Sunday, 25 October 2009

Mileage Update

My mileage for this year currently stands at 2851.  This is nearly a 1000 more than last year and double or more than the year before.  What has been responsible for this transformation?

Certainly not mountain biking.  The last mountain bike ride I did was over a year ago, just before the Olympics in fact, a short evening jaunt around Leigh Woods in Bristol.

Nor was it tandem riding.  we've got our Swallow back on the road now, but only for the last month, and we did very little on the KHS.

Having my Hewitt has certainly helped.  I've done a fair few 50-80 mile rides since I got it, plus lots of shorter rides.  I've also ridden to work every chance I had, helped by the economic downturn which has cut down work travel quite a lot.

Probably the main reason is that the boys are growing up and calming down.  We don't go out expecting the house to be trashed when we get back anymore.  So we feel happier going out further and for longer.  Jayne and I have regularly done an hour in the evening or a couple of hours on the weekend. 

It has all added up to a decent total.  I set myself a target of 2000 miles for this year, seeing as I failed to get that last year.  Then quickly revised it upwards after the first 1000 were done.  My revised target of 2500 was met a month or two ago and I've revised it up again to 3000.  Only 149 miles to do.  If I really wanted I could do all of that next weekend!

Should I revise up again to 3500?



Saturday, 17 October 2009

Thursday Night Bike Ride

All through summer we've been doing a regular ride out to the Plough on a Thursday night.  A quick pint or two and a hot garlic chicken sandwich then home.

For me it is about 20 miles, Karl and Alison just over 25.  Now that the nights are drawing in and due to work pressures, we haven't been out for about 3 weeks.  So this Thursday, armed with new lights for Karl, we set out.  It was a really mild evening, but cloudy and no moonlight, so once we were away from the town and out in the country lanes, it was pitch black.  We really needed the decent lights.  We went the quick way as we had set off late due to fitting Karl's light.  But it was well worth it.

This is the view when we got to the pub...


Envy me!



Sunday, 4 October 2009

Tandem Ride

Jayne and I were finally feeling well enough to go out on the rebuilt tandem.  Karl, Alison, Joe and Ian called round this morning and we set off on a gentle 12-15 mile out to Barton Grange.  The pace was very leisurely.  Too much so for Joe, I think, but plenty fast enough for Jayne and I.

It was great being back on 'our' tandem.  There is something about custom built that just seems better than even a stock frame with a suitable fitting kit.  I took quite a few miles to get used to it again, particularly from a steering and cornering perspective.  I have a Panasela 1.5" front tyre on and even pumped up to 100lbs it still squirms a bit in the corners.  Maybe I need to push it up to 120lbs, but it is only rated to 8o, I think.

Anyway, it was a nice ride out in nice company.  Karl and Ian have been my "core team" for over 15 years and it is always a pleasure to ride with them.  Ian is a natural raconteur and piss taker, and is always entertaining company.

We stopped at Barton Grange for a bacon barm and a cup of tea, sat out in what was mostly sunshine, but a bit cool.  It is October though, so any sitting outside to eat is a bonus.  Alison, Ian and mile monster Joe went to do a loop round Beacon Fell or the Trough afterwards.  Jayne and I, together with Karl, headed home.

The pace was more gentle than if I'd been on my solo, but faster than Jayne and I would have been with her on her solo.  All in all, quite pleased.

Brake cables stretched horribly during the ride, to the point where I could hold the back brake on full, without and discernable effect.  When we got home, I tightened them up and have made some slight adjustments to the saddles.  At some point I must have bashed the bars because, even with the stem straight, the right hand side is nearer than the left.  Karl has some Midge (or possibly Mungo) bars off of his Pompino that I might try instead.  I might also get some Dia Compe 287V brake levers as they pull a bit more cable.

Later on we went for a quick pint at the Villa.  The back wheel seems to have developed some sort of rattle.  Not sure if it is just the rear mech out of alignment or what.  Will need to check it out.

All in all, a good day out.