Sunday, 17 January 2010

First proper ride

Alison texted me last night asking if I wanted to go for a ride today.  I had planned to go out with Jayne on the tandem, but she said to go on what would undoubtedly be a longer ride.

This morning was damp but with watery sunshine.  Four of the regular crew turned up.  Alison’s bike computer was not working so she asked me to keep an eye on the speed, reign in Joe’s speedy tendencies.  Then she and Joe shot off at massive speed, with the rest of us hanging in.  The run out across the flat area was fairly easy.  All the ice from the last week or two had gone.  It was a pleasant ride out over familiar roads, the quick route to Beacon Fell.

On the run up to Carwags had some small patches of ice, but most had gone.  Then as we turned into Carwags Lane, ice was everywhere.  We ended up running in the clear car tracks on either side of an icy central lump.  We were OK until the very top of the 1 in 4 climb, then ice spread across the entire lane and we unbeknown to me, the others walked and I risked a very dodgy traverse across the ice.

Then we got to the visitor’s centre/cafe and it was closed!  We soon realised why when we set off to Scorton.  The road down was sheet ice, unwalkable.  We struggled down on the frozen grass verges.  Eventually we got back onto rideable roads and it was probably the slowest ever descent to Wadecar.

There were loads of people out.  The Priory was mobbed and we passed at least one large group coming away.  Everyone wanted to be out after a couple of weeks of enforced staying in.

A tough ride back through Nateby and Our Rawcliffe was hard but eventually we made it back.

46 miles, hard.

65 for the week

110 for the year



Sunday, 10 January 2010

Winter is still here

We are still in the grasp of some pretty chilly weather, well at least for round here.  I rode in on Monday.  It was pretty cold, below zero, but fairly dry.  Tuesday brought snow.  we never get snow here, certainly not 3 or 4 inches that fell on Tuesday morning.  Jayne’s school was closed, Jamie’s college bus didn’t come.  I worked from homer til they were home then rode in on my mountain bike.  On the fresh snow, it wasn’t too slippy and I got in with only a few scares.  I left early to get home before it got too dark.  Wasn’t too bad on the way home, appart from overtaking cars blasting me with slush and the hail/sleet flurry just before I got in.

I stayed at home on Wednesday, but intended to go in Thursday.  Unfortunately, my car wouldn’t start.  I put the battery on charge and stayed at home.  Karl rang to see if we were still on for our usual Thursday night ride.  We’ve not been since the week before Christmas, so I said yes, despite the snow.  We decided that Ian and Karl would drive round to my house and we’d ride out from here, just round some of the quieter lanes.  The roads were like glass, but on the off-roads tracks it was great.  Ian took a tumble on a particularly icy bit, going down quite hard.  We got onto some quieter roads that had seen less traffic and therefore had less ice and more snow.  It was brilliant.  Then we got to the pub and it was closed because their heating had failed.  We went off-road to get home, Ian taking another tumble, trying to get his foot unclipped on another icy bit.  The last section was down through snowy fields and was great.  Apart from a stile where I slipped as I was lifting my bike over and broke my light bracket.  For the rest of the way, I had to hold the light and steer one handed.  A great night out, finished off with beer and bacon butties at home.

Friday I chickened out again and went in the car.  I drove out to our usual Friday swift pint at the Villa, and was roundly condemned by the regulars for not riding.

It is still icy and set to be cold for a week or so more.

Weekly miles – 36

Total miles – 45



Sunday, 3 January 2010

First Ride

We got our first ride of the year in today.  Temperatures have been hovering at about 0C for a few weeks now.  The snow that fell before Christmas is largely gone, but there are still thick patches of ice here and there where it hasn’t melted.  This morning was dry, bright and sunny, but still cold.  We decided to go out on the tandem.

There was a tricky patch getting out to the main road, where ice still covered almost all the road, but once past that it was OK until we got up to the Derby Arms.  Our side of the road, which was mostly in the sun, was OKish but the other side was a combination of unmelted thick ice with black ice in between.  In a few places this spread over both sides of the road.  It was a bit scary.  On a tandem you have responsibility for someone else and you tend to go down much harder and quicker than on a solo.  We decided not to do our normal route but to loop back to the main road, which should be ice free.  This was not without its problems as it meant riding into the low sun.  The sunlight glared off the road and you couldn’t tell what was wet and what was ice.  We got to the main road and decided to stop for a coffee to settle my frayed nerves.  After that it was a quick dash back down the main road and home.

9 miles in all.  Not a lot, but enough in this weather.

3991 miles to go!