Canal commute.

19°C, light wind and clear sky.
I rode Jake with MapMyRide+! Distance: 16.5mi, time: 01:19:18, pace: 4:48min/mi, speed: 12.5mi/h.
Rode Cyclocross on the commute today. I took the normal route in, but returned along the canal. It winds around and industrial estate and some rough housing. But in May, everything is lush, water lilies in the canal, a heron fishing and all sorts of water fowl. Perfect weather though I was over dressed.
It’s a shame the canal only gets 5 miles from home. There is one nearer, but it’s a large loop round.


The surfaces are better than other canals I use, wide and often ash covered.

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Fixed 61

12°C, white cloud and one shower. Strong W.
I rode with MapMyRide+! Distance: 61.8mi, time: 04:26:08, pace: 4:18min/mi, speed: 13.9mi/h.
Riding fixed in wind is not recommended. Wind is a weakness of single speed bikes, it turns the ride into a long steady climb up a hill. That hill can easily be ten miles long. The trick is to choose a route that crosses the wind direction as much as possible.
Speaking of hills, I got up Bannister Hill again, also after Dalton.
Joey in the woods.

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Plas-y-Brenin 3

13°C, brisk SW, sunny and cloud building later.
Great conditions, though the wind is strong with attendant wind-chill. Bright sun that needs sun-block.


Photo: very early sun on the Snowdon Horseshoe.
Today’s route we planned ourselves.
Our route started in a wooded horseshoe valley on the edge of the Molwynion. Out of the trees, we walked in strong sunshine and strong wind. I need to re-think clothing for these days, perhaps a thin windproof and gilet combination.
Navigation used subtle amounts features which honed our techniques. I got the feeling that Helen, the instructor, was becoming confident in us. Sometimes she passed over checking my position, but I knew where we were.
On return to the bus, I was feeling the cumulative lack of sleep. Debrief was rousing for me though. I am thrilled by the prospect of 20 more Quality Hill days and some at night. It was even suggested that I consider Mountain Leader Award.
note for future reference: I packed 2 1/2 litres of water and drank 2/3 of it. The backpack weighed 20 kilos (a 40 litre bag). Now I have a water filter, I should be able to pack a 60 litre bag at the same weight.

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Plas-y-Brenin 2

11°C, brisk NE, rain set in all day.


Day Two, trying not to feel like a cheat, I have walked in this area before. It’s that forgotten region between the Arenig and Ffestiniog.
Although light rain and reduced visibility dominated the day, we used the time to read the land and match with contours. Each of the six of us were given a short leg and others had to identify where we got to. Points of interest were pre-industrial settlements or simply, contour rings.
Lunch at a shooting hut.
A very good day with Mike, an expert on the local wildlife. We found outcrops of pyroclastic flows. Also there was evidence of the woodland character that is suppressed by sheep farming there.

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Plas-y-Brenin 1

13°C, thin cloud and still
Day one on a staff training course for D of E. Woke before anybody and walked about the lake while I waited for breakfast.


Continue reading

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11 to 16°C, brisk SSW, sunny early and later. Noon cloud.
I rode Racelite-8 with MapMyRide+! Distance: 74.25mi, time: 05:06:41, pace: 4:08min/mi, speed: 14.5mi/h.
Longest ride of the year so far. I haven’t done enough of these in ’15 but this marks a steady build-up towards some century rides in high summer.
And Two cafe stops.

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7am canal ride.

11°C, brisk SW and grey cloud. Dry.
I rode Jake with MapMyRide+! Distance: 17.8mi, time: 01:39:10, pace: 5:35min/mi, speed: 10.76mi/h.
Started early, 7am start and saw few people. The return via Chorley was hillier that I remember but there were no surprise traffic on the narrow twisty lanes.

Mapmyride has strange bugs. If I change the ride type to cyclocross, then the GPS fails to work, change it back to Road Cycling and it’s back to normal. Even changing the ride type after my return voids the mapping. I will hold out for an update.
Another tree felled. I have enjoyed this cherry every spring, it put a magnificent show in flower and the colour glowed against the morning sun. Now it has gone and I am bereft, I hate to see a healthy tree cut down.

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Evening canal 13

11°C, W brisk, 3/5 cloud.
Evening cyclocross: did a short route on the Jake in a loop on the canal.
13.5 miles in 1h 20.
GPS failed again. It’s a bug in Mapmyride that started on the 30th April update. Again, it failed to connect to the GPS sensor mm my phone so would only record the time for the outing.
I have cleared the data for tomorrow’s commute, so it should be okay.
Breaks in the cloud produced long shadows and a blaze of colour from fields of rape. Big grin.

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Which bike today?

16°C, mostly sunny with a light SW breeze.
Which bike today? What a good problem to have- fixed gear or cyclocross?
I rode fixed with MapMyRide+! Distance: 50.34mi, time: 03:09:48, pace: 3:46min/mi, speed: 15.91mi/h.
‘Rode up Bannister Hill after riding up to Dalton. The big climb felt harder than last time, but this is the first time I have climbed up both.
Good ride at a decent pace.
Venus Fly Trap plant. I like these chaps, they could star in a good animation.

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Cross thread.

11°C light rain under grey sky.
It should have been a simple job.
For a few weeks a cracking noise came from the Arrow’s bottom bracket. This has happened before when warm weather started. It’s as if the warmer, expanded metal gap loosened the lock-rings.
It should have taken an hour to fix it. It took over two.
The threads were stripped on the left side. That is a worrying sign of possible damage to the threads in the frame; a job for a frame builder.
Eventually, I got it out, cleaned the inside threads with a wire brush and got swarf in my finger.
It’s done now, but to play safe, I have a new bearing on order.

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