Spinning at the Oval, unlucky bike number 13.

I left work early to get to Louise,s 5.15 class at the Oval. The water bottle was filled and next thing is to get a bike under the AirCon. No problem this week ones already set up roughly to my prefered setting, Number 13. 
I’m just warming up and decide the seat height needs to go up another centimetre or two. this is where it starts to get interesting. The Preccor bikes in the Oval are fitted with toeclips on one side of the peddle and Shimano SPD clippless mechanisms on the otherside.

I spin using mountain bike shoes fitted with Shimano SPD cleats. They increase your peddling efficiency as you can pull up with leg on the upstroke of the cycle. Trust me they work. You clip in with a mettalic click and twist your foot to remove your foot from the pedal. Thats the theory.
As I tried to get off the bike to adjust the seat height nothing  happened to the cleat on my left leg. It just turned but refused to unclip. Not the end of the world I thought, I’ll sort it out at the end of the class. The class went as it usually does, well.  No HRM for this one I just had to let my body tell how hard I was pushing.

It was all OK untill I got to the cool down and stretching, the ones on the bike were done fine, it was the ones off the bike I had a problem with. My foot was stuck to the pedal. I had to remove my foot from the shoe to get off the bike. The shoe is still stuck to the pedal and I’m trying to twist the shoe off the pedal.

Needless to say this causes great amusement to the class and especially to the girl who was riding behind me, she wasn’t far off crying with laughter. Anyway I do the final stretch with one shoe on one foot and a sock on the other.

Luckily I was able to prise the cleat out of the clip with the screwdivers the Oval staff had managed to procur. One of the two screws was missing, causing the cleat to swivel on the sole of the shoe. And so ended an amusing incident.

In the words of the Govenor of California ” I’ll be back”, with new cleats.

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CTC Ride to The Swan, Kinnerton

This wednesdays ride was to The Swan in Kinnerton and it turned out to be a good three bears type ride, just right. 30 miles in total with a good pub lunch half way around.

Even though I’d prepared the number 2 bike I ended up having to leave the house later than I intended as I couldn’t find the heart rate monitor for the Garmin 305. So it was down Route 56 for breakfast at the Eureka Cafe. It was packed again this week with standing room only, things eased a bit when we started to assemble for our 10 o’clock start.

Wednesday at the Eureka Cafe.jpgRide assembly.jpg

We had another new rider join us, Fred. It turned out it wasn’t going to be Freds day more of which later. The ride list reads like this. The two Johns, Barbara, Jill, George, Ray, Fred, Brian, Ruth, Julian, Jake and moi. It was down Woodbank  to the lights on the Welsh Road, A5117 junction which appeared to be stuck. We soon joined the cycleway at Convatec following the route around to the railway bridge Dee crossing. Left after the bridge, along the Dee and we are soon in Shotton.
It,s weird riding up the road with the church at the end of it, I have this target fixation on the large white cross on it. Not to the last minute do you see the path to the side of the church.

We climbed up towards Ewloe past a gaudy pink painted bungalow which had a matching pink Nissan Micra on the drive to boot. The ride came to a stop when we lost Fred off the back. A taxi driver stopped to tell us he had a puncture.

Waiting for Fred.jpg

Once this was sorted it was up the hill towards Hawarden. Right at the T junction enjoying the freewheel down the hill before the inevitable hill. This week I didn’t miss the turn up the lane and had a good workout going up the hill. I’d enough time to get some pictures of the group coming up the hill, so heres one of them.

Barbara.jpg

The two Johns.jpg

Barbara always beats John (on the right) up the climbs. Thought I would throw another one in as I don’t seem to have all that many action shots on the site. After this it was over the footbridge across the dual-carriage way. Then right then left. The map shows the route. We ended up going past some farm where a bloody terrier chased me on another ride. Thats what you get when you ride at the back. I wasn’t at the back for long.
It’s nice riding around Kinnerton and after circular tour we ended up at the lunch stop, The Swan.

The Swan.jpg
This turned out to be a really good lunch stop, like the week before there were more than 20  of us who rode out there. I think there were about 4 other customers in there. I was one of the first in there but one of the last to order, another mistae I won’t make again.
I ended up ordering a Salmon with cottage cheese and chives baguette which is pictured below.
I met Linda (I think) in the Eureka Cafe after the ride and she was looing for a place to take her father for lunch. This should give you an idea of what it was like.

Salmon Baguette at the swan.jpg

All the meals looked really well presented. I was more than happy with what I had all washed down with a diet Coke. I shared a table with John, Ruth and Julian  discussing various thing like dieting, this website. I was asked for two of my cards so it looks like I will have to get some more printed. I ended up giving out as many cards out as Fred had punctures, three!

No ride is complete without a puncture picture.jpg

It was a short climb up the hill once out of the pub car park, the garmin logging the ascent all day. It was all downhill from there, a small climb the only thing of note near the Airbus factory. I sped off down the road so as to be in position for some more pictures.
Then it was across the footbridge and up the lane to the junction at the top.  Fred picked up another puncture around Blacon. I had another look at Georges chainset, this is the ultimate compact chainset IMHO, more like a granny ring and a big ring combined. He goes well on this combo and I mean well. For those that don’t know him George is 72, flies down hills and has the beating of me in him if I drop my guard.

We crossed the A5117 with remarkable ease, no gully where the central reservation was last week, just  Mr Macadams finest. Another sprint up Woodbank to get some pictures at the finish and it was all over.
Ride Stats: 30.75 miles. 1244 ft climbed. Punctures 3. Black cats 1. Newt sightings 0. Calories burnt 1824. Averge speed 12mph. Max speed 28.1 mph.  Pub rating 5/5.

Another great day, thanks everybody. A couple of more pictures to post and I’m sorting out a link to the route map.

Link to Google map of CTC ride to The Swan (Kinnerton)

Comments welcome.

Weekending 03 Dec 06

Monday: 1 hour session at the Oval after work. Similar weight routine as last week. logged for the spreadsheet. Rowing, 2000 metres took me 8minutes 12 seconds and I burnt 129 calories. The rowing machine had a new display on it, more programs so I thought I’d give one a go. Cross trainer 20 mins 250 calories burnt, average heart rate 131.
Tuesday: Spinning class booked, probably the only one this week.
Part of Mondays weight routine before the class. Wore the Aldi Heart Rate Monitor to Tina,s class. Good class as usual, 650 calories burnt in the class max heartrate was 180 bpm, depending on what I was doing 160 and 170 bpm were regular numbers.
I really needed this to make up for what I missed at the weekend.
Wednesday: Mid week ride come what may. I promise to ride a bike with mudguards on it this week, honestly.
Rode with the CTC to The Swan at Kinnerton, 30 miles on the ride and nearly 20 getting to the Eureka Cafe.
Thursday: Spinning class at the Oval. A round of weights after the class, see seperate post about what happened in the class.
Friday:Work, sorted bike out. No exercise.
Saturday: 26 pressups, 6 chinups. Ongoing.
Sunday: 20 pressups, handweight routine.

Weekending 26 Nov 06

Monday: An hour in the gym after work, it’s in the book and I don’t think too many people are interested in weights and reps. It will probably end up in a spreadsheet to look at the trend.
Tuesday: Half hour in the gym followed by a wait at the desk to ensure I can get a place in Tina,s spinning class. Decent class logged on the Garmin, think the max was 173 BPM.
Wednesday: Ride to Dunham Arms, about 50 miles.
Thursday: Work, but plenty of walking, no gym.
Friday:Work again, no gym. Went to see Martin Taylor at Pacific Road.Truly memorable evening he played True from his Solo album for a reason I won’t go into at the moment. It was a stunning performance. I literally stopped my car when I first heard this piece on the radio.  It was on Jazz FM before that idiot Tony Blackburn moved in and started mucking around with the content, now called Smooth FM. Guess it must be a rest day.
Saturday: Work. Eddie showed me the hand weight routine again.This is so I don’t have to rush out to the gym straight from work. Not a bad set of exercises once you remember them all.
Tried them at home with a 4 Kg weight, not quite the same as playing with 1 Kg.
This routine is going is something I’m going to have to look at. Even with only 4 Kg on the handweights I was getting the burn after 10 reps on some of the exercises.
It would seem the gym routine I am currently doing is concentrating on the major muscle groups and I am missing out on some more subtle exercises that the machines in the gym don’t cover without a change of technique. 
Sunday: Work, looks like I’ve started something with the weightloss and BMI measurements. Four of the lads in work were having a weigh-in and trying to calculate BMI,s when I happened to walk in the workshop. If your looking for a BMI calculator you could try this one. http://nulife-weightloss.com/bmicalculatorcaloriechart.htm   I’ve looked at various articles on John,s site in the past and found they all offer sound advice. The site may be based half the world away from me but good information is good information no matter where it is from.
Back to today,s exercise, Eddies light weight routine at home. I’ve no excuses for not doing any exercise now so I don’t intend to give you any.

I really missed going out for a ride today, it was sunny and crisp, compounded by the fact i received an email from Ray about his Garmin 205 and his ride today.

 

CTC ride to Dunham Arms

Yet again I started out on the wrong bike, I should have rode on the winter training bike with spd pedals and mountain bike shoes. It wasn’t too bad when I set out, blue sky with the odd woolly cloud so “The Toy” got wheeled out instead. Left it a bit late too so it was full speed ahead to the Eureka Cafe to get my breakfast before the ride started. Tis was aided by one of the tunes from the previous evenings spinning class bouncing around my head.

I’m still getting comments about the breakfast so I’ll say it again “I have the breakfast EVERY time I walk through the door of the Eureka Cafe” I’ve done a post about. It’s part of my diet and the only fat on it is the bacon and that gets cut off.

Now that I’ve got that over I’ll get on with the ride. There were 45 in the cafe and by the look of it no one wanted to set out in the cold. Things stirred and next minute there are fair few of us outside getting ready for the off.

DunhamArmsStart.jpg

 

The usual suspects set off towards Capenhurst lane and we had Mike along for a second time. Last weeks ride not putting him off. We were relagated to the back as we had no mudguards on or we just might have been slow. As we chatted at the back of the bunch the conversation got around to the merits of ACE Inhibitors versus Beta Blockers. That and heartrate. You can see all the data I gather on the rides on the MotionBased site if you look hard enough.

Margaret and husband left us at the A56 Warrington Road along with the chap I talk to who has the magnesium framed bike. There were six of us left, the two Johns, Jill, Brian (I think) Mike and Moi. The weather had been ok until we crossed the Tarvin road  there was a bit of a biting headwind there and a bit further on it started to drizzle. It was time to don rain gear at the Plough Lane crossroads.

Ellevenses were at a Cafe in the block of shops at Waverton. Tea and a flapjack for me. There were two guys in there having the breakfast, it was literally two heart attacks on a plate. While we were in there I had a look at the free mag that was on the table, there was an advert in it for the Abbey Arms (a ride I did a few weeks ago) apparently it,s a Hungry Horse pubchain. Five course Christmas Dinner for £32. Probably served on those 17 inch plates. It’s no wonder the country has a weight problem.

I didn’t want to leave the cafe as it was pouring down, the gutter of the one stop shop was leaking a steady stream of water over “The Toy”.  We retraced the route to Plough Lane and the next stop was the Dunham Arms.  The Aldi Winter Gloves aren’t waterproof (I expect too much for £2.99) and my hands were freezing, the roads are awash and the decision to go out on a bike with no mudguards is really making itself felt. And not for the first time!

Dunham Arms.jpg

After about 7 miles we arrive at the Dunham Arms, cold and wet in my case. Other groups have taken probably a more direct route and arrived there before us. All told there are 20 of us that have ridden out to the pub, there are no other customers that I could see.
I ordered a jacket potato with chicken strips which came with a salad. When it arrived (which was quite soon) it was so well presented I took a picture of it. What caught the eye was the cherry tomatoes sliced in half and placed centrally on the cucumber slices. All the food  seemed to be of a similar high quality.

 DunahamArms Baked Potato.jpg

It was too much to expect my gloves that had been placed on the radiator to be dry before we left. So now I am looking around for a waterproof pair, and the way its getting colder by the day they might well be mitts.

It was still raining when we left and headed down Hob Lane  but as we headed down the hill the rain eased off. Stanlow oil refinery was in the distance and the next thing you know we are following the reverse  of the route we took on Rememberance Sunday.
For some unknown reason  my hands are now ok, still wet but not freezing. It’s my feet that are now cold, the Aldi Winter Overshoes secumbing to the stream of water that the unguarded  front wheel directing at them. We are soon going back down Capenhurst Lane towards the Eureka Cafe. At the junction by the Ostrich Farm I sprint off the front hoping to secure a photo of the group returning to the Cafe. It was to no avail, although I reached 28 mph on my dash to the Cafe, by the time I had parked the bike and rushed out on to the road my hand were too cold to operate the camera in time. An opportunity lost but still it was worth giving it a go.

Dunham Arms Ride Finish.jpg

After a cup of tea and another card for the site given out it was back home along the Chester High Road and back through Willaston , Thornton Hough, Route 56 and back up Rest Hill. It was a good day out, the weather was terrible, but I’ve still had a good time, my whingeing was all self inflicted. 100 lines ” I must not go out in winter without mudguards”

The map opens up in a new window, click on Hybrid view for a satellite overlay.  

Link to Google map of CTC ride to Dunham Arms

CTC Ride Eureka Cafe to Mold via Little Mountain

Boy was it cold when I set off for the Eureka Cafe from the Hills of Higher Bebington.This was despite having the full complement of Aldi Cycle Thermals on, the Aldi Winter tights, socks, overshoes, and an Aldi long sleeve running shirt under the Biemme jacket. I gave the Aldi running cap a miss and opted for a Thinsulate fleecy hat. BBB gloves this time out and these were the only thing to let me down as my hands were cold by the time I reached the Eureka Cafe. The temperature was 0 deg C.

I’d opted to ride out with the Merseyside CTC section as the Chester and North Wales CTC section were off to the cycle sale at the Northgate, the last thing I need at the moment is more cycling gear. The Chester section departed at 10  and we set off at about 10.40. The group quickly formed and set off, it was that quick I didn’t get chance to take a decent photo of the start.

It followed the usual route down Woodbank Lane towards Queensferry. and the rollcall reads, Gordon, Chris,Ken,George,Ken, Tom,Paul, Rachel and moi. I think I’ve only ever ridden with Gordon before. We are soon at the blue bridge at Queensferry and shortly after what seemed like disaster struck.

I’m sitting on the back and pick up a puncture, we’d seen a bit of glass beforehand.
Well I gave the shout but no one heard, I gave another shout but still no responce. There is no point in shouting a third time when you are coming to a halt and the rest of the group are still steaming ahead at 15mph.

This was one of those ride breaking moments, I hadn’t a clue what route they were going to take, and only knew one of the group vaguely. I was a tad annoyed to say the least.
There was nowt down for it but carry on, swap the tube and hope to meet them at Mold.
As I change the tube and find a shard of glass sticking through the tyre carcas a kid on a mountain bike comes by. He stops and asks if I have any spanners to fix a loose front wheel.

I haven’t but I’m really engrossed in trying to pump up a tyre with the worlds most useless carbon fibre bicycle pump. It’s 66g, looks the part and got me out of this mess but only just. The kid gave up and rode off, cone spanners don’t come with multi tools yet.  

 The puncture repaired.jpg
The puncture repaired I took a picture of the Toy as I set off to catch the group.
Using the knowledge I’d gained on Andys ride to Kinnerton I set off to Mancot, I’d figured the group wouldn’t be going up Eweloe Hill so turned right at the lights just after Makro and headed off up the hill to Mancot. I’m soon through the village of Mancot and up to the Tee junction by the cemetery. Right instead of left this time and a few hundred yards later I’m on one of the steepest climbs of the day into Hawarden village.

At Hawarden I’m waiting to turn right across a stream of Sunday numpties and when I finally make it I glance back and see another cyclist approach the junction. It turns out to be Chris, I had a brief moment where I thought they were looking for me, it wasn’t the case, another rider had suffered a puncture. Puncture number 2.

It was this big!.jpg

I’ve  forgotten where this picture was taken but it is somewhere around Buckley.
Somewhere around here I see Little Mountain and Little mountain trading estate. Its that small it hasn’t made it on to a Google or Ordenance Survey map yet but it does exist.
Anyway It’s good to be back with the group. Rolling along towards Mold we  were about to join the A541 when the cry of “Puncture” goes up again.
Puncture Number 3.jpg

This time it was Rachel,s turn. Just outside Mold there was a stop to look at a plaque that I didn’t get the gist of because I was about 20 yards off the front when the group stopped to look at it.
Mold Tesco,s is proving to be a decent stop, this is the second time I have been there and providing you don’t want something cooked it is easy to take your sandwich or cake to the front of the queue. There is no excuse for taking butties these days as the place is a supermarket teeming with everything. 

Chris at Woodbank.jpg

Stats: 2371 Ft ascended
Punctures: 3
Mileage. 45.67, 18.2 of which is by me getting to the Eureka Cafe.
Max Heartrate for me: 174 BPM.
Calories burnt: 2728 Calories

more to come during the week, maybe a Wednesday ride as well.

Link to Google Map of Route

CTC Wednesday Section Ride to Okells Garden Centre and Cafe

I didn’t start out with the intention of doing a CTC ride today, it was going to be a lap around the Wirral and a logged ride through the missing ling to the Eureka Cafe.

That was the plan, the reality was I’m talking to George  by the door and trying to stuff Franks Breakfast down my gizzard to make the 10 o’clock start. Anyway I made the start but hadn’t a clue where we where going.

First off the ride list was Ruth, Mike, Jill, John, Barbara, Lusso Jacket John, Barry, Greorge and moi.
Ruth and Mike I hadn’t met before. Mike was on his first ride with the CTC  and by all accounts hasn’t done anything like this before. For your first ride out Mike you’ve done well. It is a huge step up from doing leisure rides to doing a ride with the CTC where even the old timers are doing more than you’ve ever done ever.

The ride out from the Cafe was similar to Sundays ride but  turning off before Cheshire Oaks.

Wednesday Start.jpg

I’ve classified the run as easy as it is a relatively flat run, in reality there was a stiff headwind/sidewind in places so it could be classed as medium by some.
Anyway if you follow the link at the bottom of the post you will see we had an ellevenes at  Okells Cafe inside Okells Garden Centre.

Okells Cafe.jpg

This could prove to be a decent location for a stop in future. The location is good, once they cotton on to what cyclists need/want on a ride it could be a regular call. The patio heaters inside really warmed the place up.

Okells Garden Centre and Cafe

Okells Garden Centre is between Tarvin and Duddon on the A51 Tarporley Road.

I spoke to Mike on the ride to the Rake and Pickle and ended up giving him a card with a link to this site. Lunch at the Rake and Pickle proved to  be really good. Other groups had taken direct routes there and were by enlarge finished by the time we arrived. This was a blessing in disguise. I ended up having a Jacket potato with steak strips accompanied with a small salad. It was really good, anything more would have been too much, after all I am on a diet and it is a cycling club not a dining club.

Lunch stop was at The Rake and Pickle Inn at Huntington. If you zoom in on the map you can see where I parked my bike around the side.

After Lunch it was back to Chester via a route that was called “The Jungle” its an area that a cyclepath runs through between Huntington and Great Boughton. We were soon going around the back of the Bike Factory crossing the canal  and then a relatively troublefree crossing of Hoole road. We then jumped on the cyclepath and headed back to the Eureka. No squirrels trying to give us heart attacks this time.

A lone rider passed us as we were crossing the A5117, this proved to be the trigger for another pursuit up WoodBank Lane. I was in fine form touching 19mph going up the lane. Along the Parkgate Road I must have had the wind behind me as on the stretch just past The Yacht  I saw 26 mph on the Garmin. It was another cup of tea and a flapjack at the Eureka Cafe along with a chat to some of the other riders.

It was then time to return home via the Missing Link and give the lighting system a try. It wasn’t too bad seeing as I was only running one of the pair of lights. The rain the forecast promised arrived but it was fairly light. It was back up Rest Hill and that was the end of the ride. Thanks to all those on the ride, another good day.

Total mileage 57.64 Miles
Average Speed 12.5 MPH,Max 30.5 MPH down RestHill
3228 Calories Burnt
Average Heartate 113 BPM Max Heartrate 161BPM
Total ascent 1941 ft

Link to Google Map of CTC ride to Okells Garden Centre

Weekending 19Nov06

Monday: Weight session at the Oval, 60 Cals worth of rowing and a spinning class.
I’d moved a bike into position before the class and turned the aircon on before I went on the rowing machine to warmup. When I got back in the class there were two girls there with coats on saying how cold it was. To cap it all Louise managed to turn the aircon off rather than dim the lights at the start of the class. No HRM for this one but it was still tough.
Tuesday: The oval rang up to say spinning was cancelled, looks like a weight session instead. A round of weights and 30 mins on the crosstrainer 375 cals burnt.
Wednesday: It was going to be a ride around the Wirral. But as it turned out it was a ride out with the CTC Chester and North Wales Wednesday Section. Totals are 57.68 Miles 3241 calories burnt averaging 12.5 mph  at 112 bpm with a max of 161 bpm. 4 hours 36 minutes of riding. Franks Breakfast at The Eureka Cafe, tea and a scone at the garden centre, a jacket potato with steak strips at the pub stop and tea and a flapjack again at The Eureka Cafe.
Thursday:Pretty slack day. 15 pressups.
Friday: 25 pressups during an advert break. Light weights at home for a couple of minutes. It was better than doing nothing.

CTC Ride Eureka Cafe to Ice Cream Farm.

This post and route may prove to be one of the most popular parts of the site .
The Eureka Cafe and the Ice Cream Farm are two of the most popular cycling destinations in Cheshire and runs like this are done by hundreds if not thousands of cyclists each year.
It is an easy, flat run and can be done  by anyone who could cycle 20 odd miles before needing a break.

I had another decent run to the start at the Eureka Cafe with the Garmin Edge 305 signaling the turns about 30 yards before they came up. This device is proving to be superb toy for the likes of me with more features coming out of it all the time.

Back to the ride, 10 o’clock sees two groups assembling across the road for the ride. I have a digital camera this week and it proves as problimatical as the phone camera I have used in the past. This shot should have been really crisp but for whatever reason it wasn’t.

The start.JPG

Annabels group headed out down church lane to towards Ledsham and Capenhurst in the direction of Ellesmere Port and Cheshire Oaks. We were on the cycle lane and everything was OK untill we hit Cheshire Oaks. Here the Sunday morning shoppers were streaming into the estate as if they were about to miss the opening of a January sale. I had this thought that if we’d jumped on to the road at the roundabouts we would have been through there in no time and had right of way to boot. I was thinking of hot scones getting cold at the Ice Cream Farm.
Worst part of the ride.JPG
The ride down past Stanlow was a bit bleak, it’s a fast road that is a lot quieter these days, with a white line for a cycle lane. Just as well the wind was blowing in the right direction . Things brightened up a bit when we turned off at the sign for The Gowy Landfill Site. We had  a stop further on to pay our respects to the dead of two world wars I’d forgotten it was Rememberance Sunday.
Two minutes silence.JPG

It was a poingant moment. The picture was taken before we observed the silence.
After the stop it was back on the bikes an onwards towards the Ice Cream Farm.
I’m starting to recognise some of the places and routes now so I have a rough idea of where I am.
I took a gamble with weather in going out on “The Toy”, it didn’t pay off as it started to rain and it was another short stop to don some rain gear. It was a drizzle that gets right through stuff that is labelled showerproof. Worse was to come, further on the road is covered with mud and slurry and there is no getting around this mess.
The fluorescent jacket gets plastered yet again and I’ve only myself to blame.
I decide to ride off the front which is where the next picture is taken from.The rain then stops.
A picture from the front.JPG

As we get near the Ice Cream Farm I decide to have a good go at the only hill of any sorts on the route, the one over the canal. It also gave me the opportunity to take the next shot which was the group arriving at the Ice Cream Farm.

Arriving at the Ice Cream Farm.JPG
It was busy in the cafe with a lot of faces that I recognised from the visits to the Eureka Cafe and other groups from around Cheshire. Kev had made it there but without Bob or Charlie. I had a chicken tikka baguette for lunch and it was really good. Don’t know how it would fit in with the eating plan but it came with a small salad  and was washed down with a couple of cups of tea from the pot that Ray had bought. Thanks Ray.
Lunch over it was time to assemble outside  and head off back to Chester.
Departing Ice Cream Farm.JPG
It was acroos the crossroads and down Newton lane towards Gatesheath, Hatton Heath and Bruera. Then it was along Chapel Lane to Saighton where it was an uncontested sprint up the hill to where the road splits. This is the same hill that George dropped  Ray and I a couple of weeks ago.
Stop at Saighton.JPG
From Saighton it was down the road where we picked up the canal towpath at Waverton.
It was a bit of a juggling act trying to stay on the path whilst taking pictures but they came out better than expected. Things were going well when lo and behold Margaret picks up a puncture, our first and last of the day. It couldn’t have been Margarets lucky day again as she picked a puncture up on the Abbey Arms ride as well. We all know about trouble coming in three,s so be warned for the next run everybody. It could have been Phils fault for not getting the thorn out properly from the first puncture!
Margaret picks up another puncture.JPG
It should have been sorted in double quick time with all this help standing around.

It doesn’t get much flatter than a canal towpath. I took a couple  of pictures from the back of the group and this is probably one of the best. We also past the site of a swans nest in the summer they were quite active in protecting their young, pecking out at everything that came near. The nest was about 6 foot from the path.
Towpath towards Chester.JPG

 The towpath under the road near Focus DIY has had its surface leveled with tarmac and is a lot better than it used to be. It was like riding on a jackhammer originally. Once in Chester we picked up the cycle path and then it was back on a well travelled route to Woodbank. The A5117 improvement are about to start and where there was a central reservation last week there is now a 6 inch drop onto limestone foundations by the look of it. I had another go at Woodbank lane. This time it was to get in position for another picture. It didn’t come out too good as the focus was set to infinity and isn’t worth adding another 85kb to this post.
Back at the Eureka Cafe it was another cup of tea and an oat flapjack for me and a chat with the other riders. Then it was back down the Chester High Road on Phil,s wheel until the turn off for Willaston. It was back through Thornton Hough picking up Route 56 and finally up Rest Hill where the Garmin announced I was approaching the summit.
Another great day out, I even saw a couple of new places I hadn’t been before.

Google map link Eureka Cafe to Ice Cream Farm

Thanks to Annabel for leading the ride.

Aldi Winter Cycle Clothing. Hat and Headband.

The hat and Headband were recently sold as winter Running Headbands and Hats. Last winter I tried various fleecy hats and caps with mixed results. A fleecy hat proved to be too warm when cycling, especially the part where there is a double fold of material. Not only that try finding one at a reasonable price. Some I saw in the likes of Snow and Rock were over £20. Assos ones were just as steeply priced if not more.

I was on the lookout for something to fit under a helmet (Bell) and keep my ears warm. I ended up paying about £12 for a skull cap that if I took my Helmet off made me look like I had taken Holy orders from a Medieval Monastary.

The recent Aldi offers for runners had me buying some running tops, running trousers and the hat and headbands. The hats and headbands are made of TechTex material. It is a deep navy blue with orange piping and matches the running tops. I saw a running club out the other day, two of them were wearing this clothing and looked good in it.

The inside of the hats and headbands is lined with a terry towelling material to wick away the sweat and it does an excellent job. The area around the forehead is a stretchy windproof material that has reflective piping down the temples. More to the point it fits under my  Bell cycling helmet.

I was out in it today when the temperature was about 3 degrees C with a bitter wind in exposed places. The only thing that I was wearing that didn’t have a Crane Sports logo on it was a Biemme jacket that turned out to be less windproof than I would have liked.

The hat did an excellent job in wicking away away the sweat from a brisk by my standards training ride. (they are leisure rides really I just like to think I am training)

The price of this excellent piece of kit £2.99. 5 stars on my Rating system.

I’m sorry I only bought one each of them.