Tag: New Forest

and so it goes on…..

I would of liked to think things were going to get better, but based on current circumstances they are not. Work has been s***e this week, 3 trip to head office and very little of what I needed to get done got done but that does not stop them demanding it. Finally to end the week on a low note, I broke a tooth today eating a crisp or rather it just broke. It one of the ones I had the root canal work on late last year. The bit of tooth is still in my gum and I have managed to push (with my tongue) the broken bit back into place so it does not hurt my gum (as it was doing), but I can now only eat on one side of my mouth now. Hopefully I can get to see the dentist on Monday.

I went for a ride this morning (pre-broken tooth) with my son. As it has been a couple of months since his last outing (and painful knee due to schoolboy pranks) I decided to go out to the New Forest and ride the old railway line from Burley to Holmlsey and back. It is only 5 miles round trip but by the time I got back to the car park anyone would of thought I had ridden 10 times that distance, I was just dead on the bike. As is normal when we are in this neck of the Forest I was forced to stop at the Station House Tea House for refreshments, as you can see cycling requires a lot of chocolate cake and milk shake.

Ryan refuelling
Waiting on the old platform

phone calls and rain

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……….

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A ride with no punctures

Well that makes a change…….

I woke up early and laid there as it slowly got lighter, I eventually made it down stairs to the kitchen at 6:45 for breakfast and get ready for my ride. While looking through my list of past rides last night I found one I did about 12 months ago, it was one of those Wiggles Rides, it was called “The falling leaves” ride in the New Forest. So after loading up I head off for the New Forest, the original ride started at Brokenhurst but the ride looped round to Burley and that was where I was intending to start. I parked up at the car park near the old railway line to Holmsley.

I was expecting the weather to be a little more sunny based on the weather forecast for Sunday (I really should stop relying on the weather forecast), cloudy and grey was the reality. Thankfully it was still quite warm. The sun did stick it head out a couple of times but it was nothing like the forecast they had given for the weekend.

The ride was pretty straight forward and quiet despite the fact that there was a marathon, half marathon and a triathlon taking place. On one road section (there were several road section which I had forgotten about) I ended up riding with the triathlon guys, most of them said good morning as they shot past me which made a change compared to the roadies that normally ignore me, fortunately I missed the marathon runners. A ride of 25.5 miles in around two and a half hours and best of all no punctures 🙂

Cleaning the bike this afternoon I found one of the concaved spacer washer that sits on the bolt holding the front brake calliper on had split, this would explain why the front disc was rubbing from time to time during the ride, thankfully I had a spare.

A few weeks ago I ran out of the degreaser I used for cleaning the chain, in the past I had been buying the Finish Line Citrus degreaser at about £12 for a small bottle. Now while it was good at degreasing it was not what you would call cheap. Then a little birdy told me about Swarfega Oil and Grease Remover, 5 Ltr container for just over £8 which you mix at 50:1 (you do the maths but it is a lot of chain washes!!). Well it certainly cleans the chain and cassette nicely. I got mine from Screw Fix Direct, I will keep you posted on how it goes.

Mr Angry may be about out later this week, for the past couple of months getting online has been nigh on impossible at times. According to Virgin Media this is because (and I quote) you are affected by a local upstream utilisation issue on your chassis (local router) which will cause your speed to slow during busy periods. This basically means there are more users using the system than the system can handle. Now the fix was supposed to have been Friday 23rd but if anything it is worse. I am going to give them a couple more days and if there is no improvement I will complain about the lack service. What really get’s me is that I am being bombarded with e-mails and spam through the letter box from Virgin Media to move up to their 20mb service yet they are unable to deliver the 10mb service they are currently providing me and I am paying for, watch this space.

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not happy

Have you ever noticed that as soon as you try to get back on your feet, there is always somebody ready to push you back down. This week was supposed to be a turning point for us as their were two salaries going into our bank account, a first for many months and badly needed. It seems as though the bank and tax-man had other ideas. On the same day that the money went in we had a demanding letter from the bank and my tax code has changed which means I am paying more tax (no notification or warning). OK yes maybe it could be worse, we could of still been the position where only one salary was going into the bank but we put the effort into making things better for ourselves but some still wants to push us down.

For the past week or so I have been suffering with my right ear, I am prone to getting the small tube that runs between my nose and ear blocked, normally with snot when I have a bit of a head\nose cold. When it is blocked (like now) everything is muffled in my right ear along with a popping sound, particularly if I cough, sneeze or burp. Well today it got worse, I now have a dull ache in my ear and being a bank holiday weekend I can’t get to the doctors till Tuesday and it will have to be Tuesday evening as I have an important meeting to go to first thing Tuesday morning which I arranged and I can’t tell those attending not to turn up.

With the second of the four day bank holiday weekend upon us I was intending to ride the same as I did last week, 3 out of the 4 days. So wanting to avoid the media frenzy over the wedding yesterday I set off before 9am for the New Forest, judging by the amount of cyclist I past on the way (and counted while riding), I was not the only one avoiding the wedding. I had decided to ride from Burley out to Linwood and back in a round about way. It is a ride that I have done several times but I have never been happy with the end of the route so I have been looking for some alternative ending. Well yesterday final section was the best I found to date and I also cleared two of the hills for the first time and reasonably comfortably at that (for me). I was even happier when I got back to the car and realised I had done the 19.8 mile ride in 2hrs 14min, OK not fast by many peoples standards but fast by mine, I am a slow rider.

Today I decided to ride with the local mountain bike club Dorset Rough Riders, it was only a easy ride but I did this for two reason, first I wanted to find some new local trails that I had missed and secondly to see how I got on riding in a group (mainly keeping up, see above). Unfortunately thing did not start to well, last night I fitted a set on new disc pads on the Cannondale rear brake and they were a mare to fit, don’t know why as I have fitted them before without a problem. Well this morning as I rode to the meeting point I could not get any speed up. When I arrived at the meeting point I found the back brake was dragging and no amount of adjusting the calliper resolved the issue (it was alright when I went I put the bike way), not only that but I noticed some liquid on the reservoir. The brake was working, a bit sharp but I decided to carry on with the ride. At the end of the day all I can say is, “it was not worth it”. I was having to use double the effort to keep up and just not enjoying the ride (despite going over new routes). I did a paltry 10 miles before leaving the group and heading for home, to be fair they were about to head back to the start point and I would only of had to ride all the way back again to get home (about 6 miles from where I left). So now I have to get the brake sorted out on the bike which is going to cost, so all in all I am not a happy bunny………..

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that was quick

Back home from doing my Wiggles ride this morning and everything went according to plan, I had no cramps during the ride, it seems as though my drinking and eating plan worked, at least for the ride, not sure about the diet until the Monday weigh-in.

I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, it was mainly 26 miles of fire roads and cycle paths with road sections to join it. Several section of the ride I had ridden in the past some of it was new. I wanted to complete the ride in under 3hrs but I managed (and don’t ask how because I don’t know) to complete the route in 2hrs 33min, I thought that was quick for me at least. I started the ride at my pace ignoring the rider in the distance, I had the route on GPS and had marked where I was going to stop and drink the energy drink, I had mixed up a weak solution to be drunk at two points around the ride with some left for extra if needed. I was still drinking water from my camelbak which I tried to remember to do on a regular basis, it all seemed to work quite well.

I decided late last night to change the tyres on my bike to my winter mud tyres as I did not know what to expect from the trails with the rain we had had on Friday. I knew that any sign of mud would clog my other tyres, as it was it was not to bad, I think the others tyres would of coped but hey ho, hind sight is a marvellous thing.

I started the ride at about 8:30 with the sun out but a lot of mist and fog around, saw lots of steam rising from fences and logs etc as the sun came out warming them up. After about 5 miles I stopped to remove my jumper as I was sweating, I had a base layer jumper with a normal cotton tee shirt over the top but by this time it was warm enough not to need a jumper.

I have ordered a new front light for the bike this week from Deal Extreme, once it has arrived I will have a play and then put a small review on here.

The rest of today includes, cleaning the bike ready for tomorrows ride (weather permitting, more heavy rain forecast), taking the Gazebo down for the winter and then off to do a little shopping

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