The weather forecasters threatened light showers for the afternoon but I was keen to do at least 39 miles, to get the March total up to 300. With the wind coming from the SW, I decided to do a longish version of the time-honoured Twycross Bypasser. So I did, going up to Packington at the top and down to Fenny Drayton at the bottom.
Apart from a couple of brief episodes of very light rain, the weather was lovely – spring-like and sunny. Very nice to go along Mythe Lane again, I haven’t been down that way for a while.
I stopped for a wee and a cheese pasty at a regular off-road farm gate along Fenn Lanes and to amuse myself, I took stock of the various objects littering the ground around me. I saw wood screws, plastic wall plugs, an empty blister pack that once contained Nurofen or similar, a discarded latex glove and six tins of paint with black & yellow tape wrapped round them bearing the words ENVIRO CRIME HAZARD – DO NOT CROSS.
I was going to take Boardman II but noticed that the rear tyre is completely flat. Something else to do at the weekend, then. I took the X.
That was actually a lovely ride out and I wouldn’t have done that route if I hadn’t particularly wanted to do 39 miles. Happy I did. Back on 41.34 which takes me to 303 this month. Given the awful weather and having been out of the country for a week, I’m not displeased with that even if it is below target. I’m ahead of the game in the bigger picture, anyway.
A dry day was forecast for today, and we haven’t had many of those this month.
One of those rare days when the wind was so light that I wouldn’t get a substantial headwind whichever way I went. My first idea was to go down to Welford on the southbound route, but I checked the weather forecast and it was more likely to rain south of here. So I decided to head east. I left work indecently early to do a fondo to Eastwell and back.
I don’t normally like to take a bike that’s just had a new part fitted for more than a short run, but I was curious to see how the Roubaix rode with its new seat post. I took the appropriate Allen keys with me and crossed my fingers. It was fine. Actually I didn’t even need to adjust anything, I seem to have got the setup pretty much spot on. Definitely seems to have improved the ride, as well.
A little bit cooler than I’d have liked, otherwise it was lovely out there – sunny most of the way there and back. I took Narrow Lane to come back via Rempstone and Wymeswold on the way back.
Listened to LBC and 5 Live mostly, but I also listened to Out Of Our Heads – the third Rolling Stones album. Mostly R&B covers again. No original tunes. Certainly no recognisable Stones classics. They certainly took a while to find their voice (although to be fair I think they’d already recorded Satisfaction by this time, but that was released only as a single).
Back well before sunset, which this evening took place at a very agreeable 7:31pm, on 63.02 miles. That was the second fondo this month and I’ve done 261 miles now in March, so it hasn’t been a disaster. Just a disappointment.
A very similar day to yesterday – mostly sunny, too windy, occasional fierce showers. But with the likelihood that the precipitation had dried up by mid-afternoon, I set off at 1500 on the Lower Westbound route. Since I did 30 miles yesterday I only wanted to do 30 or so today. I got as far as Croxall then turned back to come home the same way.
Here’s an odd thing. The last mile or so of the ride up to and including Croxall didn’t seem familiar at all .. I’d started to think I must have missed a turn. But I hadn’t, I was definitely on the same route I’ve done at least six or seven times.
Anyway .. back on 32.35 miles, and that’s 198 this month.
I listened to Scotland vs Cyprus, then Gilles Peterson on 6 Music, then Steely Dan’s Aja. Then, just because it was next in the alphabetic sequence, my music player app kicked off Chick Corea’s Akoustic Band album unprompted. I hadn’t heard it for years. My mum bought it for me as a Christmas present in 1993.
Really beautiful out there, perfect weather for that particular route with its lovely views. What had started as an initiative just to add a bit of distance to the monthly total turned out to be one of my favourite rides of the year so far.
Back ten minutes after sunset so I was cutting it fine; I didn’t have a front light of any description with me.
Mostly a pleasant day today, but just as I was thinking of defying the weather forecast to ride a bicycle, a brutal shower passed over.
But it was back to business as usual ten minutes later. Half an hour later I decided to risk it. I assumed I probably would get rained on, but I hoped it would be short-lived.
Very mild, mostly sunny. But very windy. I did a Twycross Bypasser. The headwind proved a struggle over the first half of the ride, but I enjoyed the tailwind when I looped back north and east.
I didn’t get rained on.
Back on 30.10 miles, which brings the March total to a paltry 166 miles. The weather for the rest of the month looks poor but maybe I can get it up to 240 or so. Damage limitation really, but there’s plenty of time to make up the distance later in the year.
Frequent showers were touted to be likely this afternoon, so I sneaked out for a couple of hours at lunchtime in the hope of avoiding them. The wind was coming from the south, and the rainfall radar suggested I was more likely to avoid getting rained on down that way, so down south I went. I did the southbound route as far as Kirkby Lane and came back.
I didn’t get rained on at all and actually it was really nice out there. Sunny and spring-like. Back on 23.07 miles. That was only the third ride this month and they’ve all been short, but fingers crossed I’ll get a fondo in on Sunday. 70 miles done this month.
Didn’t think I’d get an opportunity for a first ride back from my holiday today but the weather was relatively pleasant, so I took an extended lunch and did a Twycrosser. Didn’t want to do more than 20 miles really as it was highly likely to rain later in the afternoon. I was half expecting to get rained on while I was out.
A bit windy. I ended up doing 26.36 miles. I picked up a very slight hail shower, and a few spots of rain but mostly it was sunny. I did see rain in the distance a couple of times, as captured in this pic at the Gibbet Post. But I dodged it successfully myself.
That’s a mere 47 miles so far this month, and I think the March target (311) is a long shot given the weather outlook.
A rain-free day was promised, not too cold and not overly windy. Clearly I had an opportunity to do the March fondo on my hands.
I’d intended to set off at about 1000 this morning but slept in until 0950. But I was off on the Roubaix by about 1040.
I did the Upper Westbound route, which has now been modified so that it doesn’t take a left turn to Marston Montgomery at the north-western end, because that turned out to be a bit rubbish last time – gravelly and twisty. So I pushed up Ashbourne Road and turned back after about 31.5 miles.
On the way back, after Melbourne, I decided on a whim to take a left turn to Wilson instead of coming back the usual way. Partly because I couldn’t be bothered with Rotter’s Rise, but partly because I thought it would squeeze a bit of adventure out of the ride. I don’t actually know the best way home from Wilson so I thought it would be fun to navigate my own way back. As it happens I took two really stupid turns that elongated my ride significantly, in both cases because I thought it would be the quickest way back.
I did come to regret my impromptu orienteering because I had to negotiate quite a lot of sharp climbs. Still – nice run out overall. Back on 66.06 miles.
Listened to the rest of the Reacher novel, The Hard Way. Very good. The story moves from downtown Manhattan to rural Norfolk, and I must say the voice actor who reads the audiobook doesn’t come anywhere near getting the Norfolk accent right for the locals who speak in the book. They sound something like a cross between a slow-witted Irishman and an Eastern European.
I enjoyed being out on the Roubaix again for the first time since August but I think the saddle is set a bit lower than my other bikes. But I may acquire a carbon seat post for it soon.
Not a lot of time today, but I wanted to do 20 or so to get the March campaign off to a modest start. A cold wind was blowing from the NE. I went up through Coalville toward Zouch, then turned for Long Whatton and came back down via Diseworth, Top Brand, Coleorton.
I didn’t wrap up warm enough and I was too cold. But at least it was dry. Back on 20.52 miles.
One thing I’ve noticed about the S Works is that it’s much better geared, at least for me, than the X. I definitely find myself using a greater variety of gears over both chainrings, whereas on the X the big chainring doesn’t get used that much. Something to think about if/when the time comes to replace the cassette.
Nice run out. The conditions weren’t so hostile with a bit of a tailwind.
Note the flimsy-looking frame pack currently attached to the frame. It was very cheap, but it’s very light. I had to truncate the velco straps with a hot paint scraper, they were far too long.