Wanted to make the most of the dry weather while it lasts (the rain’s
due back tomorrow) so I left work early and mounted the S Works. I
wanted to do at least 41, which would bring this month’s distance count
to the highest monthly total since August 2016. A moderate breeze was
blowing from the east, so I went that way, on the usual route toward
I clocked up about 26 outbound miles, then turned back.
but cloudy and cooler than of late, so it was back on with multiple
layers and tights. Normally I have two different options for coming back
from that route over the last few miles, either through Thringstone or
Coleorton. Today on a whim I took an earlier turn, which joins the A512
for a longer stretch. I haven’t done that for at least three years
because A roads usually aren’t my idea of fun, but I assumed it would be
quieter this evening. Perhaps it was but there was still a fair amount
Noticed a sign for a “Christian rehabilitation centre” near Six Hills. Nice that you can get help with that.
I did get a bit of right knee pain later on. A reminder that I do still need to exercise a bit of restraint and caution.
Thought I’d do maybe 50 or so, today. Didn’t get up particularly early
and I was on call. Set off on the S Works at about 10:30 with no
particular plan in mind, except that I’d go north, then south so that I
wouldn’t stray too far from base.
I went up Top Brand in the direction of Donington then turned left for Melbourne at Isley Walton. Thought of going up over Swarkestone Bridge but decided to pedal over to Ticknall instead. I used to do that route quite often but haven’t done it more than once or twice in the last couple of years, probably in order to avoid a short but unpleasantly steep climb which I have named Bastard Hill.
Stopped to take the following pic along Heath Lane. As I examined it on the phone I looked up to notice a couple standing on the other side of the gate, a few feet away. I was politely asked if I minded if they came past, which confused me for a moment as there was plenty of space for them to do so. Had I not stepped back a couple of feet they would have passed within 5 feet at least, for a fraction of a second. But of course I smiled pleasantly and complied.
down through Ashby, which although most of the shops were closed looked
a lot like a typical Saturday; plenty of people walking along the main
shopping street. I noticed that I had to wait for a gap in the traffic
to cross the A511 this time, as well. All of which reinforces my opinion
that the restrictions on movement are only sustainable at their maximum
effect for a limited time, and the government was exactly right to
introduce them with careful and deliberate timing. I notice in today’s
news that Philip Hammond is already agitating for an end to the
From Packington I decided to tack on a Twycrosser. I
stopped at Snarestone where I took advantage of the bench there for a
brief lunch. I decided at this point to keep it relatively short. The
wind was a lot stronger than I’d been led to expect by the forecast, one
of the earplugs connected to my DAB personal had stopped working (don’t
yet know if it’s the earplugs or the DAB) and, after all, I was on
call. So I took a left just short of Twycross to come home the
picturesque way along Bilstone Road, then Ibstock. Home on 40.11 miles.
I’d been thinking of doing about 40 after work today to take advantage
of the ongoing lovely weather. I can’t (or shouldn’t) go far tomorrow,
because I’m on call.
But ‘er indoors persuaded me that it might
be nice to have a drink in the garden so I did a shortish one, so I
could be back by 6-ish.
I performed a fairly standard Twycross Bypasser. Just lovely out there. Less windy than the last few days.
the road to Bosworth from Sheepy. Usually I take a left to Carlton
along there but today it was closed for some reason. So I pushed on to
Bosworth and came up the usual way from there.
Definitely more traffic this last week or two.
saw a little girl on a bike near Barton. I’d guess she was about nine
years old (I’m not good with kids’ ages, never had any myself). She had
all the lycra gear on. She was riding a scaled-down proper road bike
with derailleurs and drop bars. It looked much too big for her but she
had no trouble overtaking me. I thought of the decades of cycling she
has ahead of her, if she keeps her interest in it. And if she’s still
riding when she’s my age, I wonder what her bike will look like? And the
roads, and the technology?
Wasn’t really planning on cycling after work today but I happened to
glance out of the window. I still can’t get used to the novelty of
sunny, dry weather! And it would have been a perfect late afternoon for
cycling if not for a fairly powerful wind from the east, again.
set off through Ellistown and Bagworth on the S Works, thinking to go
down to Kirkby Mallory then come back. But I took the road to Bosworth
from Newbold then came the long way home, looping up through Swepstone,
past Measham, and through Packington.
Nice, apart from a real struggle against the wind between Packington and Alton Hill.
Windy today but it seemed a shame to waste a sunny late afternoon, so
I thought I’d do 20 miles or so after leaving work early. Did a fairly
standard short Twycrosser, the version where I stop short of Twycross
and hang a left along Bilstone Road (pictured below) to, er, Bilstone.
Came back through Ibstock.
Quite a brutal headwind going east but it wasn’t cold and the sunshine made up for it a bit.
Thought I’d end up on at least 20 but nope, 18.65. I would have done more if the wind hadn’t been so annoying.
a guy out running with what I think was a stab vest on .. bit odd. Also
saw a chap leaning on a Range Rover looking through powerful-looking
binoculars. A twitcher I think, but it was certainly quiet enough around
there and he wasn’t doing any harm.
Nice weather yesterday, apart from a moderate breeze from the east. A
while ago while experimenting with the Strava route planner, I devised a
route designed to exploit a Corridor of Relative Flatness running
north-east, parallel to the River Trent. Completely new roads after East
Leake and leading ultimately to Newark.
Wasn’t sure I’d go all the way to Newark, but I took plenty of food and fluids in case I did. A rare opportunity to use my Magnum 1.5 litre bidon. I’m not actually sure why I bought it, since I’d normally just refuel with Lucozade Sport or whatever at a garage or shop on a long trip. But since circumstances dictated a strict no-shop strategy yesterday, it came in useful for a change.
I set off at about 07:45 on the
Cannondale. The new part of the route, ie the 33 miles or so between
East Leake and Newark turned out to be a joy – not extremely flat but
mostly pretty level. Nice scenery, interesting little villages. I used
the eTrex for navigation; I’d never have been able to remember all the
turns otherwise. I’ll definitely do that one again. Perhaps I’ll extend
it to Lincoln next time.
Really uncomfortably cold for the first hour or so despite wearing my camo hijab, a fleece layer and tights. But I had to take them off and stuff them in my backpack in the afternoon, by which time I was a bit too hot.
was good and wore a helmet rather than a cap this time, though I did
come to regret it a bit. The trouble with a long ride out east when it’s
sunny is that you get the sun in your eyes both ways.
was nearly taken out by a tractor after only 13 miles – he just came
straight out of a farm entrance while I was passing. Fortunately I
managed to swerve out of the way.
Stopped at a bridge over the A46 on the way back – eerily quiet. The B roads weren’t quite so quiet.
I must say, that was a breeze. Even after 80-odd miles I wasn’t really feeling tired. I assume the fun of exploring a new route combined with the sunshine combined to keep my spirits up and guard against fatigue.
I’ve long held the view that you can find pretty much anything you want
on Amazon and certainly, that was reinforced when a pack of two peaked
cap chinstraps came through the post today. No more worrying about the
wind blowing my cap off!
Basically a stretchy cord (actually a
closely coiled metal spring) with a plastic crocodile clip at each end,
to secure to the cap. Fits nicely, comfortable. A bit blowy today, so
quite a timely arrival.
The wind was coming from the east, so I
went over that way – the usual Lincolnshire route. Lovely weather –
sunny and warm. The headwind wasn’t too much of a bother.
More cars around than of late – I wonder if people are starting to disregard the restrictions.
original plan was to do about 50, but by the time I’d passed Six Hills
I’d decided 40-odd would be enough, and I’d turn round and put my feet
up a bit earlier. But I decided to take a right and explore a road
signposted to Ragdale for a bit first. I did that until I started to
approach Ragdale, down a steep-ish decline. I decided I didn’t want to
bother pushing back up so I stopped and came back the same way, after
about 23 miles.
Nice run out. The combination of a bit of a
tailwind on the way back and a zippy bike was a bit intoxicating so I
put my foot down a bit and got some PRs, something I wouldn’t normally
bother with. Once again I stopped at my favourite log near Cotes and
doped up on a flapjack for the last 12 miles or so. Definitely makes a
big difference, the 6-mile uphill climb back along Ashby road didn’t
really feel like a slog at all. Of course the aforementioned tailwind
and zippy bicycle were also a factor.
Everyone wants to smile or
wave at the moment; pedestrians in the villages, joggers, other
cyclists. I guess the present difficulties have reinforced a sense of
46.47, 361 this month which is (as it happens) exactly my dynamically calculated target for April.
really fancy trying a long (150 mile +) ride again. But I wouldn’t want
to take all my food and drink with me and I can’t really justify going
in shops just to sustain a bike trip.
Another sunny day. Feels like we’re being spoiled at the moment. A lot
cooler though, and it was back on with the tights before I left work
early, at about 3:30. Didn’t have that much time so I did a pretty
standard Twycrosser. Fairly uneventful, but very pleasant. I wore a cap
again. It didn’t actually blow off but I kept thinking it was going to
.. I think I might go on Amazon and look for one with a chin strap. Or
sew one on myself.
Noticed that the phone box at Ratcliffe is
empty at the moment. I assume the dummy that usually lives in there is
being re-clothed, perhaps in some sort of topical virus-themed outfit.
Lovely day – warm but cooler than Friday, sunny, not much wind. I might
have considered doing a long one except that the weather forecast
threatened thunder showers at about 5pm (however I’m writing this after
7:30pm, and they haven’t arrived yet).
I planned a route that would take me up north through Castle Donington, past Melbourne and over Swarkestone Bridge, then west along the long, flat road that runs along the Trent, to Willington or perhaps a little further. Nothing new, nothing fancy.
Really a joy to be pedalling along dry roads in warm sunshine. I can’t get used to it!
passed through Willington and had done about 21 miles, then decided to
turn back at the next road junction. I generally look for some sort of
landmark as the end point in case I have to recreate the track due to a
GPS failure. But when I arrived at a right turn, I decided to take it
and explore for a bit. This took me to a village called Etwall where I
stopped at a bench for ten minutes, then came back. I had briefly
considered continuing on into Derby and fashioning an impromptu route
home from there for a bit of an adventure, but I decided against it.
than come back over Swarkestone Bridge I kept on through Weston, Aston
and Shardlow, before coming home the time-honoured usual way from the
office at Donington.
Really quiet out there again, though I suppose you’d expect that on any Easter Sunday. I stopped on the bridge over the A38 near Willington and didn’t see a single motor vehicle, looking south-east. I thought this was worthy of a photo. However by the time I’d removed and readied the phone, a couple of cars had loomed into view. Rather than wait for the view to clear again, I decided I’d just digitally remove them. And I have.
to wear a cap today rather than a helmet, to keep my eyes shaded. It
blew off as I was coming through Weston, but I backtracked and found it
again a minute later.
Went out and came back through Coleorton.
This involves a few hundred metres of a busy A511, usually following a
wait for a gap in the river of fast-moving traffic. But today it was
clear and I wasn’t overtaken by a single car or lorry either time.
a really pretty bird along the road to Willington – small, with
distinctive white, black and grey plumage. A bit of googling suggests a
pied wagtail, “best looked for near water” so that makes sense.
Properly warm, sunny weather today. A bit windy. I did pretty much my
default route, a Twycross Bypasser. I think I’d have been surprised, a
few weeks ago, to know that I’d do a relatively short route on a whole
day off work like this after all the rubbish weather. But having done a
long one on Wednesday I didn’t really fancy it. Other things to do!
I took the S Works.
quite take enough lime-flavoured water; I’d run out by the end of the
ride which is rare for me. I did actually dress a bit too warm, in a
long-sleeved top. I guess after all the cold weather I’m just not used
to the idea of going out in bare arms. Noticed that the bottle cage was a
bit loose near Sheepy, but I’d brought an Allen key due to having just
made a saddle height adjustment before I set off. Clearly I hadn’t
tightened the bolts properly when I fitted a mini-pump mount the other
I was actually feeling a bit worn out by the time I
completed 27.04 miles. Mostly the heat I think, but partly still not
100% recovered from 84 miles on Wednesday.
1460 done this year now, 720 more than this time last year.