Weekending 06 Jul 08

Monday: First day of my four off had me booked into Barbara\’s spinning class.  Packed class with two first timers getting the shock of their lives about how hard these classes are.
More to the point how fit the regulars are. Only one bike on the back row meant one of them had to go on the front and first timers just hate being at the front.  I think they were convinced to come back by the woman that was in front of me. I mentioned about how many calories I burn in a class and the weightloss because I gave it a good go today.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/272650 

If you have a look at the chart there is a section at the end where I\’m flat out at 182 BPM.
Gym next for some machine weights and that proverbial mile run. 1.6 Km but at the increased pace of 10 Km/hr up from last weeks 9.5 Km/hr.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/272651 A steady pace means the heartrate also plateaus too. More weight machines then shower and stop off at Aldi for some fruit.
Felt good too. Had planned an evening ride or another class but no point going too hard.
As it was B+Q took about two hours out of the afternoon so that was most of the day gone.
Doing the BNECC club 10 tomorrow night missing the TLI Oulton Park race. My carbon Aero bars have got to go as I need to put the Bontager bars back on to fit Tri bars.

Going to be playing around with the look of the website with pages getting updated to reflect the site being 2 years old now.
Tuesday: Spinning class at West Kirby. Took it relativley easy in view of tonights 10 coming up. Swapped bars and took the bike down to Eureka Sports to sort out some Tri bars. Put some new bar tape on and that\’s about it. Can\’t be any worse than last weeks fiasco where I turned up at the wrong start.

Had a good ride taking 41 seconds out of my previous time only 7 seconds outside the magic 25 minute barrier. There was a pretty strong headwind  going up to the bridge. Time trialing is a numbers game, you need to be flat out for the 10 miles. Anything less means you are loosing time. 25 minutes is a benchmark for a 10, I\’m just outside it.

Brad took 2 minutes out of me on  the road which means he is going well. It\’s all relative, you can\’t loose sleep about being passed by younger better riders. Or older better riders. I was beaten by Keith Boardman again and he is 70 riding fixed.

Once on the Tri bars you don\’t want to come off them. The ones I have have no shifters at the end so changing gear is an event.

A full out Tri bike isn\’t going to be much use to me until I get a bit more performance into me. 10 miles at nigh on 24 mph is great. One thing about Tri bars, they require 100% concentration on the road ahead. Even looking down at the Edge 705 takes your eyes off the road and can unsteady you.That and a lorry passing within 3 feet of me at 60 mph.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/280613

Wednesday: Ride day. Stunning day when I set off then it clouded over and I was wondering if it was wise to go out without the windshell. Don\’t know if I\’m due a Lifestyle and Weight Management followup class as I\’ve lost track of dates and lost the contact details for the course.
60 mile ride to the Cabin Cafe via a scenic route. Chester and NorthWales CTC were out early and we bumped into Merseyside CTC at the Cabin Cafe. I had a few moments on the back playing around with the Tri bars.
Lifestyle and Weight Management followup class.
Mainly talked about various gyms and classes.
Thursday: Gym at West Kirby followed by a morning Spinning class. Bumped into Ron from the previous nights Lifestyle and weight management class.
Forgot the HRM strap so did it all on feel.
What has become apparent is two years on some of the links to the course are out of date as it is buried deep within the Wirral PCT.
More fun with VirginMedia Not, how often have you heard the cheque is in the post!
With that I lost all the Wireless Router settings.
Evening spinning class at West Kirby, didn\’t think much of Eurosports Tour de France team presentation after seeing the 2007  one in London last year.
Friday: Work.
Saturday: Work. Just got in time for the Tour de France.
Sunday: Work. Top Gear and Tour de France when I got in made it a reasonable end to a day you\’d want to forget. Did a search on google for various things and quite surprised at the site links. \”GarminConnect\” number 3 in a Google search. Other links on BikeRadar.

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Weekending 29 June 08

Monday: Turned up for the spinning class at West Kirby and managed to get a bike as someone had cancelled. It proved to be a tough class with me going through 700ml of water and then getting a drink out of the machine as I needed a bit of energy to go the gym.
Ran a mile @ 9.5 km/hr did some weights and a session on the abs machine. 200reps @20kg but it didnt feel like it was doing me any good. I spoke to Margaret about the site and what I write about as it’s only fair they know about it. I was then speaking to Betty  too as she is an instructor for some off the swimming classes. Told her about the weightloss and how I write up the classes as she gets a mention every now and then only to have it confirmed by one of my readers.
Thanks for that it really made my day, especially knowing the Cafe in the hills above Bala.

Margaret knew about the Lifestyle and Weight Management course when it was a council run scheme a good few years ago.
Shower, home. Suns out so it’s time to live the dream and get out on the bike.

Had a good ride, 28 miles around the coast with a cake stop at Vale Park cafe and another frustrating one at Morrisons. Diet coke and an apple streudal under £2 not a big deal if I could pay for it. Everybody in front is now paying with chip and pin, two teas, chip and pin it. Went out the hard way up Grange Road but it no longer has fear attached to it. It’s just another climb, likewise Thurstaton cutting I used to struggle up here too.

Home for 5 with a low battery warning on the Forerunner 50.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/238459

The ride link to GarminConnect is above.

Another class at europa tonight to keep anon happy. Also good training for tommorow.
Tuesday: 14 mile Time Trial, the race of truth.
Looked at Google Analytics for the first time in a while and it really does put things in perspective. 12,794 page views with the 705 page comeing out top. 101 for the Maps page which I haven’t done anything to for ages. I suspect it is for Daves Cafe link.
If I have an off day an awful lot of people know about it.
Spinning class at West Kirby and a trip out to Broxton to check out the time trial course. 
Clean the Iceni too.
Drove the course and was filled with apprehension. Called in at Eureka Sports to get some info on Tri bars as it looks like I’ll be needing a pair. Had a kip in the chair as I needed a bit of a rest fitted the wheels filled the water bottle and headed out to the start.
Don’t know what’s happened but no one turned up. I even drove along to Farndon and found the Fibrax 10 was running.

Thought I had lost the plot, turned up at the wrong venue at the wrong time on the wrong day. One piece of good news I did pick up was that the TLI Oulton park roadraces are on and start next Tuesday. Trouble is there is an event clash.
Wednesday: Ride day. Anything an happen when you turn up at the Eureka. What I haven’t mentioned that on Monday’s ride I bumped into Cannondale Kev on the coastal cycle path at Moreton. He has just joined the Northend  and he is out tommorow. Lost a couple of stone now just going out on his own and riding his bike. 
He has the same problem I had the Disco bibtights being too loose around the leg when you loose some weight and drop a clothes size.
I thought I was loosing it big time only to discover I was wearing XXL bibshorts.
Franks Breakfast at the Eureka is now two years old. Same as a normal breakfast but with no butter on the toast. The beans are a protein portion on the British Heart Foundation Diet ( link at the top of the page).
There was a fair bit of diet chit chat among the women waiting for Margarets class this morning, a fair number of them have been doing spinning for a long time and are looking for a tough class to keep in shape.

Weather looked a bit mixed when I set off for the Eureka with the nagging question of what happened to the 14 mile TT. Within a minute of entering the cafe I got asked where I was last night. Broxton, but nobody turned up. I should have been at Aldford instead.
Club rides don’t have to stick to CTT courses, DOH!!!

Ride went out to Delamere Forest, missed the Yeld on the way back and ended up just being short of 59 miles.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/248425

Rode home from the Eureka with Kev who has just joined the Northend.
Booked a spinning class for 6:15 and it was empty with Margaret taking it. Another new stretch at the end, shower and home.
Pity about the time trial but it hasn’t been a bad week so far. Work for the next four days means no big rides.
Thursday:  Work, flat battery on the Scenic and checking out the Iceni I found a spoke in the rear wheel had cracked a section of the rim out. New rim time but they don’t do Mavic MA3 rims anymore. This was the number one bike for a while. The wheel off the Colnago Carbitubo will fit until it is sorted but the Conti has to come off it as it will only last 5 minutes on it and it cost me £30.
Friday:Work. Spinning class at West Kirby which I just made only to find two free bikes. It is not usually this busy on a Friday.  Louises Thursday morning stand in for Barbara went down very well. Likewise Margarets class went down well, you can ditch the gel seatcovers as you’ll spend half of it out the saddle. Lost the fan halfway through the class an sweat was pouring out of me.
I’m going to have to ditch the Costa Coffee latte,s at work.
Saturday: Work. Might try to get out on the bike when I get home. The weather hasn’t been too helpful lately.
Sunday: Small event on, Dave Lloyd Mega Challenge. Set to be a classic in the making. Top club riders worried about making the cut off on the mega route. I’m in work  so will miss it.  Just about every major climb in North Wales in it.
The scales read 84.4 Kg again which is a result. Weather looked a bit grim in the morning but fine in the after noon and I’m stuck in work wishing I was riding. Will make up for it next week. I hope.
Home, blog and watch Top Gear which is one of the few things I watch these days.
 

Weekending 22 June 08

Monday: Work followed by a spinning class a the West Kirby. Class overbooked but sorted in the end. Barbara’s birthday so the class sang happy birthday to her.
Took the heartrate up to 180 BPM on the final sprint. Shower, home and upload the ride pictures to the laptop.
Tuesday: Woke up to a techy nightmare, no internet access as the router has lost it’s settings. Website down. Morning Spinning class at West Kirby then a session in the Gym.
Spent the rest of the day trying to get back online and when I did there was another downer. I’ve missed all three of the TLI Oulton Park roadraces, the last one being last night.
It was something Janet said on the ride on Sunday about the evening been light that got me thinking.
Spinning class at West Kirby, second of the day as work tommorow
Wednesday: Work, home, blog. Still need to update Sunday’s ride post before I forget it all. Good news on 705 multiple Routes though.
Thursday: Work. Blog when I got home. A Lifestyle decision dropped through the letterbox today. Take a potential 6k paydrop and get put on Monday to Friday or take the cash and have a potential year off.  This is only my second job in 48 years pity to see it go.
Friday: Work. Fully booked Spinning class at West Kirby started with 7 empty bikes. Would have been 8 if I hadn’t phoned up for one. Quite hot too. Got my start number for the Tuesday 14 TT, number 2 with Andy 3 minutes behind me. Got to check out the start as I’m new to all this. Things need to go without complications at the last minute.
Saturday: Work. Last day, the longest day. I’ve gone with my decision that I’ve had enough. Next Thursday is a make or break day.
Sunday: Ride day, woke up in time to get the Eureka but had a change of plan.
Went to Liverpool 1 and thought about doing a BananaLamb ride, there are 250 to do and they seem to have captured the imagination. Kids are climbing all over them and they are in the middle of roundabouts to boot. This should be a picture based ride, maybe not get all of them but the locations.
Spinning at West Kirby blew the cobwebs out of me. Had a go of the Nike bibshorts, the Elite ones are really good. Looks like Nike have lost the plot with the cycling gear. Got to grab it while I can as it’s not going to be around for much longer.
Managed to get the wireless router working again which saved me £40 so not a bad day. Wind as up and saw a few trees down so perhaps it was wise not to go out.

Next ride day at this rate is Wednesday.

Bob Clift Memorial Ride 2008 (Cheshire Cycleway)

Ride write up to appear in a day or two.  Been without Internet for yesterday and today and the site went down to boot. Thanks to Paul for getting it sorted.

Don’t know if it is a sign of the times but I turned up to sign on for the event and wondered where everyone was. 37 had signed up and there probably 10 like me that signed up on the day. A fair bit down on last year. I don’t know if it is the CTC  becoming more of a political being and disaffecting the members that just want to go out and ride a bloody bike.

A rain shower had us huddling under a bit of shelter but it eased off and we were on our way. We ended up at the back of the field as Adelle was having a nap in the car and then forgot her water bottle.

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Usual suspects for this ride, with the odd one or two  that joined us as we all seem to want to do the ride at a similar pace.

The Sunlight passed us early on and we did see them at most of the early control points. A couple of miles past the Steps at Delamere we saw Big Phil of the Sunlight coming the opposite way. ” Short Ride Phil” was the retort.

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First section is basically as ride up to the Steps at Delamere.
Now I was off the back as it was time to take off an outer layer, but once on the Steps I went to the front to some comments only to be acknowledged once I got the camera out.

Great Budworth is one of those Cheshire Life villages, still spectacular the second time around. Dropped back to get  the shots, turned out quite well.

 

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Once through the village the first stop was the Ice cream farm.

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This was a control point but a bit quirky. No scones today as they are for customers. What am I a scone afficinado? They’ve run out but seeing as we are the only ones in sight it is a lame excuse. Felt suffered more than welcome.

The next section finds us riding along waiting for the climb to “The Wizard of Edge” . Phil goes past so isn’t in the shot at the top. This was a great photo opportunity last year but this year due to the popularity of the pub cars all littered the front of it.

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Here we lost Graham, only realising we had lost him at the next control. We had had a short stop at the Wizard and then set off thinking we were all up. Unfortunatley Graham went left instead of right and went further off the back. Luckily another group of three riders also made the same mistake and brought him back on course.

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The next control is starting to become a bit of a legend. If you mention the ride, this stop always comes up.” We had a control point at someones garage”, preceding it is a climb that is “Engage a low gear” warning stuff. Hurst Lane at Bollington, Ray had overshot by a few yards but this is what we call “Lumpy” , steep but short as are a lot of the UK climbs.

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Once leaving the control it is left at the end of the road( to continue climbing) or if you were on Rays route start going downhill. This is the bit that looks worse than it is, partly beause cars coming down it make it look really steep and you get the profile side on.
Going past the terrraced houses is bad enough as it is so narrow with parked cars.

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As it was we only had to wait for Graham who was really starting to suffer on the steep stuff. The picture above is at the top of the climb  by some sort of memorial or folley before it descends into Macclesfield.

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It all got a bit snarled up shortly after this as Ray stopped on the steepest point which was a few yards short of the turn. I was off the back  looking for a good shot, very easy to jump to conclusions when planning a ride on a Google map.

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The next stop at Eaton is held in the village school this year as the memorial hall is geting rebuilt. At this point we are second to last on the road. Dropped back to get some more pictures as we are on the final leg of the ride.

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The last two pictures are my attempts at getting Beeston Castle in the frame it just about comes off, pity about the cloud overhead.

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This is the turnoff for Beeston Castle, places like this really make the ride. Past the castle we turn off and go downhill to the humpback bridge over the canal. Addelle stall as she is in way too high a gear for steep side of the bridge.  This is easy flat riding now but the wind has picked up and shortly after the Tee junction that takes you to the Ice Cream Farm one way and back to Waverton the other there is a decision to take.
Follow the route along the road by the canal into a headwind or head back past the Crocky Trail. Crocky Trail it was.

More later, but that’s it for the picture uploads.
This post is not finished…until it is finished.

 

Weekending 15 Jun 08

Monday: Sorted the car out finally. Didn’t feel too good in the afternoon so no ride despite the good weather. Doing a time trial Tuesday night after work so drove the route and Waypointed the start and the OLD finnish. The CTT site doesn’t have the new finish on Roughlyn Crescent. Still feeling the effects of Friday too so no Gym.
Tuesday: Work. Time Trial from Pulford. Put some air in the tubs as you can never have enough and fitted the carbonfibre wheels to the Trek and loaded it up.

Well I’ll cut to the chase 25 minutes 48 seconds, so room for some improvement. Barry took over 2 1/2 minutes out of me and was flying. Looks like I need to invest in a pair of aero bars and spend more time on the bike.

Pulford TT.JPG 

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/177838
Wednesday: Work. Gym after work, ran for 1 km, rowing, crosstrainer, weight machines. Shower and home for 9pm it’s a long day. Still playing around with multiple route on the 705.
Thursday: Work. Northend clubnight reverted to Seven Stars as barmaid at rugby club was on holiday.
Friday: Work. Blog, bed.
Saturday: Off. Something cropped up so no ride despite the weather. Watched Dauphine Libre on Eurosport and sorted the route out for tommorows ride.
Just got it under 100 waypoints. Good job I found last years route sheet in time. Had a look at last years post and it was a great day, all the pictures coming out really well.
Went to Tesco as they have SIS energy drinks down to £6, bike got the once over, rear tyre starting to square off but it’s a dual compound tyre so the centre tread should be harder wearing.
Sunday: Bob Clift Memorial Ride. 100 miles of the Cheshire Cycleway. Nice ride includes The Wizard of Edge and a climb around Macclesfield that looks worse than it is.

Weekending 08 June 08

Monday: Work.
Tuesday: Work followed by a trip past the new Liverpool One centre. It resembled a scene from the Italian Job. Total gridlock with every traffic light on red. Did a bit more on the Audax post and installed Tracklogs back on the IBM. No support for the 705 yet but the map looked good.
Wednesday: Work. More on the blog, think I’ve finished the Aqueduct post. Think I missed a Lifestyle and Weight Management followup class.
Thursday: Work. Home, blog.
Friday: First day off, must get the gym.Turned up thinking I was going to the gym then a spinning class for the cardio only to find no morning class. Weightmachines, side stepper stepper, crosstrainer and a run later I was done. Thought I had really lost the plot as the bib tights were loose around the leg. I’d either lost leg muscle because I hadn’t been doing anything for a few days or the Nike kit was stretching in the wash. It gets washed a lot.

As it turned out it was neither. I’d picked up a pair of XXL Discovery bibshorts that I’d bought when I bought the Toy. What a relief.

Went out and bought Cycling Plus for the Edge 705 review. I eventually found it in the Road Tested section. They give it 9 out of 10 but what a dissapointment the article was. Just over half a page they haven’t done their homework as they would like to see OS maps on the thing.

Spinning class. Good weather meant a few didn’t turnup so I  got a bike.
Saturday: Ride day I hope. Late to the Eureka meant there were only three of us in the cafe and in walks Keith Boardman from the Northend Club weekend. Found himself out of breath going up the Green past Northop. I’m panting away on this climb but Keith reckons it is not normal for him. Saw the route and it covers sections of last Saturdays Audax. Set out on a ride only to find Northenders coming back the other way and others I knew.
Now I’m starting to reflect from where I’ve come in the last 2 years. Looking back at the weightloss diary I was 104.7 Kg Eu or 230 pounds American or 16.5 stone British 2 years ago and as a treat I bought myself the Toy. This morning I was 85 Kg, 3 kg above my best which was last year. So today,s ride was about going back two years to when I set the site up and started writing about easy rides for the overweight.

Nothing hilly but I did do Rest Hill to see if I’ve lost that much form as I think I have. Then on to Woodside to see the U Boat that they have moved there. They have cut it in two and it gives you a good level of detail as to what it’s like inside from the outside.
There is an aircraft carrier docked at Liverpool but it a fraction of the size of the old Arc Royal. Seacombe has been refurbed but at least 4 people carriers went past me despite the new signs. The tunnel vent shaft is not for parking on now being completley flat.

Pity that part of the ride was missing as someone had pinched part of the block pavement out of sight of the video cameras.

The ride from Seacombe was easy enough as it is totally flat but once you reach the prom and Harrison drive the kites were in abundance. I’d had a stop at the Cafe in the park and thought I saw Sasha with her new baby as I was leaving.
Liquid stop at Lidl on Leasowe Road and onto the sea defences by the lighthouse.
Caught up and passed a chap who grabbed the wheel until we hit the road at Hoylake.
Then onto West Kirby for a stop at the seating by the bowling green by the lake.
A drink and flapjack later it is the final leg to Caldy opting to take the route up Thurstaton cutting.
I remember stopping on this before but now it is not a problem and past the Cottage Loaf I opt for cycle path.

I’ve had agro from idiot car driver for not using the path and seen it dished out to others too. There is central reservation painted on the road  that gives them miles of room to pass unhindered. Stay off the path when there is hedge cutting as you will get punctures.
Sunday: Jack day at the Kite festival. Caught the Sun and came home a little after 1 as streams of cars were heading out that way.

Spinning class at West Kirby still has me hurting from Fridays Gym session so that is me done for the week.

Site is coming up to 2 years old, looked back at the first month and boy it seems like eons ago. Another birthday party coming up by the look of things. 

Aqueduct Audax

Truly great day ( for 30 of us). Got confirmation of my entry last night from Stan and finally sorted my route out. The first climb done in the car did scare me but at least it sorted out a few discrepancies when trying to plot a GPS route.
Got to the Aqueduct car park in good time, so good that I was nearly first there. Peter was there from the Presidents CTC ride last year and A.N.Other. 

One thing that quickly became apparent was that this was a serious ride. You only had to look at the equipment being unloaded off or out of the cars to see that you don’t take on a ride like this lightly. Carbon was everywhere, a year or so it unusual but not anymore. I used to get asked if my Trek was carbon with various remarks about it.
There was a chap with a nice new shiny Rourke in I think 953. The AAA points mark it out as a serious ride and looking by the low entry numbers I think it scares a lot of people off. Call it a Sportife, charge 3 or 4 times the entry fee, put a start finish banner up and there would be hundreds here.

DSCF4097.jpgCrossing the Canal at the StartThe Canal Basin.

You can talk about gearing all day and by enlarge we did. You need some low gearing for an event like this, the lower the better and then your still likely to find it not low enough. I’m riding 30×27 which is quite a popular combination for a triple once you’ve found 25 a struggle on some of the steep stuff. Compacts usually come in 34×27 and there were plenty here using that gearing. It’s the trade off for not putting a triple on a bling carbon bike. It all comes into focus within 2 Km of the start.

Once we had been set off it was a spectacular ride over the canal and a descent to the River Dee.  Here we got to see the aqueduct in all it’s glory. No time for a picture yet as the is a small climb up past the finish and then on to the first dish of the day.

Methodist Hill  and a no swearing clause in the route. Marked down as 18% and the Garmin Edge 705 proved it true. This was seriously steep and had me maxxed out along with most of the field on their carbonfibre exotica. Don’t forget all those Compact chainsets.

Now I’m struggling along with the rest of the Lycra clad brigade when this chap on an old nail of a bike  just spins past us. Not only that he has a saddle bag across the back that could deliver mail to a small postal district.
Peter and PhillOverlooking Llangollen

He just disappeared into the distance, I’m pretty sure it was Stan the organiser.  I voiced the opinion that this guy was taking the piss only to have it confirmed further up the climb. He was gone and we were left floundering in his wake. 7 km in the first checkpoint, name on the silo which I got and the others of Phil and Peter missed. What goes up comes down and it was a steep descent onto the A road leading to the Chain Bridge Hotel.

Crossing the DeeThe Chainbridge HotelPeter

There is a bit of history here, 27 years ago I spent my honeymoon there and went back for my 25th Wedding anniversary. Spent a couple of days on Brian’s trail bike that I managed to set fire to after the wedding reception. Just Married, bike on fire, a great start. The place was on the up when I went back and I’ve got to admit the scrambled egg with salmon for breakfast is one of the finest things I have tasted. It was superb.
Cooked to perfection, memorable for the rest of a lifetime.

Caught up with Peter and Phil and then it was on to another highlight of the day, the Horseshoe Pass. Phil was off the front and I went up chatting to Peter. In the granny at a few steep bits but it’s not the worst thing on god’s earth. I think it’s reputation comes from it being an A road. Stop at the top for a photo shoot and then on past the Ponderosa.

Fellow rider on a Giant leading Horseshoe Pass IIThe Horseshoe Pass

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The next bit has me going downhill on the drops, I ease up for the cattle grid as I don’t want to puncture as Guy did on another ride. Next thing this chap on the Rourke is having a go at me, No Fear with this guy, he has taken lots of yards out of me by not slowing for the cattlegrid but stops for his mates at the roundabout up the hill.

Further on I’m on the front but the dreaded Cateye rear light bracket comes into play. The road is that rough that the bracket slides down the seatstay and starts rubbing on the cassette. Phil and Peter stop twice but Rhyll CC are gone. The light gets put in the pocket. A wheel is always handy on a ride, you’ve just got to get on the right one. The first control is the cafe car park by the river in Ruthin and gives us a chance to regroup.

The next section  out of Ruthin is really nice with a gradual climb along a valley through Clocaenog Forest. What goes up must come down and there is a steep descent to Pentre-llyn-cymmer. Don’t ask how you pronounce it even the simple stuff is hard enough.

Climbing through ClocaenogGrabbing a wheel off Rhyl CCRhyl CC at the control

The control at Llyn Brenig is a chance to grab a bite to eat and fill a bottle from Stan,s van and a chance to mingle again with other riders. Rhyl CC were really good to us on this ride, pointing out danger points  and warning us of what was to come.

Climbing out of Llyn Brenig the scenery changes to rolling moorland with no trees for miles. For some reason we have lost the  Rhyll CC wheel, Peter falls back on the fast descents as he is on a flat bar bike. The descent to the next info point is big ring stuff with me getting up to 40 MPH. I was going great guns until a car overtook me and a startled sheep ran across the road.

The car braked heavily, there was another car coming the other way to compound things with this sheep and it’s lamb darting all over the road. I’ve mentioned before about descending on the drops because of the better braking leverage and boy did it come into play here. Grabbing the brakes at 40mph had the rear lock up and step out on me in an adrenalin filled moment. The sheep and lamb darted back onto the moor and Peter and Phil drew up having watched the antics from behind.

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Regaining a bit of composure I wasn’t going to waste the rest of the descent so gave it another go to the next info point at 100 Km. ” Distance to Bala on the signpost” , well it didn’t have one. There was a note on it but I didn’t see it, but what did catch my eye was all these familiar bikes outside this Cafe in the middle of nowhere.

SconeAAA++++

It used to be the highest petrol station in Wales but is now a cafe. It turned out to be a worthwhile stop . Scone for me, I don’t remember what cake Phil had but it looked and was really good. Peter missed out and was to regret it later. The others were on the leather sofa,s and it was another of those places that you wouldn’t want to leave but had to, to make the finnish. Junction of the  B5391 and B4407

This place wants making into a control point next year if it runs. Tea at 75p in the middle of nowhere isn’t going to break the bank. 

Next up was the run into Bala going from 1200 to 550ft in the car park. It’s virtually all downhill to Corwen and we nearly have a run in with a boyracer in his Subaru Imprezza. The road was really potholed forcing us to come out. Others had passed OK but this lad wants to gun it as close as possible. I was expecting we would see each other again as what else is there to do but drive around in circles when you are out in the sticks.

Sure enough he trundles by when we are stopped as Peter is starting to suffer a bit. The ride back to Llangollen is a bit lumpy with a small climbs that went up to 17% gradient on the Edge. The road takes us past the Horseshoe Falls and we join the route out to the bottom of the Horseshoe Pass.

Word from Stan is the second left past the motor museum is the easier way up to the Panorama. The first left looked really steep and would have been a struggle. We stop at the next left for a discussion about going up that one. Peter doesn’t feel up to it, Phil doesn’t see the point with 2,600 plus metres under our belt so the road it was, turned out most had opted for the same thing. I think maybe a few of the solo riders did the last climb as you know your own pace and ride with that in mind.

DSCF4120.jpgNearly There.DSCF4124.jpgDSCF4126.jpg

DSCF4127.jpgDSCF4125.jpgAnother fine day for the Toy. 

The turn in to Trevor can’t come soon enough. I’ve got to get a picture of the aqueduct from the bottom and Peter has to get some food in him even though the finish is about 300 yards away. A drink awaited at the finish and bought some excellent Bara Brith from the village hall. Chatted with some of the other finishers and then we had to decide the way back to the carpark.
Stan suggested walking over the aqueduct and it proved to be a sound suggestion. It was quite busy even though it had gone 6. Canal boats running bridge tours and the one that you can see with Phil who I think were on holiday. Their holiday just got a bit more interesting as their engine cut out right in the middle.
Phil and I are hobbling across on Look cleats and they still hadn’t got it going when I parked up the Toy for the final shot. There is a canal boat full of people on a trip backed up behind them.
Pack the bike into the car and head home until the next one.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/148408

Stunning detail when you zoom in, even where Phil and I walked across the Aqueduct.
There is a lot that hasn’t made it into the post but I have to stop somewhere and this it it. Another great day.