Ha ha! Can imagine him shouting at the wind to “just fuck offfffffffff”
And everyone indoors?
You'd have thought but I think there is alot of "working from home" going on and people getting in hikes and rides while the humidity is low.
One of those rides yesterday that I wish I never went on. Drove to Surrey to meet some mates, got stuck in traffic for 2.5hrs. The planned route was 100miles but it was too late by the time I got there, and then the heavens opened with ice-cold rain. Sacked it off and rode to Giro for coffee, but through shin-deep water in the lanes. Sun eventually came out so we knocked out 50miles but my GPS acted up and thought I'd only done 34miles.
And to top it all off, a car drove into me at a junction. Swollen knee, hip, wrist and calf. Not a scratch on my bike though, silver linings, I guess.
So last saturday, rode from East Ham to Greenwich via the epic woolwich ferry to see cost centre 2 at the required social distance of course and back ‘‘twas pleasant enough.
This morning however, rode from East Ham, Woolwich, Greenwich, Surrey Quays, Tower Bridge, Wapping old home, dropped mate on CS by Stepney Green, visited cost centre one at Poplar, she lives under the shadow of Canary Wharf.. again mandatory social distance on meeting, then on to Canning Town, Barking Road and Greenway back to East Ham.. started off pleasant enough, turned cold and blustery at the end.
Shame about this note..
Sized up to a 16 inch Cnoc for my son's 4th birthday this week, which seems to have enabled riding further afield. Managed 6ish km upto the reservoirs today, with lots of stopping and looking at stuff.
Ha, just a bit too late to get the tag. :)
Strava link: http://strava.com/activities/3412598172
More photos / stories on my Instagram: http://instagram.com/josephxkendrick
A little shorter than expected. Here’s why… I wanted to do a 500km ‘flat’ ride in Norway. So I got investigating on the map and found a river valley north-east of Oslo that gave me a 500km+ route with only 2,500m of gain - sounded perfect. Naturally, for a ride that will last ~24 hours I set off at about 1pm. Getting out of Oslo was a lot easier than I expected thanks to Komoot giving me turn-by-turn navigation. Most of the ups & downs were here.
Things got hairy when I turned onto the E16, which was essentially a motorway with no cycling allowed on the other side of the junction I came in on. Unimaginable traffic on a small 2-lane road. Tons of trucks/lorries and people in race-mode having just come off of the motorway with a higher speed limit. I jumped onto the bike lanes through the towns whenever I could. There was hectic crosswind too which was a real challenge to manage when oncoming trucks disturbed the air even more. Some sketchy moments. And yes, I know, I’m terrible at route planning but I just kinda go with the flow. Although part of the reason for this route choice was because I wanted to ride a fully unclosed loop, as is tradition with me, and I went out of my way to make it happen - literally.
I was so thankful when I got off of this section and started making my way along the edge of valley. This is where it was going to flatten out and be super fast, right? Wrong. Insane headwind. Despite there being no wind forecast the last time I checked. Ouch. (Check the photos for the picture of the flag blowing stiffly in the wind... in the wrong direction for me!) I struggled to maintain the same average I had negotiating hills and exiting the city. I pretty much just laid down the hammer for 100km as I headed north. I wanted to reach a store before it closed at 11pm. I got there with 40 minutes to go as I saw the Sun set and full moon rise. Stunning. That ’sprint’ impressed myself with the determination to push on. Reminded me of my headwind day in Western Australia when I had to catch a roadhouse before it closed.
I devoured a loaf of bread, two jars of salsa, two packs of chocolate chip cookies and orangeade in a race against the checkout girl closing the store. I was shivering at this point due to the wind chill, the night coming in and being too stubborn to stop and put some layers on because I just wanted to get to the shop. I put on my base layer, dad fleece, fleece neck buff, winter cycling cap, thermal leggings and, for the first time ever, I actually put on my winter lobster cycling gloves/mitts. WOW. They made my hands feel like they were in a toaster! I reckon I could have been completely naked apart from these gloves and I would have felt fine. Temperatures for the town I was in were set to drop to -2C in a few hours. My original plan was to do another 50km northwards before turning back down the other side of the valley. But the fact I was already shivering and the prospect of more headwinds meant I decided to cut the ride short and turn back early (11pm).
There was now a small tailwind and I was at the highest point of the ride. The road on the other side of the valley was a slightly larger road but because it was late there was not much traffic at all. Smashing it down open and empty big dark roads is one of my favourite things about night riding - especially when it feels 100 times easier than the last 5 hours of riding you were doing. The moon was directly in front of me. Behind, the faint blue sky seemed to remain all night. I guess this is what happens when you’re that far north in May. It was incredibly interesting and energising.
On this section, I decided when I got nearer to the finish I’d add on an extra 100km long-cut home so I still do a 500km ride. I liked that I was ‘overcoming’ my previous mindset and decision. Sometimes you can convince yourself to take the easy way out and fighting that feels great. This was my intentions for hours. The early 5am sunrise gave me even more impetus. It was actually light an hour before that! However, despite the sky now being lit with fresh rays, this was actually the coldest point of the ride. 2C at 6am. Toes were feeling it - and I wasn’t feeling my toes.
The ride got undulating as I made my way out of the targeted valley. Eventually I got to a town which was only ~40km from Oslo. This is where I stopped for another big food break. A loaf of bread and two tubs of hummus. I also topped up with water. I also planned out my extra loop on Komoot to add 100km to the ride instead of going directly home. It was going to be quite hilly due to the area I was now in but it is what it is. However, when I got up from my break, my right knee had decided to quit. It must have cooled down and given up working any more. I could barely turn the pedals at low cadence on climbs. Ironically, this wouldn’t have been an issue on a fixed gear because the cranks ease your legs through the dead spot which means you can still ride if you have a poorly leg. But at the moment I’m riding singlespeed so my climbing became more of a limp. Despite this, I had convinced myself I’d do the bonus 100km so was sticking to the new route regardless.
After about 15km of riding like this I came to the realisation that it wasn’t going to work out - especially as I knew there would be more climbing coming up and potentially some steep ones. The brute force power and technique wasn’t there anymore. I took the ‘easy’ way out and rode the final 35km directly home - albeit making sure I didn’t touch my outbound route!
Coming back into the city was rough. I was riding super slow, because I couldn’t go any faster due to the knee, and was being sent up and down curbs due to the bike lanes following the pavements/sidewalks. More abuse to the joints. I was, however, pleasantly surprised upon making it back into the city centre to realise how relatively traffic-free it is. It feels like a sanctuary, a bubble. Lovely city to cycle around if you don’t like lots of cars around.
All-in-all, a pretty epic and magical ride for 800mm wide MTB bars, no TT/aerobars, 40mm dedicated gravel tyres (okay, there was like 2km of actual gravel), mostly single-digit temperatures and only one gear. I was intending and expecting to have an 'easy' slow ride, so climbing some Dutch mountains definitely wasn't on the menu but I got it done anyway. Interestingly (or not) this was actually the 'easiest' overnight ride I've ever done. This is probably down to the night length, full moon in my face and interesting lighting. I didn't once feel tired, sleepy or counting down the minutes until sunrise. It might not have been 500km but I think I made up for the extra 100km with my determination and courage. Proud of myself to be determined to do the extra 100km. Also proud of myself to realise it would have been dangerous and just limped home for the four hundo. You always learn something on these sort of rides. Maybe we’ll get 500km next time…
Animal species spotted: 3 - White-tailed deer. 2 - Red squirrel. 2 - Prowling farm cats. 1 - Badger (roadkill - RIP). 1 - Person standing at the side of the road in a random place at 3am with their arms straight up the air (was actually just a street sign… tripping mind).
Some more photos...
And some more...
Looks amazing. I always love your ride reports.
Excellent stuff @veganjoseph, reminds me of our styrkeproven trips back in 2013 and 2014.
My ride this morning discovering the local flora and fauna, much established from what I saw.
40 mainly off road miles in Wiltshire.
Which was a surprise as I had expected a road ride with a bit of Canal towpath.
So glad I opted for the SSCX Pink Missile instead of a road bike.
Absolutely glorious, constantly surprising and just challenging enough.
Looks good...and easy to start from Westbury station presumably
That is exactly where I parked.
Looks amazing, nice to have a refresher as my memories of what countryside looks like were fading.
Today I used my fully legit exercise opportunity, to go and stand outside Dominic Cumming's house and boo for a bit. There was surprisingly few people there, so practising proper social distancing was no problem.
His house is, you guessed it, on the far right. I notice its had the number (18) removed from the door since his visit from the rozzers the other day. Either taken off by them in a forlorn attempt to be low profile, which isn't working, or it was stolen. Either way, LOL.
The only people there were paparazzi, which was all the crowd next door, and there was another 5 or so out of shot on the left, so poor Demonic Cumming's is not going to be managing any non-essential trips for the foreseeable. Expect Boris to totally cancel lock-down in 3.2.1....
And on my way home I spotted a new billboard in Waterloo by the 'led by donkeys crew', with a more appropriate slogan for the bumbling shit-show of Boris and his cabinet of monstrosities.
Rode the Ridgeway last weekend. Started on Friday Evening from North London and got to the start at Ivinghoe, then rode until Wendover and slept near the Boer War Monument. Then rode almost all the way to Avebury on Saturday, "enjoying" the brutal headwinds after Goring (where the trail really sits on a high and exposed ridge). Then I realised it was still too early to camp and I wasn't fancying waiting around for hours, so I started on the plan for the next day's riding, heading South East towards Old Winchester Hill on the South Downs. There was still a few off-road sections but it was mostly tarmac (and with a tailwind!), including one super nice super long descent through Hampshire along the river Swift. 10+ miles of tailwind, downhill tarmac in the end of afternoon sun was just what I needed! I slept in a small wood tucked between two fields near Whitchurch.
The following day is less interesting; I started riding back towards London, but a combination of badly needing a poo and a sore knee enticed me to getting the train from Overton. I sat on the empty train clutching my bottle of hand sanitizer, then walked through the surreal empty Waterloo Station, and rode home through empty London.
respect, ridgeway is tough with only one gear!
Maybe he had a cingle granny gear? :)
along the river Swift.
along the river Swift.
Hmm. It’s the Bourne really, hence Hurstbourne Tarrant, Hurstbourne Priors and St Mary Bourne being in the valley. Historically the Swift was the section above Hurstbourne Tarrant, but it’s mainly dry these days due to water extraction upstream.
I’ll stop being a pedant now, but that’s where I grew up, and my parents still live. As you say, it’s a beautiful part of the world to ride a bike, especially at this time of year.
@platypus thanks, mapping the route I was surprised at how not too hilly it ended up being. I think the worst bits are in the first 40 km, that I'd like to change anyway as they're on footpaths where bikes are not really meant to go (it was okay in terms of traffic when I was there and the few walkers seem to nice about my being there, but lifting the bike above many footpath gates quickly gets tiring, literally). Definitely walked some of it but I wasn't in any rush. I'm really enjoying riding this bike off-road!
@Oliver Schick just the old 66 g.i. It was mostly okay :-)
@andyp indeed, thanks for the correction. As it turns out I looked at it just above Hurstbourne Tarrant on Google Maps, and it is called the Bourne afterwards.
cool! yeah the climb out of goring/streatley going west is infamously annoying and draggy, especially in this heat. there are some nice apples and blackberries growing wild at the top tho!
^ i recognise that place in the last pic. Good effort.
I did a bit out towards Harpenden/Henley/Greys. Which felt like it looked like this. Lovely Bank Holiday weather.
And I thought I'd finally worked out your username. :)
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