Metric Century 2.

12°C brisk S breeze but brighter later.
That was a good day out. The route had plenty of variety, hills, flats and a good coffee stop. Later was a long slog on flat land exposed to the wind. My fitness is down on previous years to that last hour was wearing.

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Some galleries in Manchester.

12°C, light and sunny.

I came for art, E came for cubing.

William Kentridge was the main billing at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester. This place has changed much since I last came here 25 years ago. I remember a show of John Berger back then. Abstract painting doesn’t normally do it for me but Berger achieved it. I still remember the vivid depth in those layers of shapeless brush marks. Today was another eye-opener.

Never before have I got on with Video Installation as an artform before. William Kentridge produced 4 films that used stop-frame, rotoscoping and multi-layering. Some layers were hand drawn or painted; some, pages out of books. The sound was rich and clear too. Often, other films of the genre were shrill and visually, jarring. This had none of those problems. Some videos were played through numerous projectors into constructed rooms. You were left spoilt for choice of view. One room offered swivel chairs. Others were simpler projections before a bench.

Beyond the projection rooms were other still displays of printed material. Tables were set up with angle-poise lamps with various books. It made you feel part of the exhibit.

I made it to two galleries and a museum in one day. They were all worth the visit. But sorry, the Whitworth aced the day. The cafe served wonderfully refreshing food and the building was a cinematic space to walk through. I was moved to buy the exhibition book.

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Ribble Dyke by cyclo-cross.

12°C, sunny with S breeze.
Soft mud of the season made this a smoother route than last time I passed this way. What an excellent day!

I saw Egrets, heard Oyster Catchers and many others I can’t identify. The glancing light made the land very photogenic. The only thing missing is the smell of spring is, as yet, missing.

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A slight cheat

11°C, sunny.

I have to say, I’m happy with the plastering job. I’ve never plastered anything as big as the chimney breast bit this worked. I can smooth my hand over for that satisfying feeling. Okay, so I tweaked it with a little polyfiller but still….

The HDR app is handy here for looking for flaws. Here is one looking abstract.

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Crank arrives.

11°C, sunny and Spring like.

Campag Record crank arms.


Those eBay cranks have arrived. the BB bolts are missing but at least they are in excellent condition. There is barely a blemish on the polish anywhere.

Oh, I managed to get a ride in too. 32 miles in fine conditions.

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Stretch your legs

10°C, SW wind and some soft drizzle
To close a rather satisfying# day with a blast on the bike. I rode the Arrow despite it being somewhat poorly. It has a slow puncture and a knackered chainset. Still, the ride went well. The replacement campag record chainset is due to arrive on friday.

#: The satisfaction comes from DIY. The chimney breast is plastered with base coat and I stopped when I ran out of Skim coat.

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Mustang on gravel.


Windswept flats, a decent route with enough variety for a winter ride. This outing follows a long walk yesterday to clear my legs.

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Berwyn hills: a pre season recce.

5°C, strong SW wind with showers.

This is what DofE leaders do in the off season.


We met up in Carrog to try out a route that is intended for the silver and gold groups at Easter.

The conditions were okay, if you’re dressed correctly. Luckily, the wind was on our backs during the most exposed sections. The only problem was navigating rural land where there were no signs. In one place, the bridal path passes through a private garden. There was no indication on the closed gate that there exists a right of way. The kids will be confused and probably become lost here.

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Wonky crank.

8°C, dry with a light S. https://www.mapmyride.com/workout/3368791732 Lots of energy but a mechanical problem spoilt things. The left crank worked loose after only 3 miles. I made it to a car dealer who helped out. My set of Allen keys omits the 7mm needed for the crank-bolt. A few times I had to take up the slack with a 6mm. Although it was stressful worrying whether the crank would fall off, I had a fallback option. I rode as hard as I could to increase the distance between stops. That meant training effect. One stop was outside a house in Sollom where a guy was closing the gate. He said he had Allen keys so I gave the bolt a good go. Nice chap.
The next stage was okay but the front wheel picked up a thorn on the cycle track. These hedges get clipped but not swept. That one factor accounts  for the large numbrr of punctures  i get in Lancashire. Staffordshire doesn’t  have anything like the amount of cycle tracks so fewer punctures.
Since getting home, I have tightened up the crank fully but it still wobbles, it’s damaged permanently. It’s old I suppose – 27 years.
Currently, I have placed a bid on eBay for an identical replacement.
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Ride in rain.

8°C rain, sometimes heavy.

No link to MapMyRide, there is a fault which means that uploading tracks takes several days. I suspect a server fault.

There, the upload took two days despite the rain, I did belt along after days of frustration with no proper rides

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