Monday, December 12, 2011

Do I really want to commute to work?

In October I did a ride that forms part of the proposed commute to work. It was a round trip of about 30km which roughly equates to the total distance from home to the office and can be seen here. 30 km has been about my comfortable limit so far as my fitness improves and I have reached the point where I am planning longer rides.

Well today I pushed things out a bit and did a longer section of the commute, at 43km round trip.

The weather was OK - cloudy and cold (5 or 6 centigrade) with a light wind which was behind or to the side on the way out. The route is fairly flat - rolling or bumpy as they say in cycling circles and mostly on roads upto the A55 where there is a cycle path to Bodelwyddan. Once there it's back to roads, although low traffic until the A548 is reached. At Abergele I took a short cut to Pensarn wherre I can pick up the coastal cycle path which will take me all the way to Old Colwyn hugging the coast. I can think of worse places to be cycling! The view out across the bay is outstanding almost any time of year.

I will have to do a few more rides of this kind of distance to improve my fitness further leading up to tackling the ride to work and back. If I can do the whole 60 plus km in one go then the commute will be far easier as it will be  30km twice, sandwiched around a days work in an office. I just need to pursuade the company to install a shower or hope tha there is one in the new premises when we eventually move.

Per ardua ad astra.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New bike! New challenge!

It has been a couple of weeks since I last posted here and in that time I have finally got the Cycle to Work certificate to go and get a new bike. The Scheme lets you buy a bike through salary sacrifice pre-tax and make a saving in that you pay a bit less tax for 12 months and get a bike through a hire purchase agreement. The intention is to encourage people to cycle to work and I will be doing so as often as possible. The route is a bit of a challenge at almost 30km.

Now I know I can cycle 30km plus without too much trouble in around one and a half hours. Whether I can do that twice in a day is another matter. There are no hills to speak of on the route so the wind is going to be the biggest factor. We shall see.

Now to the bike. I collected it from 69 Cycles in Chester on Thursday last week. The guys in the shop were very friendly and helped me with kit and accessories for commuting. This is what I bought - 

I added mudguards, lights, 2 bottle cages (one for a rescue kit) and pedals which allow me to clip in for greater efficiency. The pedals are double sided so that I have a choice whether to clip in or not. I also bought some winter kit and a new helmet and cycling shoes with cleats.

Riding a bike when you are attached to the pedals is a weird sensation to begin with and carries risks which I have already discovered (I fell over when I couldn't get my feet loose from the pedals in time!). At least there was no traffic on the road when it happened! Steep learning curve. Ho hum.

I have been out on it 3 times and the ride is so much better than the old bike - easier and quicker. More gears to play with as well. Plenty of Rule#5 and Rule#10 to be applied! I will detail rides in forthcoming posts.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Random acts of kindness! Warning - minimal cycling mentioned.

There is a movement that I have been aware of for some time - random acts of kindness and this last week it has happened to me twice!

Firstly on Tuesday I took my wife's car to be washed professionally. When I arrived in St Asaph the car wash was closed so I went for a coffee at a place called Jacob's Ladder.
View Larger Map. Don't you just love street furniture!?

I ordered a coffee and chatted to the owner for 5 minutes as I drank it. At this point her colleague came in with various supplies for the day, bought on the way in to work including a light fitting which she and the owner proceeded to puzzle over. I listened for a moment and then said that these were easy to fit. The owner of the Café said "Would you?" Of course I couldn't refuse really, could I. There ensued a search for 1) a screwdriver (eventually found - origin, a Christmas Cracker!), 2) a ladder (no such luck so a chair was positioned - did someone dare to mention Health and Safety. Wash your mouth out!) and 3) the switch at the fuse box (this I did insist on as I have had a few shocking experiences in the past). The job was done in 5 minutes and when I returned to finish my coffee the £2 coin I had paid with, and which had been part of the preceding conversation, it being a 2009 Robbie Burns commemorative one, was on the saucer of my cup of coffee.

I tried to say that it was not necessary or even fair. I had simply offered to fit the lamp holder as a favour. The owner saw it differently and felt that a coffee was a fair trade for the job. Now I'm not one to argue except when I am being paid to (which I am!) so we agreed to leave things as they were and I finished my coffee and went back to the car wash.

Today it happened again. We went to Llandudno for various things, bits and pieces for our daughter Charlotte to make Children in Need cakes and biscuits to sell at school and to go to the pictures to see Tintin (worth seeing in my view). We went into three shops looking for cellophane bags for the cookies and buns and in the last they had some at 2 pence each but only the one bag that was open and in use at the back of the shop. When we said what we wanted them for the shop owner gave us his entire stock for nothing!  The shop - Let Them Eat Cake. They have some great cake decorations as well.

It makes me feel that there is still some hope left that kindness and generosity are alive and well in the world.

Incidentally I have been out on the bike once or twice and in the gym as well - it's been a busy week, OK!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Weather, life and frustration.

I had thought that I would try and do the Arthur 2 Times route on Thursday. It was not to be, mainly due to the unpredictable weather and life in all its many frustrating guises - the car needed two new tyres, I had an appointment at the hairdresser (which was the opportunity to get on the bike and do this) and so on ad infinitum.

On Friday there was more to do and another appointment close to home which I cycled to as it is half the distance than that of the drive (and driving would have been lazy and wasteful to boot)! Before this I had done the shopping (what I get for being off work and as it's a long time since I did it I was shocked at the cost!). I ended up at the gym instead of on the bike so at least I got some exercise. I also weighed myself and was pleasantly surprised.

Today - lots more to do so I did not get out on the bike until late in the day. I did a short route up a hill and got a real surprise. I know the view is good at one point on the ride but tonight it is clear and I could see for miles - out to the Irish Sea at Rhyl and Prestatyn. Why have I never got a camera with me when I need one?


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Where does this go...

Following on from last time I remain off work with little contact and glad of it in some ways. I had been informed that I would be referred to Occupational Health. Whether this has happened or not I don't know as I have not heard from them. I am not really surprised (sigh!). I have come to expect little else from work.

Cycling, on the other hand is something I am in control of to a great extent. I can choose whether to go out on the bike and when I go out I can choose where I go and how far. I have a stock of routes varying from short ones which can be tackled when I have a spare 20 or 30 minutes to longer routes which are usually planned in advanced (they are all mapped here). This is something that I need at the moment and control is the word that carries the greatest meaning at a time when I feel that I have lost the ability to control what happens.

When out on the bike I find the space and time to think about what went wrong and led to me going off work. Alternatively I can get into the cycling zone and NOT think about work or anything else other that how I am doing in terms of fitness, how the bike is running and just enjoying the scenery (that is, when I can get enough breath into my lungs to think about anything at all!).  I suspect that when I am in the zone my mind is working through other matters at a different level, and with the assistance of the positive mental effects of exercise I tend to feel better after a good ride.

Arthur 2 Times route detail.
I was somewhat thwarted yesterday by my own silly mistake. I intended to do this route (Arthur 2 Times), varying it by starting from Denbigh instead of Cilcain and joining the route at the marked point. I took a wrong road resulting in me getting lost and retracing my steps. Because of this I ran out of time and came home instead of completing the ride. Whilst the ride was enjoyable and the weather was fine even if a bit cold and the scenery of the Clwyds is stunning as always I found that I felt defeated, which at the moment is not pleasant or helpful. It was my own mistake. There is nobody else to blame as I was completely in control of circumstances and should have been paying more attention to what I was doing or printed the route map and taken it with me. Nothing like planning at times like this.

That was yesterday and I cannot let things like this affect me as much as they seem to. I will try again, maybe today if I get my finger out and organise myself. Oh well, I can hear the ironing calling...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Goals, anticipation and riding for pleasure

Well. I'm now signed off for a month due to work pressure. The mere mention of it sets me off at the moment - feelings of anxiety, nervousness and a sense of inadequacy as well as paralysing indecision. I had to take some files back to the office and I couldn't go in office hours because I can't face the others. I got there and sat in the car for 10 minutes plucking up the courage to go in. When I did go in I dumped everything and left quickly, feeling sick the whole time. Lots of work to do there!

I find that exercise helps which brings me to goals - small, pathetic ones but none-the-less goals which give me a sense of achievement.

In the gym on Tuesday I got on the exercise bike and, as is my wont, pedalled hard for 10 minutes to warm up. I usually manage 5.5 to 5.8km and have been aiming for 6km for some time. This time I managed 6.13km. It felt so good, motivated me for the rest of the session and set me up for the rest of the day.

I have signed up for the Cycle to Work scheme and will be buying a bike through salary sacrifice. The process is almost complete. I have chosen a bike (Merida Crossway) and am just waiting for the certificate to arrive so that I can go and buy it. At long last I will have something that is easy to ride and more that capable of the sort of riding I do.

To end this ramble I went out yesterday and intended to do a shortish route lasting about an hour. It lasted a bit longer (1.5 hours) and I went further than intended. That said it was a great ride, the weather was ok and the route scenic. It is easy to become jaded about the scenery when one is immersed in it but the whole point of rides around here is to enjoy it and breathe in the views and surprise encounters on the way round, in this case a new-born Welsh Black calf. The hills, fields, Pheasants in the road that try and run ahead before taking to the wing in a clatter of feathers and clucking. All this goes without saying most of the time.

Here it is.

Heads are still harder than bikes to deal with.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Further bike related trials and tribulation

Well here we are more than two weeks since I last reported on the troubles I am having with the bike and I have to report that I have hardly ridden the bike it that time.

After fixing the puncture (5 holes. Tut!) I went out on the Saturday for a nice morning run via Trefnant and up to Henllan and Groes.

On the Sunday I set out again but took a mini roundabout near home a bit quickly and the right pedal grounded rather hard. I stayed on but soon noticed that the pedal was loose.  I turned round and when I got home I found that the pedal was damaged and had sheared out of its alloy crank thread and the whole shebang was irreparable.

So...New cranks (again), new pedals (again). I ordered the pedals from Halfords online as they had none that I wanted in the local store. They use Yodel to deliver (NOT!). What a cock-up and what a bunch of useless idiots Yodel are. This is the company that sponsored the Tour of Britain sprint competition and they cant get a set of pedals to me in a van from 26 miles away!! The pedals went on a van 5 times - FIVE TIMES!

I'm now waiting for a refund from Halfords who say they will credit my account when the pedals are received back at their warehouse - some time next year then!

Anyway. Now the bike is fixed and I can get out again. I did a quick circuit on Friday up to Prion then grabbed an opportunity on Saturday... Our daughter wanted me to watch her riding lesson so I went up to the stables on the bike and took a longer route home.

Making the most of the warm sunshine on Sunday I did this one.

I still enjoy this ride as it offers a mix of challenges and I feel great at the end.

Now the weather is changing so I will have to begin cultivating some V (Rule #5) . With a bit of luck I will be the proud owner of a new bike soon which will make the job easier.

Now all I have to do is sort out my head (again). Bikes are easy...


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sunny Saturday

What a great day for an early morning ride. I was out by 7.50am and did this...

The bike held up and didn't get another puncture. Most of my flat tyres are caused by thorns in the road edges left behind after hedge cutting.

I felt great and it set me up for the rest of the day. However there were two incidents with inconsiderate drivers. One, having seen me coming pulled out in front of me from a side road and did not accelerate. I was coming down hill and caught him up much quicker than he expected. As we came off a roundabout to go into town he got stuck behind a bus and I passed them both which felt good.

The second was a driver, coming in the opposite direction who saw me indicating to turn right at another roundabout (giving me right of way). As I entered the roundabout turning right he came through and my pedal clipped his back bumper! He got the finger and must have seen this because he stopped. I do hope I left a good scratch!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

And another thing.

Having enjoyed the Vuelta and then the Tour of Britain we have been treated to the Cycling World Championships all of which I have enjoyed. Great Britain came away with some medals and one thing I have heard throughout the coverage is that cycling has become very popular over the last few years.

Could this be because we have produced some really good, dare I say world class cyclists in the last few years? Boardman, Hoy, Wiggins, Cavendish, Pooley, Cooke and Pendleton to name but a few!

Can't wait for the Olympics.


Trials and tribulations of the bike...

I have already alluded, rather unsubtly to the quality (or lack thereof) of my current bike. I suppose that Halfords sell to the wider public spanning the entire range of funds. At the time I bought my bike in 2008 - an Apollo FS26, funds were limited and our daughter needed a bike as well so what I had was split between the two.

Apollo FS26
Since that time it has been ridden hard, abused and not properly cared for. At the beginning of this year I knew it required some work just to keep riding and so began a less than systematic programme of repairs starting with the axle bearings, brakes, tyres and a general clean and degrease. Then the cassette needed to be replaced as it had lost so many teeth it had become a liability. Then the head tube bearing was done to correct a worrying range of non-steering movement. The front derailleur came next and this made me realise that the bottom bracket was shot and that no amount of tightening was going to help. In the process of removing the chain rings I bent the small cog so that had to go as well, meaning new chain rings, cranks and pedals. These last few replacements have meant I have been without a bike for nearly two weeks. Thankfully a clean and adjustment proved that the rear derailleur was in good order and at last I have something to ride again.

I have signed up for the Cycle to Work scheme and I will be spending a bit more on a new bike this time - either Merida or Specialized.

Moral of the story. Spend as much as you can afford and look after whatever you get!


Update on 28/9/11

Well I went out late for a quick blast on a short route and the back tyre picked up a puncture just over half way round!!! I still got some exercise - walking back home, pushing the bike from the 6km point.

Grrrr! I needed that like a hole in the head today.

JoD  Further update 29/9/11

I came in from work today and set to work on the puncture... 5 patches later and I have an airtight inner tube again. 5 patches I ask you!!? Meh! as they say.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

More racing stuff.

I commented the other week that the ITV4 coverage of the Vuelta a España was not as good as the TdF which preceded it. Well things improved and the best stage so far has been stage 17 when Cobo and Froome fought it out at the end with Froome winning in the last few metres!

Cobo won out in the end, retaining the red leaders jersey and he shared the podium with Froome and Wiggins, two British riders from Team Sky.

Now for the Tour of Britain.


Monday, September 5, 2011

When the effort pays off!

Last week I posted that I have tried a route mapped by Deadheah1971 which went up to the Brenig Reservoir and includes a 17% climb. I didn't complete it that time as the road was closed after the Saron crossroads.

Well I went again yesterday afternoon. The weather was lovely - sunny and warm and the road was open after the crossroads. The climb up to this crossroads is still beyond me - I had to stop multiple times which is, I suspect down to the fact that I am not getting out more than once a week at the moment. The route as mapped by me is here . I did try and add some photos (I remembered to take a camera!) without much success so here they are.

The view from Peniel Hill

The 17% climb up Peniel Hill!

Wind farm near the top

Made it!!

The Brenig

All downhill from here (thanks goodness).

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Glorious Saturday mornings and guilty admissions

I went out early this morning (6.55am) to catch the best of the weather knowing that showers were due later. I had planned to do a ride mapped by DeadHead1971 on Map my Ride

This route is one that features in a half-formed plan to do a sponsored ride for Children in Need and other charities. There is a good deal of V and training to go before this will happen.

The road was closed at the Saron crossroads so I ended up doing this instead: -

This is where I have to confess that my previous times doing this route have been cheats. I admit that what I have done was not the ride mapped but a shorter and easier route. I have never done the Category 3 climb out of Peniel - until today. Now I ache!

Mea Culpa.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cycle racing.

I've been following the Vuelta a España Grand Tour - the third and last Grand Tour of the season. I missed the Giro d'Italia but saw all of the Tour de France and was impressed.  I'm not so impressed with the coverage of the Vuelta but at least it is being shown on ITV4.

Now I have never followed any sport up to now - football is a game full of overpaid Prima Donas and super rich financiers who are now suffering in the credit crunch. Much of televised sport seems to be dominated by football and Formula 1, Tennis when it is on and Golf which is possibly the most yawningly boring TV imaginable!

Cycling is something else. The riders are Athletes (with a capital A) They ride hard for hours then sprint to the finish, even up hill!

Ninety minutes on flat grass - give it a rest.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

New challenge, new hill and new reference ride?

I came home from work yesterday feeling depressed and defeated. There is too much to do, the clients are unreasonably demanding (although that is as much my fault as anything for not managing expectations and taking control) and I feel the lack of support. I really wanted to go for a ride but there was not the time and things to do so I put it off until today.

It was fine this morning and I intended to go out early and head for the hills - up towards Bylchau or even further. Of course the best laid plans and all that... I got up later that I intended, the house needed cleaning, we needed shopping, C. had a riding lesson and so it was already 1pm and I still hadn't got out. We had lunch and then went to Ruthin as C. needed new uniform for high school. On our return the rain had arrived although it was only drizzle and I wasn't going to be defeated!

After adjusting the brake cables I eventually got out on the bike (which, by the way, is becoming more of a liability as time goes on) and headed off towards Waen and then up into the Clwydians, a new set of hills for me as I usually head towards the Denbigh Moor - Prion, Nantglyn, Bylchau being good examples.

OMG as they say! The climb out of Llangwyfan was a killer for me. I had to stop a number of times (I didn't count) before I got to the top but the views were stunning and the descent down to Nanerch was the reward for all the effort. The weather held off and the undulating run back to Denbigh was not too challenging apart from the head wind.

This, or the road the other side of Moel Arthur may well become the reference ride for hill-climbing fitness from now on!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fitness, purpose and goals.

What is the aim of cycling? Does it have a purpose and does it even need to have one?

I went out last evening after a pretty busy day with the usual crop of stresses and did an extension of the Prion reference circuit.

Whilst I was riding I contemplated the questions posed above (along with many others) and could not reach a satisfactory conclusion. I did decide the following though: -
  1. I ride the bike because I enjoy it. The area I ride around is amongst the most beautiful and scenic in the world in my view.
  2. I got into cycling recently as a way of dealing with stress and frustrations. It does help a lot. (I have cycled on and off for years - to school, to work, as a child to see friends and go out cheaply)
  3. I have realised that it is a great way of getting fit and loosing weight - and it is working!
  4. The challenge. I have the choice of a flat ride or hills. I often choose a hill because it is a challenge. I am pitting myself against the local geography (although not in THIS league - Respect to Frank!).
I suppose, reading all of the above there is reason enough to cycle but in the end there does not have to be a purpose with any major significance.

I enjoy it. End of...


Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Well. I'm not having a great week so far. I managed to get out on the bike yesterday evening and did the route up to Prion and back in 40 minutes. Best time so far and I didn't stop which tells me that I'm not in such bad shape.

Work is a pain at the moment. I had a meeting today that I had spent a good deal of time preparing for and it was cancelled because someone important to the proceedings didn't turn up. It really ticks me off when this sort of thing happens.

As for Britain it seems that certain lawless areas of the country are going to hell in a hand-basket. There is no excuse for the behaviour. It is NOT due to the shooting by the police of a man in London, nor is it due to the Government, immigration, and all the other things the lawless blame it on. It is no more than lawlessness - plain and simple. Those that are rioting are out to cause trouble, destruction and to steal all that they can get away with.

I am not going to suggest any solution to the problem - I don't have one. I'm just glad I live in North Wales.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Not Cycling and Not Denbigh but...

Sixth of August. A mixed bag of Saturday weather and a plan to get all the jobs done by lunchtime or early afternoon and go for a walk together. C. was at Granny's until Sunday, her room had been decorated and we set too and put everything back...only it ends up being more than that - tidying, sorting, chucking out (recycling) and so on. Plus there are all the other weekend jobs to do.

At 5pm we had had enough so we put the boots on and went out for a walk anyway. The weather had cleared up but by then we had reached the 'who cares' stage about the rain. We drove to Rhewl near Ruthin and walked up Lady Bagot's Drive. I have cycled it already and it is a gem, part of a figure of 8 taking in Llandyrnog, Llanynys, Rhewl, Bontuchel and Ruthin. The gorge is breathtaking and worth the effort.

The walk (slightly longer than what we did) features in the Daily Telegraph 20 Greatest Walks in Britain which I cannot find a link to sadly.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

A great way to end a good day

We had a good day yesterday. The morning was relaxed (still on leave) and in the afternoon we went to Chester and had a posh afternoon tea at the Grosvenor Hotel as a treat for C. (she got an excellent school report).

When we got home I went out as it was such a nice evening. The route was a slight variation on one I have done before (here). Enough of a challenge to let me know I have had a good ride and short enough to get round in less that an hour. The views are great, especially just up from Bodfari where you can see over the Vale and all the way to the Great Orme.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Great discovery.

What a great day it was today. Wall to wall sunshine so we got as much as possible done in the morning which left me time to go out for a ride this afternoon. I took off to Llandyrnog and the Rhewl -  a ride I have done before and is mapped here. When I got to Rhewl I looked at the footpath sign for Bontuchel and thought "I wonder where this goes?".

The path was a scenic route to Bontuchel called Lady Bagot's Drive. It follows the Afon Clwydog for a few km along a wooded valley and a gentle climb to Bontuchel. It rejoins made roads just outside the village and then there is a climb out again before heading down hill to Ruthin. The final section is a slog back to Denbigh on the A525 - not really a climb, just undulations. Altogether a good outing and surprisingly easy after a week without the bike in Devon.

I'm going to start taking a camera to snap some of the scenery.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Back from holiday...

We have been away to Devon for a week. It was mostly wet but we made the best of it and managed to get a couple of afternoons on the beach in the sun. There is a lot to see and do in the county but not when a fair proportion of the Atlantic Ocean is coming out of the sky. We did see a chap with some wood, a hammer and nails looking for a hill to build a boat on.

I did not take the bike so I am suffering from withdrawal symptoms from riding and not having the chance to watch Le Tour. Oh well I can catch up as I have recorded all the highlights for the last week.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wind and rain!

After a day at work during which I was sorely challenged by the trials and tribulations of the human condition I needed to get out on the bike and take it all out on local roads.

I have found that cycling is a great stress reliever. If things with work were different (not having to cover half of Wales, the distance - almost 30km, no facilities for a shower or wash) I would commute on the bike every day.

Anyway I took off into the Vale of Clwyd and did this circuit: -

It was fine when I set out. By the time I got to Llandyrnog it had begun to rain. By Llanynys it was chucking it down. As I turned back toward home the wind had picked up and I was now riding into rain and a stiff breeze! By the time I got home the rain had stopped (or I had ridden out of it) and the wind had pretty much dried me out!

I make no claims to badass status as I break so many of the Rules despite my efforts.

I got round the circuit in 50 minutes which I am pleased with. Stress very much busted!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Windy Saturday

Yesterday was windy and there was a constant but unfulfilled threat of rain (Friday evening was very wet). After the usual weekend chores I took off on the crock on the Nantglyn route (see below) and extended it. I felt great after doing it even though I didn't manage it without stopping (Oxygen debt ya know! Definitely a rule 20 issue).

Here is the map:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mapping routes

I have made a useful discovery in the website MapMyRide which is easier to use than Google Maps and also gives me data on climb and elevation as well as many other things.

I managed to get out yesterday after work and do what has become my fitness reference cycle at the moment - the climb up to Prion then back down to Ruthin Road at Pentre Llanrhaeadr and home. If I make it to Prion without stopping I am on form. It also spurs me on to train more to take on ambitious routes.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday morning!

What a day.

We were awake at the crack of dawn (5am for K. and 5.40 for me) as, for some unknown reason the heating had come on and it took a while to sort out. Tried to go back to sleep and failed so after some tea I decided that it was a nice morning for a ride.

By 7.05 I was cycling up Vale Street to town and then heading out towards Nantglyn with the sun on my back. This is a quiet road so I was on my own pretty much the whole way.

The road to Nantglyn is not too challenging but once there I turned right to head up to Groes and back down. Aarrrgh! what a climb and a perfect demonstration of how much more work I need to do to get properly fit (Rules 5, 10 and 20 apply here). The bike doesn't help as it is heavy and not a road bike.

The map makes it look deceptively easy. It wasn't!

The Cat (JoD)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Opportunity knocks...

I took some time back from work on Tuesday - they owe me 12 hours. As I had some free time and it was nice I went out on the old crock of a bike (it's getting worse!).

I took a new route just to see where it went and to begin to get a feel for a challenge I've set myself - to cycle up to and around the lakes on Denbigh Moor.

Here it is.

View Half way to Nantglyn 14.5km in a larger map

Zoom out to get an idea of the full thing.

The Cat (JoD)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New bike.

On the subject of a new bike, I've done a bit of research within budget and I like the look of the Marin Hybrid range, either one from the Road Alp range or the Street City. I also took a look at Specialized. Hmmm?

Lots of saving to do first though.

The Cat (JoD)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Me on a crap bike...

Oh the shame. That helmet is so wrong.
The eye wear is prescription though. I can hardly see the bike without them!

Non-the-less the ride was good. Around the Alwen reservior on a good day with my daughter is always worth it.

View The Alwen reservoir 10.91km in a larger map

The Cat (JoD)

The art of the possible.

Lets see what can be done with Blogger.

I left work early today and was glad that I did. As I did I heard that the Police (bless 'em) had closed the A55 in both directions around the Rainbow Bridge ( Rainbow Bridge ). 20 minutes earlier I had driven under it eastbound and there was a jumper sitting at the apex of the bridge with someone trying to persuade him not to do it.

Anyway all this is not really relevant to the point which was that, having left early I had the chance to ride to an appointment on a bright day and get fit into the bargain (Rule 5). It has confirmed my opinion that I need a new bike and I have my eye on this (Boardman Hybrid) on the basis that I do more road than off road but want to be able to go off the beaten track and funds are an issue. Nor do I race and I am not a member of a club.

The ride itself was fairly flat terrain and left me feeling great (Map). I have been drawing maps of rides and walks for a while now so that I could repeat what I had done and get an idea of distance (in km of course (Rule 24)). I keep looking for new challenges and often combine routes into longer excursions.

It's a start.

The Cat (JoD)

Think I need to...

...visit more often and post something.

I might just have to start blogging about the trials and tribulation of riding a crap bike up and down local hill and vale.