Category: weather

things I should of known!

Thing 1) The past 5 days have been days of lovely blue sky and warm spring sunshine but it was to much to expect for it to last into the weekend. I woke up this morning to a grey overcast sky and the day progressed to get colder and greyer.

Thing 2) Never believe what is written in a book, all weather route it said?? Since when has all weather routes included thick claggy clay that stick to your tyres like the proverbial to a blanket.

Thing 3) Your wife will ride down a long muddy hill with deep ruts at speed without a problem, but give her a piece of flat trial and she will fall of the bike and land in the mud.

Thing 4) Cut price Organic Grapes are not a good deal, especially if you don’t like grapes with pips in.

Thing 5) When your wife says we don’t need any shopping, what she really means is we need to go shopping.

Thing 6) The mobile phone will stop ringing the split second you pick it up and when you phone the person back they will be trying to phone your wife (who also can’t get to answer her phone quick enough). When you eventually get through to said person phoning you they will ask you what you want!!

As you can see I have had a fun filled day, a dull overcast day dawned at least that bit of the forecast was correct. The sun did try to break through but it was never for more than 10 -15 minutes worth of sun and then an hour or so before it popped out again.

We decided to do one of the rides from a book we bought a few month ago Mountain Bike Guide Dorset by Colin Dennis. It is a small book which gives details of 33 mountain bike ride across Dorset (they do other area’s as well), these range from 5 miles to 23 mile routes listed in 4 different difficulty levels. We (I say we but it was the wife who chose) decided on route 10 Badbury Rings and Kingston Lacy. It was only a short route, with no hills of any significant and an all weather route. Well there was a couple of small hills, long drag if you like, but what made them difficult was the deep covering of wheel hugging clay based mud from the bottom to the top. At one point on the second hill I stopped half way up but was then unable to get going again as I could not get any traction. I had to push my bike a few meters up the track to where it level out slightly and start the climb again.

The wife took a nice tumble from her bike (not from her point of view though), riding past Badbury Rings itself her back wheel spun out sideways on a patch of clay throwing her to the floor. Fortunately no more damage than a bruised arm and ego. Mind you she is lucky to have made it that far, we had only just left the car park at Pamphill and ridding down the very narrow road when a car cames round the corner towards her forcing the wife to swerve into the bank where she got caught up in some large pot holes (read craters).

On the whole it was a nice ride, the mud made it difficult. When I was plotting the route out last night I thought maybe do two laps or maybe half the loop the second time round. But by the time I got back to the car I had had enough. I think if I knew what the route was like I would of been alright, I would of known what to expect.

I am out riding again tomorrow, not sure what route to do yet (might even do Badbury rings again). I am currently in two minds at the moment, I want to up my miles I do over a weekend, but I don’t want to do it to quickly encase it cause injury or slow my weight loss. I also want to get some mid week rides in, be it early morning or late evening while it is still daylight. With the day getting longer this won’t be so much of a problem, but I don’t want to do to much to quick.

A quick question, what sort of blog do you prefer, one that is a:

  • Daily Blog
  • Several times a week Blog
  • Weekly Blog
  • Once a month Blog

No particular reason just wondering

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er something is wrong!

My weight is playing yo-yo’s again, Monday nights weigh-in was a gain, 1.5lbs. At the moment I am losing weight one week, gaining weight the next, losing weight the following week and so on………. It has now got to the point where I am doing a weekly food diary, for those that don’t know a food diary is where you write down exactly what you eat for each meal for a week. I only do these when there is a problem with my weight and eating. Writing the diary normally result in a good weight loss because you are forced to write down what you eat you tend to think twice about that bar of chocolate! I know at the weekends sometimes I am no saint, I suffer from a total lack of will power, but I try to eat properly during the week so that I have a bit in hand to eat a bit of naughty but nice at the weekends!!

But I am beginning to wonder if I have reached a point where muscle is developing and as muscle is heavier than fat I am putting weight on. I have two very un-scientific reason for thinking this, one, I am getting lots of complements about how much weight I have lost because people are noticing my loss. Secondly, I put a pair of trousers on this morning and I was surprised by how much I had to pull the belt in to buckle it up. It was not that long ago that I was wearing the belt at the maximum limit.

A part from weight issues I am struggling this week, life is just beating me up at the moment. I was not happy with only being able to do the one ride over the weekend due to the weather, I was even less impressed Monday morning to wake up to blue sunny skies and then it continues on Tuesday and Wednesday as well, I think the weather gods don’t like my earlier post (will they ever get forecast the weather correctly). The weather forecast for the weekend is looking OK (but can we trust it?), sunny but cold with some stiff winds.

Today was my weekly trip to work HQ so I fall out of bed at 5:10am and leave the house by 6:00am. It was nice to see that it was light from around 6:30am and still light up until about 6:00pm, it can only get better over the coming weeks. I have the idea of a route for an early morning ride if I am working from home so I will looking closely at that over the next week or two.

Talking of routes, I travel along the A44 from the A34 to near Broadway. Today I noticed how the local (or county) council had sign posted the bridle ways and foot paths (I have only been travelling along this road for the past 8 years). Some of these little green sign looked to be pointing down some very inviting little trails.

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so what is it?

The day dawned wet and raining, well at least it did when I pulled back the curtain at about 7:30am and looked out the window, so I went back to bed, it looked as though the forecasted severe weather was right…………wrong. The heavy rain during the day never arrived, light drizzle and one heavy shower, by mid afternoon the sun had broken through complete with white fluffy clouds and blues sky. By late afternoon we went for a walk along the river bank. OK it was windy and the wind was cold but where was the severe weather??

A couple of post ago (this one) it was suggested that I speak about what kit I have got and that got me thinking how much I have amassed since I started riding bikes again in Oct 09. Back then it was a simple case of lets buy a bike and it will help with the weight loss. I knew I wanted a mountain bike, I had had a “Race Bike” as they were called when I was younger, a white 10 speed derailleur with drop handle bars and those extra arms on the brakes levers so that you could activate the brakes while your hand were on the top section of the handle bar, all mod cons in those days. And lets be honest, “Race Bikes” are built for anorexic stick insects, not somebody weighing just under 19st, at least that was my reasoning back then. Walking into the bike shop for the first time was an eye opener, the placed was packed with bikes and customers and some of the prices………. After about an hour I left having purchased a Cannondale F5 for me and a Specialized Myka for the wife, some lights, crud catchers and a helmet for the wife (I had a helmet at home I was intending to use).

It was not long before I was back at the shop purchasing a new helmet for me (I had forgotten why I stopped wearing it). This was quickly followed by a pump, puncture repair kit and water bottle & cage. Next on the shopping list was a track pump and some cleaning gear and lubrication. As anybody who has owned a bike will know how the list went on.

It was not only the ancillary bits that I was buying, the first item to change on the bike was the handle bar grips, I fitted a pair of Ergon GR2 handle bar grips. Due to a warranty issue I had to have a new frame, but the same frame was no longer available. So a better compatible frame from there F2 range was sourced from the USA, apparently the European F2 is a completely different bike to the American F2 and is a better frame than the F5. Just before I found out that I needed a new frame I ordered a new pair of Recon Race single air front forks, thankfully they went on the new frame. Since then I have changed the pedals to get a better grip, the handles bars and seat to improve the riding position. I keep telling the wife I am building another bike by stealth……..

Here is my bike as it stands today

Bike in garden
My bike after a wash and service

and here is my old F5

my old bike
My bike having a scenic rest

Not a lot of difference when you look at the pictures but it is a completely different bike now, a lot lighter.

The one aspect of biking I have not bought into yet is the clothing, the price of some of the kit really scares me even more than the price of bikes. I currently ride with a base layer top and a pair of lycra running trousers, a pair of normal shorts over the top, an old fleeced jacket and a pair of hiking shoes. The only concessions I have made to biking clothing is a pair of gloves and a pair of seal skin water proof socks.

While I was writing this I did thinking about adding up what I spent on cycling to date, I decided very quickly that it would not be a good idea……..

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Will they ever forecast the weather correctly?

With the UK obsession with the weather you would of thought that the met office & co would be able to forecast the weather with some degree of accuracy. There certainly no need to to discuss their failing concerning our BBQ summer and mild winter…………NOT!

Friday’s forecast for us was rain, what we got, cloud, blue sky’s and sunshine. Today’s forecast, heavy rain shower in the morning clearing into the afternoon to give sunshine with occasional shower and light winds. Actual, damp grey cloudy morning leading to occasional sunshine, light rain shower (about 5 minutes) and winds between 18mph to 24mph.

They spend millions on satellites and we are no closer to forecasting it correctly than the guy with a rock and pampas grass in his garden. He looks out of his bedroom window first thing in the morning and concludes if the rock is wet, it is raining, if the pampas grass is swaying it is windy, if there is a shadow of the rock or pampas grass it is sunny………..you get the picture.

My interest in the weather today was based on the fact that it was supposed to be a good day today and a lousy day tomorrow. We almost did not ride today because the weather looked so miserable when we got up. But as we were being told that Sunday was likely to be a day of heavy rain and strong winds then I wanted to make the most of riding Saturday. Thankfully for us (the wife and thee) the forecasted rain this morning never turned up, the wind put in an un-welcome appearance and boy was it warm (when out of the wind). The only rain we saw was at 14:15 this afternoon as we were about to drive off from the New Forest.

The ride its self was not to bad a lot of standing water, must remember to keep my mouth shut when going down hill at speed, track water does not taste nice. We decided to do a shorten Linwood Loop in the New Forest. We started at the bottom of the South Oakley Inclosure (east of Burley), ride up to the Canadian War Memorial, then out towards the A31 going under the dual carriageway and then turning off towards Broomy Lodge and the Broomy Inclosure, then on to Linwood and the Red Shoot pub. We stopped at the pub for a nice sandwich and a drink, no it was coke in fact…….. and very nice it was to.
It was here that we had a problem, the battery in the GPS expired and the map of the route was in the car. I had only done this route once but fortunately remembered the directions to get us up onto Bratley Plain than back to the road under the A31 and back toward the War Memorial. Normally from here we would carry on past the War Memorial down toward the deer sanctuary and back to the car park where we started. But the short loop mean we go back down the track we came up on through the South Oakley Inclosure to the car park for a little under 17 miles with a few large hills (well they are to us).

Thankfully there was no problems with either bike this ride. If there is a chance I will ride tomorrow if not I will spend the day giving the bike a good clean.

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