Author Topic: Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++  (Read 1802 times)

Andre Jute

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Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++
« on: January 02, 2019, 01:03:43 AM »
Add your rides in 2019 here so visitors can find inspiration all in the same place. Text and photos* welcome.


Andre Jute: New Year's Day 2019, The Weir and Salmon Ladder, Bandon River, Bandon, Co Cork, Ireland, 800pxh

The light a week after the shortest day of the year is still Irish, but there isn't much of it. As that deep blue sky, and brown trees, and a deep brown-blue river tell you, the sun even at midday is well away in the Southern Hemisphere. I live within spitting distance of the footbridge from which I took this photograph and many of my rides to three sides of the town start here; rides on the fourth side, which is essentially half the cycleable topography, start at my front door. The stone hut is a communal electricity generating venture -- really! -- which every Christmas powers the town's Christmas decorations.

Looking forward to your rides!

* Post by Dan the Mod on size limit of 512Kb per photo at http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=13133.msg98661#msg98661. My large photo above is 121Kb, so Dan's limit is exceedingly generous. Resizing and uploading to the forum are discussed at http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=4313.0
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 01:36:48 AM by Andre Jute »

jags

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Re: Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2019, 02:38:08 AM »
That is beautiful cool part of IRELAND for sure
Hoping we don't get a bad winter.

John Saxby

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Re: Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2019, 03:37:14 PM »
Lovely scene, Andre--so envious!  We have bright sunshine and a cobalt morning sky, but we're still in minus double-digits, and the roads are icy.  Reckon I won't be posting until March, and then it'll be from Queensland.  Meantime, it's skating and X-country skiing.

Thanks for kicking off your regular "Rides of..."

Cheers,  John

Andre Jute

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Re: Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2019, 08:49:22 PM »
Thank you, gentlemen. 9C when I took the photo, but more important only 6kph of wind -- the wind chill factor can be very nasty anywhere near that beautiful river, all the way from the Urals. Basically, any ride starting from my house either begins and ends at the river, has its turning point in the middle of the ride at the river or within sight of it when we ride across one of the loops it makes, or runs for part of the ride alongside the river. And, of course, at any point of any ride, you just have to reach out your hand and dip it in a feeder-stream of the Big River. There's nowhere in Ireland to escape the sound of tinkling water.

Here's my pedalpal showing off a Spanish tan -- she didn't get it here, as you can tell from the hazy sky. We've cycled across a bow of the river, alongside feeder streams almost all the way, and are now on a tiny link road between two small country roads, at about 180m elevation above the inland end of the Bandon River estuary, and two or three klicks away as the crow flies. The estuary is the tiny glint of water to the right of her helmet. At that point it is about a kilometer wide, and the sea is still ten klicks distant; the river is, or was, navigable by offshore-draught vessels for a few klicks further upriver, because for years there was a rotting hulk of a Baltic trader lying on the bank a way upriver.


Andre Jute Helen above Kilmacsimon, 1919 800pxh

9C sounds great, but the thing is I ride mainly the very small roads and lanes because the main drags are unpleasant where they aren't lethal (I'm not indulging in hyperbole: a police superintendent with whom I refused to ride on a particular stretch of road was killed cycling on it, quite a few years ago now, and the traffic density has increased in that time). Across the lanes the sun never rises high enough in winter to reach the road over the hedgerows. So you have to watch the nighttime temperature to discover whether you lanes will still be icy even when it is 9C at noon. That's one of the advantage of "touring" so consistently in a small patch of our beautiful earth, that you gather valuable local knowledge that lets you cycle a month or two later, and the next year a month or two earlier, than anyone else. There have been years when we cycled for all intents and purposes year-round, only a week or two off at Christmas/New Year and then mainly to avoid the drunks on the roads.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 09:01:47 PM by Andre Jute »

jags

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Re: Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2019, 01:57:20 AM »
tell your buddy she has a good pair of pins on her. ;)

great wee country if only there was less rain wind and bloody cars. :'(

anto.

PhilD28

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Re: Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2019, 07:41:00 PM »
A few days ago, The Teesdale /Cumbrian border, a brisk day. I ride up here most days (I live about 10 miles down the valley), it's about 30 miles round trip and about 2000ft elevation, a good workout, beautiful in all weathers.
The bike is based around a Woodrups frame custom built for me by Kevin Sayles. It's a 650 B randonneur, very light very comfortable rolling on lightweight wheels I built using a mix of DT revolution (1.5mm) and Dt competition (1.8mm) spokes on SunXCD lightweight rims. Tyres are Compass 650 x 37mm, superb tyres that are very fast and supple.

This bike has worked out really well up to now and has replaced my fast 700C road bike, still ride various Thorns for loaded touring though.

PhilD28

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Re: Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2019, 07:42:34 PM »
oops, don't know what happened there with the image will check it later.
Phil

Andre Jute

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Re: Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2019, 02:25:43 AM »
Grand ride, Phil!

Try these references:

1. Post by Dan the Mod on a size limit of 512Kb per photo at http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=13133.msg98661#msg98661. My large photo opening the thread is 121Kb, so Dan's limit is generous.

2. Resizing and uploading to the forum are discussed at http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=4313.0. I generally make the longest dimension of my photograph 800 pixels and the shorter one will then scale to shorter than 800 pixels.

Post modified after Dan identified the problem.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 07:14:39 AM by Andre Jute »

Danneaux

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Re: Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2019, 02:58:02 AM »
Format is a problem in this case, being JP2 rather than JPG. I converted the file and find it can display well with no problem.

The original JP@ is 428K. A TIF conversion of the same JP2file is too big at 27.3MB, so a downsized JPG conversion is the way to go.

Best,

Dan.

Andre Jute

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Re: Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2019, 03:26:21 PM »
8 Celsius, wind 25kph WSW, light drizzle (called "a soft day" here in Ireland), perfect cycling weather. This is the sort of lane and smaller we prefer riding on. This one is in a valley and at right angles to the main river, which is also the main conduit for the wind, so it also offers some protection from the wind. You may notice from the two tyre tracks worn in the tarmac that the road is one car wide, and you can see another "feature" of Irish lanes, a sudden vertical drop into the ditch:



There are no second chances, but the "main" roads are lethal and stressful, so we make the best of the lanes -- and they are very beautiful:

« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 10:42:30 PM by Andre Jute »

John Saxby

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Re: Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2019, 09:03:44 PM »
Lovely stuff, Andre, especially the green (*sigh*) -- mind you, I did hear birds the other day, and not just crows but chickadees, cardinals, and such, so we know that Spring Will Come, just not today, when it's -10 this aft, with a 60 kmh westerly gusting to 80

Quote
a sudden vertical drop into the ditch
  Yes, I noticed that, in both photos. S'pose the rain's gotta go somewhere, eh? 

I guess everything conspires to maintain a leisurely speed, so that you can choose your 4" of shoulder as a car appears...

Cheers,  J.

Andre Jute

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Re: Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2019, 12:17:56 AM »
Lovely stuff, Andre, especially the green (*sigh*)

Your turn will come, John.

Back when I was in advertising, before Ireland joined the EU and everyone got well, there were beautiful golf courses here, a bit rough close-up, but with the huge advantage that you could roll up and play because they were empty, sometimes even on weekends. My chairman would say, "Andre, take Mr X, bond with him like Superglue." I'd send over a Rolls from our London office, invite the important client for a week of touring in Ireland, and tell him to bring his clubs and his chequebook. Once, because the fellow had taste and an interest in the arts, I brought a civilised art director from my studio. As we drove around the back country, he and the client distinguished and named over a thousand shades of green. (I wish I still had the notebook in which I wrote them all down.)  If you can stand another anecdote: With another client, a Catholic from the American mid-West, just him and me, I was talking about the hedge schools (Gaelic schools held under a tree when the language was forbidden) and said that, of course, in the next little pub in between three houses where we would eat inch-thick slices of bread with ham not much thinner for our lunch, we would find a fellow in overalls so encrusted that they would stand up by themselves, dirt under his fingernails, to swap Latin tags with us. "You never!" he said. "A thousand dollars on it?" (This was when a supreme court justice got eight grand a year. Though I was paid better than a mere judge, or even the president, I paid for lost bets with clients out of my expense account; when I won of course I kept the money.) "You can pick the pub," I said. I knew something he didn't: there wasn't then a country pub in Ireland that didn't have its own failed priest, thrown out of Maynooth for the usual, delicately known as "a lack of commitment". The pub he chose was at a crossroads, not even a house nearby. The publican's wife had thick green pea soup on the stove (I persuaded her to give me the recipe for a restaurant I owned, operated by a Maltese couple) and soda bread, enough to serve four extra: our driver ate with us, and the only other customer, whom I invited to share our table. The American businessman, the fourth generation of his family to be educated at Princeton, twitched his nose, because our new friend smelled of cow dung, and rubbed his fingers at me, meaning You may as well give me my thousand dollars now. Not to be too obvious, I said something in Italian to what appeared to be a crude peasant, who answered me in fluent Latin, "I don't do the modern Roman, but if you have Latin..." I explained, "My friend here is an American Catholic; they have English services. He's a bit rusty, so speak slower." But my client was already writing the cheque, shaking his head ruefully at me. We spent the entire afternoon and evening drinking with a gentleman and a scholar, albeit somewhat filthy.

I guess everything conspires to maintain a leisurely speed, so that you can choose your 4" of shoulder as a car appears...

Ha! See that board on the yellow and black striped pole? The other side says "80". What I do is to stay in the middle of the road until the car slows, and then to ride on the wrong side of the road so that the driver can see by how far his mirror clears me.

John Saxby

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Re: Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2019, 12:03:40 PM »
Just as you said, Andre --

First ride in five months!

We reached the Gold Coast of SE Queensland a week ago, for our more-or-less annual visit to our son and his family. Early this week, I had recovered sufficiently from a bad case of jet lag (flying for 28-plus hours will do that) to allow me to unpack and reassemble my bike.

All went well, with neither bike nor box having suffered from 4 airports, a train ride, and umpteen thousand kilometres.  An unexpected Senior’s Moment interrupted the usual reassembly in reverse order, however.  I removed the wheels from the box and set them aside, installed the seat post and saddle, loosely installed the handlebars, perched the frame across the corner of the box so that I could install fenders and wheels, and said, “Now where are my hub skewers?” I had pedals, pump, tool kit, seat and handlebar bags, and frame bag, but no hub skewers.  Oi, sez I, this isn’t good.  Could I have left them in the small box in my workshop which held the tubes and old skewers I use for rear triangle and front forks when the bike is travelling?  Seems unlikely, but…

So I rang a bike shop in Southport, near the flat where we’re staying, to see if they had a pair of Halowheel skewers or something similar. Sam, who answered the phone, said he didn’t have the Halowheel items, but he did have a pair of anti-theft skewers which would work.  I hiked over to the shop, met up with Sam, bought his skewers, and—enjoyed a 15-minute chat with him about the several years he had spent living in Kelowna, in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. He loved the landscape, he said, and especially the dramatic change of seasons, between the blistering heat of summer and the snowy mountains of winter. He had even learned the standard Canajan mantras: “But it’s a dry cold.” (Or heat, when it’s in the high 30’s.)

Anti-theft skewers in hand, I hiked back to the flat, and resumed my work with the frame.  I took my steel water bottles out of their cages, and lo!—one was heavier than the other, because it contained my hub skewers, carefully wrapped in a paper towel and inserted into the bottle so that they wouldn’t roll about in the packing box.  Turned out that it was a good idea at the time, and remains so—but I needed the trip to the LBS as a workaround for my Senior’s Moment.  I felt like a bit of a chump, but enjoyed my chat with Sam about Kelowna.

Over the following couple of days, I made my first rides in five months—just 50-plus kms in all, a short ride and a longer one to check that everything was working as it should, reacquaint myself with handling roundabouts while riding on the left, and get used to the fact that the sun isn’t where I’m used to seeing it.

We’ve just passed the autumnal equinox Down Unda, so although the days are still warm (26-30°) and fairly humid, the sun isn’t nearly as fierce as it is in January and February.  That suits this member of The Spotted Tribe just fine, thank you very much.

For my first ride since last October, I made a brief run out to the end of “The Spit”, a 5-km sliver of land which runs more or less south-to-north, shielding the estuary of the Nerang River from the ocean.  The Spit is made up of sand dunes, covered with grasses, bushes and a few copses of pine trees.  Most of it is a small national park, with the ocean beach on the east and a quiet beach and lagoon to the west.  It’s a favourite spot for hikers, cyclists (along the road on the lagoon side), surfers, scuba divers and fishers.  It’s also under threat from Development (posh hotels and condos at the town end, dredging for coal freighters at the seaward end).  For the moment, a stalemate holds, and a cyclist can easily do a there-and-back in half an hour or so; longer if you decide to pause for a gelato and espresso.

The day was sunny, with a slight haze—the first two photos below show the bridge over the Nerang River, with the towers of Surfers Paradise in the background, and a a moorage on a quiet inlet on the inner side of the Spit.

The following day, I made a slightly longer ride—just 40 kms or so there and back--southwards along the oceanfront to Burleigh Heads, where the Tallebudgera Creek enters the sea.  The Burleigh waterfront is a busy place, with a steady stream of road cyclists, surfers, and walkers, and I wanted to revisit a favourite café.

Just north of Burleigh Heads, I stopped at the Espresso Café, which I like so much.  A few steps from its patio, the beach is interrupted by a bluff, and beyond that, curves south and east towards Coolangatta on the New South Wales border.  (See photo #3 below.)

In Burleigh Heads proper, the standard view of surf and beach northwards up the coast towards Surfers Paradise and the Spit, on this day included a couple of ‘Strayans at their play – see #4 below.

Tallebudgera Creek flows eastwards from the low range of mountains a few kms inland from the Gold Coast.  In photo #5, these are visible through a slight haze.  On a later ride, they will form the backdrop as the route follows Tally Creek (as it’s called) inland 20 kms or so. (Bizarre detail in the photo: that is a 40- km/h sign you see in the estuary. 40 km/h!!  Jaysus, Mary an’ Joseph—I should have thought that sign would read “Dead Slow”, the sub-text being, “No wake at all, d’ye hear?”)

A very different ride from my last one, northwest of Ottawa in mid-October 2018—much gentler, with just one short-but-not-so-steep hill, and a whole lot warmer ☺ 

More to come, from both the more northerly parts of the Coast, and from its southerly and more inland (and hillier!) districts.

John Saxby

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Re: Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2019, 12:07:59 PM »
Two more photos from these two short rides:

Andre Jute

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Re: Rides 2019 +++ Add yours here +++
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2019, 01:26:26 AM »
Such beautiful photographs, John. Give one an insight into what Australians mean when they refer to theirs as "The Great Country." I look forward to your Australian photos because every year they're different. Nothing wrong with your Canadian photos, of course (they're outstanding), but a place where you come as a stranger even with a good photographer often adds an edge to the vision of place, and, oddly, that is especially so for viewers who've actually lived there.