Weekending 02 Jan 2011

Another year has flown by with only 42 miles to show for December. Mind you the average temperature for the month was in minus figures. When off the bike and not at work it was spent in Tex,s morning spinning classes at the Oval including one on christmas eve. Other than that it was a case of making sure my mums central heating functioned. The condensate drain freezing up like many others.

A trip to one class had the temperature at – 9.5 Deg C. The 42 miler was another Wirral ride, picking up a set of SPD cleats on the way as I’ve just bought a pair of Shimmano MTB boots for winter rides. After that ride the chainset and cassette came off for a clean to reveal a problem or two.

Mainly the chainset, it doesn’t change like it did mainly down to having 3 different chainrings on it.  The big ring is showing signs of wear, the middle ring is a 7005 straight cut ring with no lifting pins or profiled teeth to aid shifting.
It works but has lost the indexing you get with a new bike with a full groupset.

The first ride of the year was a ride out to the Eureka via Rest hill and Route 56, takes in a statley home with attached village (Thornton Hough), Raby and is by and large a good surface except for the stretch from Redhill to the M53 underpass. It’s now pot holed and the verges have been deliberatley ploughed up by 4×4,s. Throw in a herd of cattle and it’s a mess.

Time to chat about how bad  December was at the Eureka before Weaver Valley CC came in en-mass. A ride has to have a destination after all and there aren’t much better than the Eureka. Most were spotless due to a strict mudguard policy at other times I’ve seen clubs come in looking like they have been on a cyclocross through Delamere Forest. The reality being the slurry of the Cheshire Lanes.

Headed back out through Puddington to the Dee Marshes where the birdwatchers were peering through hedges with camera,s with 2 ft long lens,s.
Whatever it was it must have been worth it. Took the Cycle route along the Dee to The Harp where the road resembles The Somme. Walked for a stretch in the new shoes, which by the way kept my feet nice and warm despite the low temperatures. That is without overshoes.

Nearly forgot, purchased some Sealskinz socks at OutdoorWorld on the way back, dumped the packaging and put them in

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the back pocket.

Went through Neston, Heswall along the High road to Thurstaton and down the cutting . Left at the roundabout and just as I’m coming into Calday vilillage the left shoe didn’t feel right, I had visions of me toppling off the bike with the shoe still stuck in the pedal. It came but only just.
Tightened up the offending cleat which was well loose only to find the right shoe was starting to slacken off. The cleats hadn’t bit into the shoe sole enough.
Here the saddlebag zip started acting up so the Multitool went in the back pocket as Ididnt want it bouncing down the road.

Took to the front at Hoylake and then onto the sea defences to Moreton. Here the rythmic clump every time you rode over a concrete joint had the MagicShine light loosen off it’s bracket. Nothing for it but stop and tighten it up.
Kind of expected things like this to happen as you get what you pay for. If it had happened on a Lupine original I’d have been furious.

Every Tom, Dick and Harry is taking their dog out for a walk today, probably been stuck with them in the house for the last 3 weeks. The vast majority seem to have invested to time to keep the dog under control via obedience lessons.
Probably because vet bills are expensive. At the other end is the family with kids, if the kids are running amock you have no chance with the dog.

Anyway further on I reached the new development at New Brighton, now given all the fuss about it, it seems to be coming along very well. The prom surface in front of it is as good as it gets, billiard board smooth.

First stop was Vale Park which was open, leaving here, going down the slope by the bandstand I came to a complete stop. Kids and dogs everywhere going in all directions. About 8 to 10 dogs in all, utter chaos, a little girl says ” Theres too many dogs” , an understatement.

Next up was the trip to the front by the Birkenhead Sea Ferry Terminal and the One O’clock Gun. I took to the path that has bushes to the left and railings to the right. It bends around to the right and the opens up to the entrance of a filled in dry dock. Here the is a transition to what should have been granite cobbles but some thieving bastard has stolen about 50 M squared of them which has been filled in with a gritty sand.
Sand and 700X23C tyres don’t go, the front dug in and down I went.

The side of my knee took most of it and the tape on the bars took a small rip but it could have been a lot worse. It was getting dark, the temperature wasn’t high to start with and was going down and this is the backend of industrial wasteland.

Thought I’d take it easy after that, so had a look at the Priory and took to theback road by Cammell Laird,s. Here I came upon at signs for a new cycle path to Eastham Country Park, blacked out with binbags but worth a follow.

A taster , Magicshine light shook itself loose, cleats came loose, fell off bike, saddle bag zip split tightening cleats, got lost in New Ferry, Edge 800 screen locked up. A great start to the year.

9 thoughts on “Weekending 02 Jan 2011”

  1. Frank, how did you get lost in New Ferry? LOL! I thought you knew your away around this tiny peninsular we both live on 😉

    Great to see the blog back, get typing young man and I’ll get the brews in when I see you next as a reward!

  2. Following the new coastal trail to Eastham woods, it had bin bags covering the signs but a few aren’t up yet. The 800 wouldn’t change screens after I had unlocked it so I went around a housing estate.

    Spent 3 hours this evening trying to get a decent Internet connection, any way back to the blog.

  3. TJH, It.s not as good as it was but I’m working on it.
    Dave, looks like it goes down a cycle lane they have painted on the pavement of the A41, but I didn’t get that far.

  4. Frank,
    Is there any hope for a run down of the Garmin 800. I am looking to buy one for road use and am interested in your advice on what maps I should buy. I plan to create routes on bikeroutetoaster (for instance) and upload to follow. Not much interest in the fitness options etc. Basically looking for a satnav to follow a predefined route. Is the premium of the 800 worth it over the 705?
    Cheers, Tony

    1. Hi Tony, It’s a better device on most accounts. In typical Garmin tradition it comes with even less information than it’s predecessor. A PDF manual on the device itself. The screen is a lot better and works with a bulky glove. The bundle with UK OS maps seems like a bargain as it’s only about £50 for ALL of the UK.
      It is an overlay so the routable map on the road lies beneath what you see on the screen.
      I was trying to let all the fuss die down before a write up, there are some good reviews out there but bugger all on how to operate the damn thing or plan a route.

  5. Hello Frank,
    This is my first post here. I have been reading your blog for about six months now. I also came across it when Googling cycling, weight and health – but your Garmin info is most useful.

    I think, based on what you have said about the Edge 800, that I will buy one this week. I have been using the Edge 705 fairly happily – since July 2010 – but I need another Edge as I have visitors to my home in France who want to come here and cycle with me and I own two bicycles.

    I have always been a heavy guy with just enough exercise to get past an annual medical. In May 2010 I was 127 kgs and today I am 111 kgs – Christmas took its toll. I plan to lose 18 kgs this year and take it from there. I will hopefully be doing two Canal du Midi trips from Toulouse to the Med: 250 kms plus villages. The 28 April 2011 one is booked and paid for.

    You are inspiring and encouraging.

    Thank you.

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