Author Topic: RIDES 2018 — add yours here  (Read 5773 times)

PH

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #90 on: April 16, 2018, 10:45:45 AM »
Thanks for your comments on my ride report, but Andre Jute it was a nice bike ride, nothing in any way heroic about it!  By Audax standards not even a tough one, little climbing and almost perfect weather conditions.  Audax is indeed meant to be audacious,  not just the name of a bike!  It's my excuse for obsessing about minor aspects of comfort and speed, just 1 kph slower would have added over half an hour on that ride and any discomfort that might be tolerable for six hours becomes a pain at twelve and unbearable at twenty. 
Another 300 planned for next weekend, an interesting timescale starting at 11pm, at least I won't have the problem of getting up early enough ;)
Haven't decided which bike...

Neil Jones

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #91 on: April 16, 2018, 01:29:53 PM »
Thoroughly enjoyed reading your ride report and looking at the photos.

Love the setup on your Mercury, it looks perfect for a long distance comfortable ride.

Regards,
Neil

jags

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #92 on: April 16, 2018, 04:06:33 PM »
horse of a man
300 audax rides wow, maybe if i was 30 years younger ;)
great looking bike for sure.

anto.

in4

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #93 on: April 16, 2018, 06:24:22 PM »
What a fabulous ride on a splendid Mercury.
I used to live in Alfreton :)

Andre Jute

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #94 on: April 16, 2018, 10:38:50 PM »
It's my excuse for obsessing about minor aspects of comfort and speed, just 1 kph slower would have added over half an hour on that ride and any discomfort that might be tolerable for six hours becomes a pain at twelve and unbearable at twenty.

I take your point well, Paul. Time is definitely a factor in ergonomics.

I used to walk the hills and ride in groups with a fellow who if he forgot his walking boots would just wear anyone's spare wellingtons even on 30km walks over pretty difficult mountains, and if he was without a bike because we all packed in the same car for rides a long distance away and the car rack took only three bikes, would just ride any bike he was offered. I saw him again after a break of ten years or so and he was just like me, boots had to fit perfectly or he'd sit out the walk, and his bike had to fit to the millimeter because he'd wrecked his back up a Swiss mountain with the consequence that what was once to him a minor inconvenience even for many hours had suddenly become instantly unbearable.

jags

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #95 on: April 17, 2018, 01:18:39 PM »
kinda know how you friend feels Andre i was that soldier ::) i'm a feckin wreck these days.
just back from a hospital visit, more drugs hopefully these will work a bit better fingers crossed.

anto.

PH

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #96 on: April 17, 2018, 03:45:29 PM »
kinda know how you friend feels Andre i was that soldier ::) i'm a feckin wreck these days.
just back from a hospital visit, more drugs hopefully these will work a bit better fingers crossed.

anto.
Hope the drugs do the job, it's a reminder to us all to make the most of what health we have. 
Audax isn't necessarily age related, I wouldn't like to guess the average but the predominant hair colour is grey for those who still have some! It does favour those who are time rich, and it isn't as physically intense as some other forms of cycling (Unless you want it to be!)  I was riding a section on Sat with someone who is at least twenty years my senior, until they decided they wanted to get to the cafe and disappeared into the distance...

Andre Jute

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #97 on: April 18, 2018, 12:04:20 AM »
kinda know how you friend feels Andre i was that soldier ::) i'm a feckin wreck these days.
just back from a hospital visit, more drugs hopefully these will work a bit better fingers crossed.

I used to say, as I walked into my doctor's surgery, "How goes the trial-and-error business?" Now that he rides with me, I say only nice things ;D.

49kph winds here, with a nasty wind chill factor. But the forecast was dry, and one of the benefits of living in such hilly country is lots of valleys, so I planned a short excursion on lanes through valleys with a minimum of exposed hilltops. As I pushed my bike out of the door, I was hit by heavy rain. So much for a ride.

jags

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #98 on: April 18, 2018, 12:23:51 PM »
lovely up here Andre just back from a walk had to get out of the house  it was closing in on me  ::)
lets hope we have a crackin summer we fully deserve it after this horrible winter .

anto.

PH

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #99 on: April 24, 2018, 12:30:32 PM »
Another lovely weekend to be out riding. Sat at 11pm (Yes that's PM) saw around 30 riders line up for the start of the Plains 300km Audax

Plains 300 start by Paul, on Flickr

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to get round to riding this.  I love riding through the night, it’s probably my favourite distance and the start is an easy train ride away. Maybe I was just waiting for the perfect night, in which case I chose well.  I was just settling into a solo ride at my usual steady pace, when I found myself in company, first with a couple from Glasgow then joined shortly after by three local guys.  It used to be that good lights got you company on a night section, now it seems that reliable navigation has the same effect.  They were happy to ride at my pace and I was glad of the company.  Past Jodrell Bank looking spooky in the dark and easy riding down to the McDs in Whitchurch, busy with cyclists but could have been quicker.  Nice easy miles down to Dinkys, where the one guy serving/cooking/card stamping/cleaning up… could have given McDs lessons in efficiency. Fed, cards stamped and with the day breaking came my favourite part of the route, rolling along on almost deserted roads and some picturesque border villages.  Nice enough to ride twice, which is just as well as after Newtown and the 2nd McDs of the night that’s just what we did.
The little group started breaking up on the return, I’d been surprised and pleased that it’d stayed together so long, it’d made for a very pleasant night. Quick stop back at Dinkys, which was now very busy with none cyclists and on to where the route deviates from the one down.  This last section was surprisingly undulating and the most rural of the ride.  Very enjoyable in the sunshine, but slower going, I was glad to have enough of a time buffer for speed to not be a consideration and took it easy.  Was glad to see Jodrell Bank again, though not as close as on the way out.  The forecast of thunderstorms never materialised and I’d been glad to have only seen half an hour of drizzle – until a mile from the finish when I got a proper soaking.  Card handed over in the car park and dived into the Costa for a coffee, where I waited in the company of several riders till the rain had passed and I headed to the Travelodge (1 mile from the start and £26 if boked well in advance) for some much needed sleep.

Dinkys by Paul, on Flickr

Monday morning after a good nights sleep, I found it hard to get going.  The route home took me over a few hills to the Gorgeous Goyt Valley, where I crossed Errwood reservoir followed another bit of a climb before a blistering decent down Long Hill into Buxton and breakfast.  I'd planned a scenic route  home from here, but needing to be at work in the evening, I opted for the easy options with a combination of trails and the A6. Home with an hour to spare before leaving for work!

Top of Long Hill by Paul, on Flickr

Monsal Trail by Paul, on Flickr

jags

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #100 on: April 24, 2018, 04:02:34 PM »
class 8) 8)

Andre Jute

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #101 on: April 25, 2018, 01:04:40 AM »
class 8) 8)

+1.

Super report and photos, Paul. Love the composition of those two night-time shots.

John Saxby

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #102 on: May 03, 2018, 02:21:09 AM »
May 1st – finally some decent weather for a first ride of 2018 up into the Gatineau Hills! Tuesday was sunny and warm, temps in the high teens with little wind. I’d been looking forward to this ride up into the hills across river for a couple of weeks, but Winter’s Last Shudder postponed it. At last, though, both skies and roads were clear, even if spring is about three weeks late. My ride was a short one—just less than two hours there and back to the lookout over Pink Lake—but it included the first hill I’d climbed since my adventures Down Unda in the hills of the Queensland/NSW border country in February.

There were lots of cyclists on the roads in the Gatineau Park, most going further than I was, up to Champlain Lookout, for me a 3½ hr return journey. That will have to wait ‘til later this week. There were hikers and runners too, and mums with strollers. Motor traffic isn’t allowed until the middle of May or a little later, so my ride was peaceful and stress-free. Cyclists, walkers, runners, and mums-with-little-ones all waved to each other.

But the landscape was pretty much devoid of colour. Things I Didn’t See included fresh greenery. Beyond the conifers and the first tinge of new grass in the roadside verges, there was no green to be seen. In our back yard in the city, the crocuses have bloomed, and the tulips are poking their leaves above the earth. The first buds on the maples, birches, and our crabapple tree are visible, although still tightly furled. Up into the hills, however, even in the lower slopes where I was, there were no flowers at all, and the hardwoods still wore last November’s drab garb. (See photos 1, 2 and 3 below.)

Other Things I Didn’t See included wildlife, except for a solitary woodchuck (a.k.a. as a groundhog) which waddled into the bush when I startled him/her. Strange things happen to your memory on the bike: free association recovered this nonsense riddle from my childhood on the farm –
   How much wood would a woodchuck chuck
   If a woodchuck could chuck wood?


OTOH, because there were no cars, other Things I Didn’t See included, happily, beer cans and pop bottles along the roadside, nor Tim Horton’s throwaway coffee cups (throwing away the coffee, I can understand and applaud – but littering the countryside with paper cups??), nor Styrofoam fast-food containers, nor foil-and-plastic chocolate-bar wrappers--all things which appear in the park after motorists do. I do see the occasional banana skin rotting by the roadside—possibly/plausibly pitched by a cyclist—but the wretched non-decomposables are something else entirely.

I stopped for a view of Pink Lake at the top of the hill. The first and third photos show that there’s still a layer of rotten ice covering about 75% of the lake.  That will be gone in a few days, as will the last remnants of snow banks along the roadside in the lee of slopes facing northeast – cross-country skiers were still enjoying the park in mid-April. (A reference point: photo 4, taken two weeks ago, shows large areas of ice on the Ottawa River.)

Osi the Raven has had a few tweaks, some of them visible in photo #2:
  • The tires you see are my spiffy Compass 26 x 1.8 Naches Pass items, still in use because I’ve had no more punctures (yet?)  They roll so well that they give me at least one gear higher than my 1.6 Marathon Supremes in similar conditions. Maybe I'll use them for light touring after all…
  • I’m trying out a 7-ltr Axiom P7 “Seymour” handlebar bag. It cost me just over Cdn$50 (tax included). The main compartment is about 3 cms larger (L x H) than the main compartment on the smaller (3.8 ltr) P4 Axiom bag which I use for day rides, and the P7 also has a zippered front pocket. At just 202 gms, the P7 weighs substantially less than my Arkel small h’bar bag (950 gms without the mounting hardware), although the Arkel of course has an outstanding mounting system. I’m planning a short tour later this summer in south-western Ontario where I won’t be camping, so I’ll see how the P7 works for that sort of light touring, along with my Revelate Tangle frame bag and my Arkel Dry-lite rear panniers. Carrying a camera, sunglasses, and snack, it slouches a bit, so we’ll see how it behaves with my usual load of touring “stuff”.
  • The Raven now has Shim A520 PSD touring pedals (hard to see, I know). The bearings in my Look Kéo pedals finally wore out 14 years after I bought them from Bruce Reyneke cycles in Pretoria. They didn’t owe me anything, but before replacing like with like, I took the opportunity to check out MTB shoes which might be OK for walking off the bike. I was doubtful about finding some, because I have hard-to-fit feet. I was interested in the Shim XC5 [http://www.shimano-lifestylegear.com/us/fw/products/offroad/18ss_002xc5.php], which has had good reviews. It wasn’t wide enough for my feet, for which the Sidi Genius Mega (size 45) is a good fit. To my surprise, I found that the Bontrager Katan (in a size 46) fits me as well as the Sidis, and at a reasonable price, about Cdn$110 less than the Sidis. After a month of testing, I’ve found that they are as comfortable as the Sidis on the bike, and work far better off the bike. So, I’ll keep them for touring, and for day rides on my Raven; the Sidis + Look Kéo setup will remain on my Eclipse derailleur bike. The A520 pedals work well enough, though they don’t click in with the same authoritative SNAP as the Look Kéos.
  • Not visible is my soon-to-be-replaced Shim UN55 bottom bracket. For some time now, I’ve had a heavy click/light clank under “power” on the right side, and a noticeable (if not serious) notchy feeling at one or two points in the rotation of the crank arms. I’ll replace it with another UN55: this one has lasted about 12,000 kms, and at a cost of Cdn$40, it’s a fraction the cost of an SKF or Chris King BB. I’ll replace the new Shim BB when my sprocket wears out, probably another 10-11,000 kms hence. The A-word is part of my reckoning, of course—if I thought I could put some serious mileage on an SKF or Chris King product I’d buy one. (What’s the A-word, you ask? “Age”, of course, mon vieux.)

More reports and photos to come -- but I'll wait until I can include some photos with wildflowers and some new foliage on the trees.
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Danneaux

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #103 on: May 03, 2018, 03:36:06 AM »
Terrific photos, John, and Osi? Even more handsome than usual.  :)

All the best,

Dan.

Andre Jute

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Re: RIDES 2018 — add yours here
« Reply #104 on: May 03, 2018, 05:12:10 AM »
And invigorating report, John. Excellent, interesting photos too, especially the icy river. Brrr. (Remind me sometime to tell you of the extended family of artists who came to live on the other side of Ireland near Galway. After just one winter they moved to West Cork, on the other side of the country, and usefully southwards, because it is 2 degrees warmer her.)

On Sunday, going stir crazy, I went riding in a forecast short fair spell. It looked good and wasn't too unpleasant if one didn't ride fast enough to get a major wind in the face. But at 5km from home the forecast fair spell shrunk and heavy rain fell, so I was forced to turn for home, fortunately downhill all the way from where the rain caught me.

We have some of the same climate weirdness here that you observed in the flora. In our living room patio and protected orchard some plants are showing signs of believing spring is due; indeed, on our street the cherry trees blossomed in February and then were decimated by hailstorms; a couple of weeks ago we had snow, which simply isn't normal here.