I caught the best of the day for a brief but enjoyable ride. About 20°C but with strong, blustery winds—not bad for April.
Short ride through the woods and down to the harbour, about 18 degrees with pretty grey skies. Just awaiting autumn now. Been thunder and rain the last few days so it was nice to get a ride finally - I don't dare go out for longer trips when there's thunder in the forecast.
After the ride I settled down with a dram, from my trusty favourite Tullamore Dew (can't think of a better blended whisky and it's cheap as chips)
Sunday morning ride. Not had one of those for a while. My sister's other half asked me yesterday if we could go for a ride today. So I went round to meet him this morning, and he'd forgotten. Not for the first time either. After scraping off the puppy shit my tyres had found in their yard I set off alone.
I didn't really have a plan so took the TPT. Personally, I think it's a missed opportunity naming it the Trans Pennine Trail. It should be more inclusive, but the LGBTQ+ Pennine Trail doesn't quite have the same ring to it: and the joke isn't very funny.
Anyway. I didn't want to leave the dogs for too long so budgeted for a couple of hours and cracked on, towards Barnsley.
It was a bit muddy in places, and I discovered that XC Fire Pros don't work particularly well in mud. If anyone remembers the scene in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, where Clark sprays the kitchen lubricant on the sled. They behave a bit like that.
At Aldham Junction the trail forks, left towards Worsbrough, or right towards Barnsley. I took the right fork, and then took an off-piste route up the side of an old slag heap formerly part of Darfield Colliery. It's woodland now and popular with MX riders, carving trails into the sides of it. Some of which are very rideable on an old hardtail.
The climb was exactly 200 feet according to the app and a bit of a challenge. It was so badly chewed up at one point I did have to get off. Once at the top I was spoiled for choice as to my route back down.
This looked like the Black Run
I took this one as it headed in the direction I wanted to go.
Which led to this...Which came back out on the TPT. I didn't really want to climb it a second time, and didn't think there'd be much more fun to be had than that descent so I decided it was time to head home.
I checked the likelihood of rain—30% here, 40% there—and planned a ride to the sea that minimised the risk of getting drenched. I contemplated taking the Hardrock, a bike so tough it laughs in the face of typhoons, but it has slicks on so I took the Stumpy instead. But the weather is a wily poker player and within 25 minutes, I felt the rain, and then it poured. To my dismay, I'd discovered that all my quick drying sports gear was in the laundry basket, so I had a standard T-shirt and shorts on, and I could feel the wet through to my skin even at this stage of the ride. Nevertheless, I waited out the worst of it under a tree and set off again, thinking that body warmth would dry me out soon enough. It didn't.
As I approached Whitstable, it poured again, so I waited again, muddy and wet, under a bridge which some of the locals had decided to decorate with some limited-talent, low-skill graffiti.
And after a few minutes contemplating the art work, I set off again. Usually, it's a bit cooler and breezier on the coast, but not today. Things were looking up and I saw this:
Apparently, it was designed in conjunction with some kids from one of the local schools. 'Ah ha!' I thought, 'So, my hard-earned taxes are being used to teach the local sprogs the art and craft of vandalism.' Although it hadn't paid off with the efforts I'd seen earlier.
Anyway, the seafront was pleasant and I headed towards Herne Bay, although every dog seemed to be off the lead and intent on getting in my way. By the time I got to Herne Bay, I looked like I had been mud wrestling and in a wet T-shirt competition. Some passersby looked at me with pity; others looked like they just wanted to run away.
The pier in Herne Bay:
The remains of the old pier in the distance:
I had intended to go further but this was one of the very few rides when I thought, actually, there are things I would rather be doing, so I stopped, had a drink and turned back. I looked like I would be heading straight into more rain:
And sure enough, I got another soaking on the way back. All told, 23 miles and that was enough for today. However, tomorrow, a worse trip awaits me, one where I atone for many sins . . . Yep, that's right, the miserable trudge of despondency and gloom around Ikea. I'd take the rain over that any day of the week.
Been a while. Life has started to wake-up so whilst taking things carefully, a wedding, finally seeing my parents and getting the bike serviced has meant a few weeks of no peddling. However, it was worth the wait since the weather was shite and the Esatto is like a new bike. Finding a decent mechanic is like gold dust, so to find one 3 miles up the road and who has more gear than my old LBS in Bromley is fantastic. If you're around the area and need some work done, Stuart is the man. He doesn't know this yet but he'll be cabling up the Kapu soon.
This morning, 13 degrees rising to 15 at 08:30, overcast with a spot of sun and blue sky, light easterly breeze. I headed to Treen, up and over Gear Hill before a sharp right to outside Ding Dong and down to and skirting Heamoor before joining the A30 up to Crows an wra. I've done that A30 segment in patches and try and keep it to a minimum with so many better, quieter, steeper alternatives but it was still nice to mix it on the "busy" road. After a quick picture stop before the decent to the airport, it's a nice stretch right back to HQ.
I passed 7 cyclists today - all grockles - some moving nicely, some have some fun with the elevation
I've finally got some time off in a few weeks as I leave the city job after 20 years. I'll have time for longer rides which I'm stoked for!
Cool 13 degrees rising to 15 at 08:30, very slight easterly breeze, blue skies and golden sunshine with scattered cloud.
Taking the scenic route out I took a right before the last climb to the top of St Ives, to and through Towednack, a nice little side route to join up with the B3311 at Nancledra.
A steady climb took me to Castle Gate overlooking Penzance and the Mount, but the view east inland was spectacular as the morning mist rose in the multitude of valleys.
A rapid decent but hard right to the ancient settlement at Chysauster followed before a quick loop back onto Gear Hill, then right again, navigating through to Madron, Tremethick Cross, the edge of Sancreed, Grumbla then back to HQ. A lot of elevation, a really good stretch for the legs - 30 miles in the bank