Downed tools at about 4:30 and retrieved the red Boardman from the
garage. Thought I’d do a Twycrosser, since I didn’t do one at the
weekend. Dry enough weather. From the forecast and the Met Office
rainfall radar it looked like I might pick up a brief shower.
Interestingly the roof of my car was wet indicating that a shower had
occurred, but it must have been brief because you couldn’t tell from
looking at the roads.
It was very flippin’ blowy though, not
to mention a bit cold. After the first couple of minutes I decided to
keep it short, just a statutory 15 miles to get me out of rowing machine
duties – but as time wore on I got used to it and decided to
perservere. I did do the intended 21+ miles. Picked up a bit of rain
later on but very light.
Only had a little blinky flasher
front light with me and I’d intended to be back while there was enough
light, but unfortunately I had to take a phone call for ten minutes a
mile or two north of Twycross, which upset my timing a bit. Ended up
relying on passing and oncoming cars to illuminate the road in front of
me over the last mile and a half.
Because I pushed a bit
harder than usual after Twycross to get home before dark, my knees feel
slightly knackered now. But I hope my strategy of working them regularly
will help them to recover. Eventually.
My Soleus GPS claimed
22.23 miles when I stopped recording and Strava took it at its word,
but I knew that about half a mile of that was LIES due its GPS doping
habit so I dutifully pressed the “recalculate” button on Strava to get a
more realistic 21.80. And that’s 44 this month, not too shabby.
Did a modest 22 miles earlier on to kick off the March campaign, but didn’t do a Twycrosser this time. Thought I’d do something different, and I fashioned a route that would take me through Coalville, up through Whitwick and up to Belton, then across to Diseworth, just south of Donington then home via my old way back from the office. This would have given me 20.35 miles, so I was a little puzzled when I realised that I’d end up doing at least 22. As it turns out, I took a wrong turn at Diseworth that resulted in me taking a longer loop round at the top, though I didn’t realise it until later.
Boardman was once again my instrument of preference today. Mostly nice
out there, fairly blowy but bright and dry. I mostly took at easy,
though I put my boot down a bit in the middle 7 or 8 miles as I’m on
call, and was taking a bit of a risk being more than a few miles from
home. Could have done without the headwind over the later part of the
The Boardman has started doing that annoying thing
where the transmission is a bit juddery in the smallest 3 cogs at the
back – I can’t remember how I fixed it last time; new cassette, new
chain or both. But it’s not that bothersome at the moment, I don’t use
those gears that often. I’ll have have to have a look back through this
thread to find out what I did to fix it before.
blue purse lying in the grass just off the road about a mile from home.
Stopped to have a look – it was rather damp, but contained quite a few
debit / credit / loyalty cards and a driving licence with a name and
address, so I brought it back with me. No cash in it of course. Took it
round to the specified address in the car shortly after I got home, and
the lady to whom it belonged was very surprised to see it – said it had
been taken from her bag in a supermarket before Christmas. She gave me a
£5 reward – I honestly did my best to refuse it, but she was so
insistent that it actually seemed rude to argue the point. So I accepted
it gratefully and humbly, and shall stick it in the breast cancer
It’s March, and my spready has recalculated the monthly targets for me to hit 2112 miles this year based on the remaining 1749 miles; this month’s requirement is 168. The biggest target is June’s, at 210.
Since I did 185 in Feb and it’s a short month it would be rude not to jack up the yearly target a bit. I’ll say 2500 for now.
The weather forecast for the weekend has improved a bit. Cloudy and a bit blowy, but no rain.
As planned, I downed tools early to go cycling in the beautiful
quasi-summer weather we’ve been having. I wore a mere two layers on top,
and shorts. Possibly the earliest date in the year that I’ve ever
cycled with my legs out, but needless to say I was certainly adequately
warm. Perhaps not having shaved them helped. And I wore a helmet, for
what I think is the first time this year. Clearly a woolly hat is not
appropriate in this weather. I wore a peaked sport cap on Sunday.
took the X with me this time, bringing to an end a run of 448
consecutive miles on the red Boardman. The X certainly felt different – a
fair bit lighter and more refined – and it made light work of the
slightly-longer-than-Sunday Twycross that I embarked upon. I set off 20
minutes earlier than Sunday with the hope of being back in bright
daylight, and I’m pleased to say that I achieved that. A slightly later
sunset and a quicker bike also helped, of course.
Really nice to be out on the green one again for the first time in four months.
a Twycross version that I’ve probably done quite a few times; straight
through Twycross to Sheepy then back along Gibbet Lane. Knees did OK,
feeling a bit sore now but I think they’ll be back to what passes for
normal these days by Thursday.
My new DAB radio performs
beautifully – it sounds great and even hangs on to the 5 Live DAB signal
in what I’d hitherto assumed to be a DAB black spot just south of
Heather. It’s just a shame that it only does 5 hours on a single charge
(according to the manual). The supplied earplugs are of decent quality
but protrude a bit and pick up wind noise – I shall replace them with my
favourite variant of Sennheisers.
Annoyingly the X’s bike
computer ran out of juice (a CR2032 in this case) after about a mile and
I was using my phone in my jacket to track the ride, so had no
functioning odometer. But I didn’t really need one.
wildlife of any note but a very pleasant 21.79 miles. A couple more than
I want to be doing at this stage really but having a quicker / lighter
bike is a mitigating factor.
looking at the track on Strava, I’m struck by how accurate it is,
following the road really smoothly and closely. I used the same phone to
track a walk in the City last week and it was all over the place –
jagged and wobbly. I think reflections from tall buildings must
interfere quite a bit.
Lovely day. Unfortunately I’d booked lunch for 2pm at a local hostelry. I
was determined to do 20 miles or so, and decided to do them after lunch
rather than before as it was a bit cool and misty in the morning.
Perhaps more hazy than misty, but anyway – afternoon seemed a better bet
with temperatures slated to climb quite a bit from 1pm or so.
hoped to be out of there by 3:15pm or so but due to their pitifully
slow service – I’ll be crucifying them on Tripadvisor later – I hadn’t
mounted the Boardman until just after 4pm. Just enough time though for a
decent run out without resorting to a powerful front light.
planned a route which I thought would give me a bit more than 20 miles,
but it didn’t, for some reason. Must have got it mixed up with another
I used my Soleus GPS watch to track the route. To my
amazement it spontaneously started using BST time about half-way through
the ride after I fiddled with the buttons. But it looks like an update
to my Windows lappy has buggered up Java on it, and I haven’t been able
to upload the track to Strava.
My right knee was feeling a
bit sore before I set off so I thought I’d try my tendon strap again. It
did hold up pretty well through the ride. My left knee has started
giving a bit of discomfort after 10 miles or so, which it wasn’t before I
did that stupid 50 miler two weeks ago.
of an unusual route, this one. I stopped short of Twycross again to
head left to Bilstone, but this time I went straight through and on to
Carlton, then back up the usual way from there. I don’t think I’d done
that stretch of road between Bilstone and Carlton before but it was
lovely – very quiet and scenic, but well-surfaced. Not muddy. I’ll
incorporate it into a longer Twycross route.
Home with the very last of the light.
Don’t know if I’ll be able to get the track off the watch. But 19.64, which takes me over target this month to 163 miles.
Looking at the weather, a run out on Tuesday looks on the cards. Sunset at 17:38. I’ll try to finish work early.
No cycling today, shame as the weather is glorious. But I did hose out the Boardman’s chain with GT85 and relubed it. I think it was the filthiest I’ve ever seen it. Managed to get most of the gunk off the jockey wheels – it was coming off in hard chunks.
Also gave the grimier parts of the nether regions (the bike’s, not mine) a wipe with a GT85-soaked rag. It deserves a proper clean, really. Maybe in the summer.
In other news – I’ve bought a new personal DAB, you can’t have too many. At 55g it’s the lightest one I own. Doesn’t have removable batteries so not that useful for a long ride. Also bought myself a new bike lock while wandering around Spitalfields on Wednesday. Not ultra secure as it uses a simple two-prong key to unlock. Not much more than a sort of steel-reinforced plastic tie. But again, very light at 27g including the key.
Lovely sunny afternoon – mild, only slightly blowy and dry so with a
decent quantity of post-4pm daylight on offer and the legs seeming to
have recovered somewhat from their 50 mile indulgence a couple of weeks
ago, I decided I’d go for a shortish spin. Not too far – about 15 miles,
I thought – because I want them to recover properly tomorrow so I can
go out again on Sunday.
Got to the garage and decided I’d take
the Planet X, but realised that the X’s bike computer was in the house.
If I’d had a GPS watch on I’d have been fine of course but I only had
the phone with me. So I took the red Boardman again.
I did the
short version of the Twycross that takes a left at Little Twycross to
Bilstone. Took it easy, really enjoyed myself. Even the farmy smells
seemed to have a certain charm in the almost-spring sunshine.
Anyway I had a run out to
Belton and back, eschewing the “figure of eight” route of old in favour
of a more circular route through Coalville and Thringstone, intended to
moderate the elevation a bit.
Quite pleasant, almost
spring-like. But I had to contend with a bastard of a headwind coming
back south, along Top Brand. Right knee hurt all the way round –
possibly as much a consequence of the slant board exercises I was doing
last night, as recent cycling shennanigans – but I don’t think I’ve done
it any harm and it didn’t get any worse. More typical joint pain than
the stabby, raw pain I get sometimes.
I trialled a new GPS
phone app called “GPS logger” – quite a straightforward app that simply
records your track to a GPX file on the phone, but the interesting thing
is that you can set the logging interval – so you could set it to
record only every 30 seconds, or even once a minute, or longer. Might be
handy for long distances if you need to save phone power. Perhaps
useful for keeping track of where you went on a long car journey.
had it set to record the position every 6 seconds. As you can see from
the following two samples the GPS Logger track is cruder than the Strava
app track which I recorded at the same time, but still does a pretty
good job of tracking the route.
– 15.29, which takes me to 305 this year. Another 29 to do this month
to reach the 156 target. But probably no more cycling until Friday at
the earliest due to other commitments.
Went out on the Boardman this afternoon. Lovely day – mild, bright and
sunny. I’d intended a low elevation route to the Gibbet Post and back
which would have been about 15-16 miles. I’d picked it out by perusing
my activity record on Strava, sorting them by distance and looking for
the low elevation ones in the 15-16 mile range.
my usual absent-minded self I realised by the time I got to Snarestone
that I’d basically ignored my plan, and was doing a Twycross on
auto-pilot. As I neared Twycross though I turned left along Bilstone
Road to Bilstone and Congerstone, to keep it short. Home on 16.73 miles.
knees experienced a bit of discomfort. Possibly I did give myself a
setback at the weekend by doing nigh-on 50 miles. It’s a long journey.
What the destination is I don’t know, but anyway I will be good and
increase my distances in 2 mile per week increments as instructed by
Physio 2. I’ll start from 16 miles, unless my knees improve markedly in
which case I’ll consider my setback to be temporary and bump up the
distances a bit more.
Lovely view of the daytime 2/3 full
Moon in a clear blue sky throughout. One or two buzzards around, flying
high against the blue backdrop.
The battery on my old Forerunner 10 died with about two miles to go. I suppose I’ll give up on it. Once again I synthesised the track by looking on Strava for the last time I’d done the same ride, exporting the GPX, editing it to remove 8 metres or so where I overshot a turn (because I didn’t do that this time) and to change the timestamps. I used a graphical tool called gpsprune. Nice & easy. Uploaded the modified version to Strava, job done.
Took a late, long lunch break and did a Twycross on the Boardman. Right knee was still feeling a bit aggravated from doing (very nearly) 50 miles on Saturday. I took it easy but still got pain in both knees after 8 miles or so. Nothing debilitating and I was able to complete 23.56 miles without suffering too much, but perhaps I gave myself a bit of a setback on Saturday. It does feel as though there’s a trend toward them getting better eventually. I was having to hop upstairs in July, and although I feel a bit of a pain in the right knee still I can at least ascend them normally now.
I’ll see how they feel at the weekend anyway, with another three or four days off.
Anyway quite a pleasant run out, disregarding concerns about my anatomy. Not too blowy, not overly cold. Bright to start off then a bit overcast and gloomy. Then dark-ish, but I had lights. Was back while there was still enough light to see the road without a powerful beam at the front (just had a cheapo LED blinker with me).
So that’s 95 this month, leaving me with 61 to do in the rest of Feb. 273 done this year.
Going to stick to 20 or so for a week or two I think. I hadn’t actually intended to do as many as 23 today. Just mentally miscalculated. I suppose I should keep a handy list of familiar routes and their distances.