Lakes, hills and Aljezur

Cloud, then bright sun, 27C.
GPS MapMyRide! Distance: 78.31mi, time: 05:19:18, pace: 4:05min/mi, speed: 14.8mi/h.
Rode many hills and a few dead ends, but the hire bike makes big hills likable. It was not until near the cafe stop at Aljezur that the sun came out.
So most of the big climbs were under white cloud.
One of the rear spokes worked loose, I can blame the climbs for that. I hit no potholes all day- the roads are pretty good here. Traffic was very light too.
I am going to be famous! on the ride back, the Google Streetview car passed the other way. I will give them six months to post then have a look on Google Earth. I know my face will be blurred, but I will know it is me.
That was a very satisfying day.

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End of the world.

23C grey sky.
Tracked with MapMyRide! Distance: 13.31mi, time: 55:32, pace: 4:10min/mi, speed: 14.4mi/h.
Rode out beyond Sagres to the lighthouse which marks the most SW point in Europe. It’s flat and rocky there with cliffs on all sides to the Atlantic. Slight mist is developing which must be very striking in stormy weather.
I have the same bike again and plan a ride that pushes deeper inland tomorrow.
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Cork woodland.

27C brisk NW sea breeze. Bright sun.
Hired bike: rode MapMyRide! Distance: 50.04mi, time: 03:31:11, pace: 4:13min/mi, speed: 14.22mi/h.
Great ride in the Algarve nature reserve. The main feature was a long twisting ascent up to the wind farm. Then followed a fast descent to the west on an empty road.


Cork Oak trees.

That was good so I stopped at the bottom to read the map. I wanted another route to take me back up so ride it again. But then it was obvious how little water there was left in the bottles. That became my priority, so I resumed the route and look for a cafe. Carrapeteira has a nice square with a few places to buy water.
The return was a faster cruise along sweeping roads.
Traffic have a wide berth but they do tail-gate each other badly.
The bike was quite likable, comfortable and smooth; not bad for a hire bike. It has an aluminium frame with carbon forks. The guy said he got them for €800 each. The frame seems good with costs cut on components. I really liked the new style Tiagra shifters, the up-shift lever is in a more natural place and it’s clunkiness sir a good feature in my view.

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Less than good.

24C, evening sun, NW wind.
Hire bike- took it out for a spin to check it out for fit and adjust.
Not a successful ride- at about 4 miles out, both tyres punctured. The front went flat quickly, the back waited until I finished fixing the first. Good that the cycle-hire have me 2 tubes and a folding tyre. I needed both.

The pump supplied was not good enough to get these tyres up to a safe pressure.

Two punctures and a nervous ride back did not make for confidence for tomorrow. I want to do a big ride inland and make a day of it. I hope all will be well.
Tracked with MapMyRide! Distance: 11.96mi, time: 48:51, pace: 4:05min/mi, speed: 14.69mi/h.

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I know how to live it up.

20C,not a cloud, light sea breeze.
Never done this before in the 11 years I have had this car. I have wax polished it.


It’s a little tricky, the instructions on the bottle make it sound easy. The car does need to be spotlessly clean. The polish is a milky liquid that should be left to dry. Then within a big soft cloth, you buff it off. Easy, but the dry chalky stuff really sticks to any flaws or bits of dirt to show how bad you are at washing.

Shall I try it on my bike?

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Wheat, nearly ripe.

The same field,

22°C,light N breeze, bright sun.
Tracked ride with- MapMyRide! Distance: 34.1mi, time: 02:14:53, pace: 3:57min/mi, speed: 15.2mi/h.
Dragonflies, dozens were on the wing today. Is there any poetry in the way they look like antique biplanes, these fabulous creatures from a time long, long before?

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Service race-8

24°C sunny, no breeze.
Yesterday’s ride was no twithout problems. At 45 miles, the gear change became heavier and sticky. Up-shift was unreliable but I knew what it was. Out of sight, inside the cable the wire was frayed. It snags and forced me to double-shift and back for the rest of the day. With experience, I knew the fault immediately.
Once opened up, it was clear. A single strand of wire in the cable had coiled up inside the sheath.
Today, I fixed it and changed the cable route too.


I have been looking at new bikes too. There are two complete bikes that fit my needs and size. A Kona Jake and a Raleigh Revenio. Both are cyclo-cross bikes with disc brakes. I want more reliable braking in rain. Normal brakes are poor when the rims are wet. Discs should solve that. These two makes are suitable because the top-tube length is right for me (22.5″ or 60.5cm).
I hate short frames. In the 1990s, top tubes were mostly 21.5 inches for all frame sizes. That is mad, the size should be in proportion to the frame size; not fixed to suit the brazing jig.
In the mid 90s, I had both my made-to-measure frames built with 23″ top-tubes. At the time that was the only way to get a frame that fits me. These days, there is another choice: off-the-peg.

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100 with two diversions.

24C max. N breeze. Sunny start and end, cloud in between.
Tracked with MapMyRide! Distance: 101.85mi, time: 07:13:05, pace: 4:15min/mi, speed: 14.11mi/h.


I couldn’t see how deep this flood was. In this situation, it’s a good idea to wait for a car to drive through, that would show how deep the water is. Two cars appeared, but each stopped for a long time then turned around. They daren’t try it either. The water stretched from that left hedge and over the R. Anker on the right into the wheat field to the right. If I could predict the highest part of the road’s camber, then a ride through is possible. The edges of the road were completely hidden so I scrapped the idea.
I went along the A5 for a few miles instead. What a horrible road to ride on.
The other diversion was to avoid the traffic diverted from the closed A38. Presumably, there had been a smash in the middle afternoon.

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Can I have a new mobile phone?

20°C, heavy storms with thunder. The sun gets a look in too.

I have a Samsung Galaxy Mini II. It runs really badly, sometimes with a 30″ delay before text appears on screen. Internal memory is low most of the time (about 90-120Mb) despite running a cleanup app. several times a day.
I suspect that the data flow bottle-neck is in the system memory. An 800Mhz single core processor doesn’t help

Angle-poise lamp, with phone.

Here is my mobile, reflected in an angle-poise lamp.

First thoughts: Galaxy Mini III. More RAM, better camera, dual-CPU and an easy swap for my current sim card. The screen is supposed to be brighter (Amoled) which may mean the phone is usable in bright sunlight.
I have a cheap but more than adequate contract where I pay £7 per month. Data, calls and text are more than enough- I have never gone over the monthly cap.

Only trouble is- the best deals seems to have gone. There were several below £100 a few months ago. Is summer a bad time to buy a new phone? Perhaps I should wait until after my holidays where the chance of loosing the phone is higher.

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Three short notes.

28°C, humid, later breaks down to thunder.
End of academic year- we’ve broken up for summer. What a good day it is when you win the staff Fairtrade hamper in a raffle. I don’t think I ever won a raffle before, and I really like the stuff in the basket.
Shock: I got a shock when I arrived home, literally. It was so hot and humid when I got in that I threw windows open to change the air. Then I thought of the lodger’s pet rabbit up in attic room. It gets roaring hot on days like this: I went up to check. A bit untidy and the rabbit seemed okay- he even appeared interested to see me. I reached down to switch on the fan and got quite a jolt. There was a thump to the back of my arm.
The cable had live wires exposed. Mr rabbit had nibbled though the insulation and is lucky to be alive.

Overnight- woken by the slow, ominous approach of a thunder storm. I played the counting game, flash to rumble/7. It was coming directly for here. When close enough, the sound was loud enough to trigger house alarms.
That was about 1am, the same happened at about 4am again.
I love a good thunderstorm.
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