So there I was quietly working away at home on Monday and my mobile rings, nothing new there then, it normally never stops ringing. But surprise surprise it was Virgin Media Complaints department (yes the same department I have e-mailed twice without reply). First they apologised for not contacting me earlier, they have a back log of complaints (not something you want to broadcast). For the next 20 or so minute we discussed the problem I had and the work that Virgin are supposed to be doing, the end result is that the work is in hand with no time-scale, I currently have 1 month credit for the broadband and I will be calling in 4 weeks time to get another months credit if there is no improvement and will keep doing so until it is fixed. I think this will be going on for a few weeks yet…………
I have a few days of for the sons half term, so as he decided to he wanted to go with his aunt to Southampton, I was free to go for a bike ride…………in the rain. The day did not start well, I woke up the second the alarm went off and could not go back to sleep, I had planned to stay in bed till at least 8am but got up at 7:15. I went to get my GPS out and check the route I wanted was loaded on the gps and I could not get it to switch on. This meant a change of route so instead of the New Forest and exploring new routes I would go to Moors Valley and ride some bits I have not ridden for a 12 month or so. After loading the van in the rain I decided to give the gps one last chance and it worked, so it was Burley here I come.
I had packed my rain jacket and trousers ready for the onslaught but as there was very little rain when I set off, they stayed in my bag but I was expecting to be getting them out sooner rather than later. So I was more than a little surprised about an hour later to be taking my jumper off as the sun was out and I was getting a little warm. A short while later my gloves were taken off as my hand were sweating in my gloves (first time I have worn them since last winter). The route was a shorter version of the Autumn falling leaves ride, I was trying to avoid riding some of the roads (I’m a mountain biker not a roadie) and trying some alternative paths to the wide gravel fire roads. Well some of those paths were wet, muddy and flooded, it was er, interesting. I enjoyed my 20 miles round the forest, was expecting to get absolutely soaked but never got wet (if you don’t include anything below my knees).
More riding later in the week but apparently we are shopping tomorrow……….
Why can’t life be simple, if it can happen it happens to this family, don’t know why it just does. It has been a bit of a roller coaster week with a few surprises and even more surprising outcomes and to be perfectly honest at the end of the week we are in exactly the same spot we started the week, just a bit more harassed and wiser. Unfortunately I can not elaborate on what has gone on.
Due to one thing and another I never got out for an evening ride this past week so this morning ride was my first since last weekend. While I had planned to go riding today I had not decided where, when I went to bed last night I had decided on the local heath but when I got up this morning I felt I wanted to ride some where new. I remembered seeing a route on bikely web site which showed a route down to the local beach. After a quick search I found the route and downloaded it. Unfortunately it was part of a bigger route so I chopped out the section of the route I did not want and left just the section to the beach and back and then uploaded it to my GPS. I was interested in this route for two reason, one it used a couple of new section of areas that I already ride and secondly I was interested in how much of an off road ride there was to the beach. The route was not a direct route from A to B but more of a direct-ish route using all the available off road sections in between home and the beach. It turned out that from my house to the beach, along the promenade and back through Bournemouth town centre and out through Meyrick Park to the point where I crossed my outward path near Bournemouth University was 7.5miles. I guess 50% of that was off road (a mix of heathland track, path through woodland and gravel paths). At this point I decide I still wanted to do a bit more riding so I continued along the road to the local heath and took a loop around the heath and then home. Checking the GPS at home showed 18.9 mile ridden. Nothing spectacular, but interesting none the less.
While out riding this morning I pasted two new cycling attraction currently under construction but close to opening, one is the new Bournemouth cycle track at Slades Farm and the other was new cycle shop opening on the premises of an old cycle shop that closed towards the end of last year in Wallisdown.
So not content with losing last nights new found freedom that I nearly had, the gremlin were out to wreck my ride this morning. All did not start well as I got up about an hour later than intended, but not to be put off I had breakfast and got myself ready. When I went to get the bike out the shed I was confronted with a flat front tyre, I normally check the bike on Friday night but because of last nights laptop preparation I forgot. When I went to wheel the bike out the shed so I could sort the puncture out something else was not right with the bike, the chain was jumping as I pushed the bike backwards. Closer inspection revealed that one of the jockey wheels was ceased solid, I was not impressed. Front wheel was quickly resolved by removing a thorn from the tyre and patching the tube.
I dismantled the rear gears and set to work on the jockey wheel, removed the seals and a good soaking in WD40, this was followed by copious amounts of gripping the bearing inner sleeve with pliers and rocking the jockey wheel backward and forwards, then blowing out with compressed air and another good soaking with WD40. After about an hour the jockey wheel was spinning freely. A good quantity of oil was dripped onto the bearing, the seal refitted and the rear gears re assembled.
Now I was ready for the off……….er no. Last night before I went to bed I quickly loaded the route onto the GPS from the PC. This morning when I came to load the route before leaving The GPS refused to load the route onto the map. I spent more time reloading the route from my PC on the GPS but nothing I did would convince the route to load onto the maps on the GPS. In the end I copied the section of the route I did not know on the map on the PC, saved it, loaded it onto the GPS and then thankfully the GPS loaded it on the the map. Now I was ready to leave, only 2.5hrs later than intended. As I left I told the wife that if I came back in within the next 10 minutes, to hide as I was likely to explode.
The ride was two half’s, it started as my normal Sunday ride along the river to Throop and then out to Hurn forest. Then in the middle of Hurn Forest instead of turning right I turn left which then takes me out towards Avon Heath Country Park, from there it on towards the A31 crossing the dual carriageway (via foot bridge) then on to Ashley and then on towards Moors Valley . Here I added my own little bit into the route by joining the cycle Trail about a quarter of its way round and rode that till the end of the trail (the new cycle trail is not listed on the Moors Valley web site). From there it was down to the Castleman Trail to West Moors and then over to Ferndown. By the time I came out of the tree’s near Longham I was knackered and I still had 4 miles of road to cycle to get home. It was riding across the heath at Ferndown that I realised my last mistake of the day. A part from a Camelpak full of water I had not brought any energy drink or food, this was something I forgot to do after all the other cock-ups the morning had presented me. By now my thighs (around the quads) were aching badly, fortunately it was mainly flat from Longham to my house, when there was a slight slope my thighs let me know.
When I got home I was wiped out, when I eventually got round to getting the route of the GPS I was most disappointed 29.4 miles I was robbed, where was my 30 miler!!
I decided to updates the wife blog to Word Press 3 last night. I must admit I was surprised at how quick and easy it was. In fact so impressed and how easy it was I decided to update this site as well, 20 minutes later the blog is running of Word Press version 3. I only had one minor hic-up and that was the fact that I lost the code for the visitors from around the world by after a bit of faffing around I found the code and everything is now up and running as it was……………unless you know different??
Not much to report on the cycling front, never went for a mid week ride, never went for a Saturday ride, only did a short ride (9.8 miles) today at Wilverley Plain in the New Forest, was mainly flat but interesting with a lot of scope for extending the route if you wanted.
No doubt the lack of riding will reflect on my weigh in tomorrow night……………I am not holding my breath.
I have uploaded the route on to GPSies.com (click on the link at the bottom of this post). I have found this site quite useful for finding routes. I have also uploaded three of my routes on to the site which can be downloaded in a variety of GPS formats.
The wife wanted to ride in the New Forest on Saturday so having had a plan for a modified route around Linwood I thought it would be a good time to try it out. On the normal ride around this loop it involves a section of road riding under the A31 and then up a long drag up the other side. My idea was to cross the A31 by using the animal subways (subways for the ponies and cattle to get from the forest on one side of the A31 to the other). Well this worked out OK on the first crossing but on the return vis a different subway the New Forest Ponies were using the subway as a stable. As several of the ponies had foals with them we thought it best to find an alternative route. The next subway was about 1 mile way so we followed path that ran along side the A31. It is only when you are that close to the road that you realise how noisy and how fast the traffic is. Fortunately at this subway there were only a couple of ponies at the far end so we walked through and they did not seem to be bothered. NOTE: If you ever walk\ride through one of these subways, don’t think about what you are walking\riding on, just hold your breath and walk!!
As we headed to back towards Burley the path we were following seem to becoming less and less defined, at least the GPS was telling me we were heading in the right direction. It got to a point that I ended up following the GPS made sure we were heading in the right direction and then followed anything that looked like a path going in the right direction. We eventually found our way back to the car at 11am, thankfully beating most of the heat.
I awoke to day with less enthusiasm than normal for my Sunday morning ride, maybe it was because it was the fact I had ridden on 4 of the last 6 previous days or maybe it was I was feeling a little delicate in the crown jewels department!! Breaking in a new saddle has not helped matters either. I think the time has come to invest in some proper cycling shorts with some padding. I have held off until now as I have been trying to get down to a reasonable waist size but I think the time has come to go shopping……..
As a consequence of feeling a little delicate, I only did a short ride this morning, for the first time in months I got off the bike very carefully when I got back.
The rest of the day will be spent watching the F1 Grand Prix and hoping that anybody wins as long as it is not Vettel or Alonso. Then I will be cleaning and lubricating the Whyte later this afternoon.
Also got to empty the car at sometime today as it off for its first MOT tomorrow, 3 years old (103,000 miles). Not looking forward to the mass of answer phone messages and e-mails I will have when I start work again tomorrow although I am working from home.
Tomorrow night weigh in night so hopefully the past weeks riding will have helped, only time will tell………………