Ooohh look its snowing.. !!!
Only on screen though, don’t panic just my contribution to the Christmas spirit now Its December.. Unlike the shops I don’t think the Christmas season starts in September.. (If you move your mouse it changes the direction of the falling snow, hours of endless fun for you.. )
Here we are slipping into December and I have hardly started telling you about November yet !!!, it looks like quite a list I have to say. Although I have found time for riding I don’t seem to have found time for writing about it. But to be honest there has been quite a lot going on over the last month. Mainly involving jobs to do around the house, trips out, waiting in for deliveries, waiting in for plumbers and then service engineers to get the central heating fixed and shopping trips.. one to IKEA !! The heating problem is still ongoing, it seems Ideal heating don’t seem do joined up thinking between departments.
In a non cycling vein for a moment, on Friday the 15th we went to Elstree Studios to watch a recording of the TV programme ‘Pointless’, two programmes actually’. It was a fun and interesting trip. The programmes are due to be shown in the early part of next year.. I don’t think I featured a great deal, maybe a bit part showing some vigorous clapping and laughter ?
The only picture I managed of the event was this one taken while queuing up outside the studio, of the flag fluttering against a blue sky. Not a bad day for queuing weatherise. No photography allowed inside so thats it..
So, back to the cycling, I think I had better waste no more time and get on with the task in hand.. click the headings for Garmin ride details..
I remember this ride very well. It was the first day I wore my new Castelli water and windproof lightweight jacket. I thought it would be a test of the wind proofing qualities but it turned out to be good test of the waterproofing as after about half an hour of riding it started to rain and continued for about four hours.
Rain wasn’t forecast until the afternoon, by which time I had hoped to be home, so they got that wrong !! Only three of the group actually stopped at the cafe, the rest of us voted with our pedals and just carried on to the finish. It was not only raining but also very cold so stopping, sitting in wet clothes and then having to warm up again didn’t see like a good idea. It was a total ride of 68 miles for me including the ride to and from the start, Oh and by the way, the jacket stood up well to both wind and water despite its lightweight and lack of bulk.
Another of Grandson Harry’s getting back to fitness rides after breaking his femur in June , just as he was looking forward to a summer of cycling, carrying his rugby and football (soccer) fitness with him into cycling. Now its not such an inviting time of year plus he has no fitness after such a long lay off so its not going to be easy for him, also the lack of daylight means he doesn’t get much opportunity for riding except at weekends.
However we did manage to fit this after school ride in just about, in the hour or so of daylight left with a 3:30pm start after school. I did a solo ride before starting Harrys ride just to fill in the time.
This was a 57 mile ride I did via Wellingborough to deliver a birthday present to my old friend and cycling buddy Cyril. After dropping off the present and having a birthday cup of coffee I set off on the rest of my ride out the back of Wellingborough into some parts of Northamptonshire I hadn’t visited before. The outward part took me to the lakes at Ringstead, An old fly fishing venue of mine and around and back via Sharnbrook in Bedfordshire and back home.
This ride was full of events.. namely 3 punctures and one crash. The roads were very damp, it wasn’t raining, but it had been so they were quite slippy and some grit obviously had been washed on the the road as the punctures all occurred within a few miles of each other.
The crash happened while passing through a village. A range Rover started to pull out of somebody’s drive way on a bend in the road then stopped when it saw the horde of cyclists approaching. However one of our group, a new member who I hadn’t seen before applied his front brake and I heard the noise of the crash, looking back I was just in time to see his bike cartwheeling over his head somehow. Some of the group stopped near to the scene and rest of us waited a bit further down the road to avoid congestion.
The facts of the matter were that he is Iranian and he was riding his sons bike. He had obviously hurt his wrist badly, someone suggested it might be broken, to which he allegedly replied. “It is definitely broken, I know these things.. I am a surgeon!!!” So thats going to extend the local hospital waiting list for some time.
The ride continued to Winslow with no more stops. As usual I didn’t stop at the cafe because of the congestion inside and the fact that its only a few miles back from there to Stony Stratford so I carried on back to there and home solo.
MK Bowl training night, Tuesday November 19th
Harry and I went to Milton Keynes Bowl in the evening, a big open air concert venue. The perimeter road its about a kilometre and a bit around and is like an oval on a tilt, so you get a climb and descent every lap. It is used for circuit racing in the summer and is open for training Tuesday evenings in the winter. It was a vain attempt to be able to squeeze some more miles in for Harry. It wasn’t too successful though. Although there is some dim perimeter lighting, one stretch was completely without lights so, with that and the bitter cold we soon gave that up and came home. I didn’t want him coming off and breaking his leg again!!
I went out for a ride with Harry in place of the club ride today. We managed around thirty miles but he is still finding it tough going I think. The only problem is its hard to see when we can get any extra riding in during the winter for him. Maybe in the school Christmas break we might manage some rides if the weather is favourable. But I think after Christmas he will be rugby training and running again which will get him into shape again I am sure.
This was one of my concocted routes created on the Garmin site. It turned out to be quite hilly for the first few miles of the unknown section but it was OK despite that, an interesting route I will do again. After a break for a cup of coffee in Oundle I set off again. The return leg was a slight variation on the one one did for the Oundle ride about a month ago. I was just about running out of fuel when I got home, the tank was just about drained.
I took delivery of the latest addition to my bike stable on this day, a Ribble Audax / Training / Winter bike. It arrived in a great big box all pre-assembled and set up apart from fitting the seat pin, saddle and the handlebars. I was anxious to give it a try and after I had done the final assembly I set off for a short spin in the remaining hour and a bit of daylight. It was on this trip that I realised they had fitted the wrong chainset when I discovered I was a long way up the rear cassette to get up the hills!. They had fitted a 39-53 chainset and I had ordered a compact 34-50, my chainset configuration of choice these days. When I got home I quickly called Ribble and they said they would try to catch that afternoons parcel post but were not hopeful and I would probably get it today.. (Monday). Well it did arrive today, however… the parcel contained anther 39-53 chainset Grrrrr.. So I am now awaiting the delivery of another one tomorrow.. fingers crossed !!! Hopefully it will arrive early enough for me to do the swap and still get out on my planned ride.
Another eventful club ride, this time to Carlton, one of my favourite cafes. More punctures today, 3 altogether plus another crash on a muddy part of road surface apparently. I wasn’t there at the time as three of us had peddled on slowly to keep warm while they fixed the second puncture. we had followed on from another pair who had also elected to keep moving and warm. However, the group never caught us up and we assumed there had been more hold-ups as there were and we never caught up the other two either. At least we had reduced the size of the group somewhat, which at the start had been quite big. Everybody was back together again at the cafe when we got the saga of the puncture and crash. The crash victim didn’t look to badly off, a painful wrist and a bit of road rash on her leg despite wearing long tights. A good warning to take care out there on the wintery country roads..
This was just another little ride to bump up my mileage for the week.. a local loop using well used roads, used by me and my bike anyway.. apart from us its usually pretty quiet..
So thats another bunch of catch ups done.. I really am going to try to keep things up to date. News isn’t news after a few days.
Things have quietened down on the home front a bit now but Christmas is looming. The weather being what it is though ride opportunities may diminish despite my best intentions..