In the neighbourhood..

7°C, brisk SE, building rain.

Marshside Beach only 1km from my new house. Between here and my place are some brackish lagoons administered by the RSPB.

What a bleak and melancholic day. This panorama shows the empty feel of the beach a few hundred metres from the sea defences.

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Angry in an Audi.

After snow, 2°C, clear with moderate N breeze.

I rode Mustang with MapMyRide+! Distance: 32.50km, time: 01:37:00, pace: 2:59min/km, speed: 20.10km/h.

A short outing after the snow finished. None of it stuck anyway. The first mile goes north along an escarpment but narrows before the 40m descent. At that point, I had 4 cars behind so I pulled into a driveway to let them through. Oddly, the fourth car didn’t pass, it stopped. I waved him through. The other cars had stopped in front too. Then when it cleared, the Audi moved forward with a widow lowered. He shouted at me, “if you used your eyes, you’d see that car instead of blocking the road”

‘Blocking the road‘? I was in a driveway to let traffic through!

‘Using (my) eyes’? I saw the 4 cars, and saw the open driveway. What I didn’t see was the car coming up the hill because 3 cars were blocking the view.

I’m sorry, Audi driver that you’re having a bad day, but you have no right to take it out on me.

There I was, trying to be cooperative and considerate. Should I have continued with 4 cars behind me on that single track road since I had every legal right to?

At test this kind of thing doesn’t happen very often, perhaps once every three years.

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Long Winter Sun.

2C, light NE breeze and clear sky. Dry.

I rode the Paddy Wagon with MapMyRide+! Distance: 71.84km, time: 03:11:01, pace: 2:40min/km, speed: 22.57km/h.

A day of colour. Bright sun cast long shadows, especially towards 5pm, sunset. A copper orange glow illuminated the cloud’s undersides revealing textures and contours that are never otherwise visible. These are photogenic conditions and indeed, I took more shots than usual. An exquisite day, the peaks in Cumbria were visible, and they were capped with snow.

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First Fixed Gear Outing.

Cold but nice in the sun. 5°C, moderate SW wind and sunny.

I rode Paddy Wagon with MapMyRide+! Distance: 45.75km, time: 02:17:58, pace: 3:01min/km, speed: 19.90km/h.

At last, the wind has dropped enough to ride the single speed bike. I found enough strength in my legs to set a decent pace on some stretches. That was fun.

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Sunday blast

11°C strong SW, dry and grey.

I rode Mustang with MapMyRide+! Distance: 83.52km, time: 04:05:28, pace: 2:56min/km, speed: 20.41km/h.

Rode without a great deal of energy in my legs. I tapped out the miles though. The route was chosen to allow a return leg with some shelter from hedgerows. Hedges are good at diffusing an annoying wind.

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Ainsdale Beach

5°C, still with unbroken blue above.

I hiked with MapMyRide+! Distance: 7.48km, time: 01:37:45, pace: 13:04min/km, speed: 4.59km/h.

Today’s trip is an exploration of my new hometown.

Dunes run dominantly in parallel to the rather distant shoreline. Looking out west, a wreck poked above sand flats. I should visit that next time, perhaps on the bike.
A big chunk of this area is a mature reserve. It’s mostly fenced off but is marked as Open Access land. Wavecut parts of the beach are low and smooth; I cycled on that part about a month ago. The dunes start immediately behind low cliffs.

The furthest end of the walk entered pine woodland. The going was tricky because so many trees were down. Trunks were smashed in places, doubtless by all the storms that roll in from the northern approaches.

Underfoot were some Puffballs, long past their prime but undisturbed nonetheless.

I’m going to like living here.

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Muddy Mess Of a Ride.

Bright winter sun 6°C, brisk S.

I rode The Jake with MapMyRide+! Distance: 26.48km, time: 01:51:48, pace: 4:13min/km, speed: 14.21km/h.

A fine muddy, squelchy start along the canal into early low sun. At 6 or 7 miles, the squelching turned to a soggy back wheel. A puncture.

Since its a Slime inner-tube, I tried pumping it up in the hope it would seal itself. It soon went flat again and left me in the open with a heavy shower threatening. I decided to run for a while. At the next bridge, under shelter, I had a go at changing the tube. The new tube went flat in only 100m. No choice but to put the slime tube back in. That didn’t hold much pressure either. So onto the next bridge. Much further this time, well over a mile of running.

There are deeper puddles to wash wheel and hands. Then, a minibus from an autism charity pulled up. It had a trailer of bikes in tow. The driver lent me a track pump which is so much easier than a stupid little frame pump.

I got a good 2 miles on that 60psi. When it ran flat, I ran again. The last few miles was repeated re-inflations. Along the way was police looking for an abandoned railway’station and a friendly cyclist who offered a tube.

I arrived home, arms shaking from all that pumping (stop sniggering at the back).

Now the bike is in the garage cleaned and gears tuned, the tyre has decided to hold pressure now, how about doing that on the trail?. I don’t trust it though.

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Georgina (gale)

7°C, strong W, clear and sunny.

I rode Mustang with MapMyRide+! Distance: 37.64km, time: 01:41:54, pace: 2:42min/km, speed: 22.16km/h.

Derelict house near Formby Golf Course. The sun made a spectacular exit over the sea tonight (night still happens in the afternoon but it’s getting much better). There is no spring colour yet, hedges are still very grey.

The ride was a blast.

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Crusty tap.

Changing the washer in a tap is supposed to be easy. This one has small facets making the spanner slip. Inside the tap is all crusty with limescale buildup. You’re supposed ot be able to unscrew the collar by hand, no chance.

As I write, there is descale fluid soaking. Can you see the bubbles? That’s the limescale dissolving.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Continue reading

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Galanthus season.

11°C moderate SW wind, dry with some sun.

I rode The Jake with MapMyRide+! Distance: 30.02km, time: 01:32:11, pace: 3:04min/km, speed: 19.54km/h.

Snowdrops are budding but not out yet. It’s not an early sign of spring, but is the sign winter’s end is approaching.

Pushed along by a tailwind, I did get a personal best for the run along Cheshire Lines cycle track.

Presumably, that’s only the leaderboard for this January.

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