Mist over the mashes.

2°C, end of rain, no wind and mist forming.

I rode Mustang with MapMyRide+! Distance: 46.03km, time: 02:08:55, pace: 2:48min/km, speed: 21.42km/h.

One of those rides that were ‘needed‘. I set off in rain though it slowly lifted and even the sun got a look in. Charge on my phone was low so I dare not take any photos. Doing so could have killed off the battery and the gpx track would be lost. This afternoon was a very photogenic dusk.

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Cross in the gale.

5°C, strong W, dry with some sun.
I rode The Jake with MapMyRide+! Distance: 31.03km, time: 01:53:45, pace: 3:40min/km, speed: 16.37km/h.


Very squelchy mud on the towpath today. These winter tyres coped well so I was glad I’d changed them.
The photo shows a reflection in one of the numerous puddles. As an image, it hasn’t worked too well so I’ll try again sometime soon.

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Desolate, windswept marshlands.

5°C, white cloud and strong, cold SE wind.
I rode Mustang with MapMyRide+! Distance: 80.94km, time: 04:10:55, pace: 3:06min/km, speed: 19.36km/h.


Today’s ride took me past my new house. I have much to look forward to this year. This photo was shot only half a mile from the house and I think it’s quite striking. As I pedalled along, I thought ‘I’m going to like living here‘.

To contrast: Southport will be cooler in summer; milder in winter; less pollen & hayfever and probably more windy.

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Getting back to some normal.

6°C, brisk SE dry but grey cloud.
Rode Mustang with MapMyRide+! Distance: 37.75km, time: 01:40:35, pace: 2:40min/km, speed: 22.52km/h.


With this wind, the single-speed is out of the question. The return leg night be dark but the lights are good. I found an excellent Knogg rear light when I moved not of my house.

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Moving house stage 3

6°C, grey but reasonably dry.
III: moving out: it took a week to do this. A stressful week with little sleep and a nagging fear that I could miss the Friday deadline. Completion date is Friday 12th January. The removal firm came on Wednesday morning.
I shalln’t document all the detail but a few things stand out. My neighbour moved in before Christmas and have me tons of good boxes and suitcases. That saved the day for me. They’d moved from Hong Kong and used very sturdy cardboard boxes which were ideal.They’re a lovely couple, shame that they didn’t move in years ago.
Most of the week, I felt the pressure. I woke very early, some days at 4.30 am.12MesKitchPAN

For a week, I was gripped by a feeling akin to panic. I woke in the night with butterflies and my mind racing around the job. I tried, with some success, to think plans for the new house to take my mind off this. we’re warned about how stressful moving home is, this is how it manifest for me.

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Burn data.

2°C, clear with approaching cloud.
Packing and clearing stuff out. It appalling the clutter you accumulate while living in a house for twenty years.​

With the deadline approaching, the stress feeling is rising. Last night, I slept badly and woke very early. Not helped by that abortive ride yesterday.

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One mile.

3°C, sunny and light wind.
I rode Arrow with MapMyRide+! Distance: 1.70km, time: 07:09, pace: 4:12min/km, speed: 14.27km/h.


Abruptly cut this ride short once I noticed how much black ice there was hiding in the shadows. There appeared to be no grit or salt on the road and out of town is bound to be worse. So, I came home.​

Tree trunks: I had to have two trees cut down this week. The idea was to give the wood to my neighbour as a good will gesture on my leaving. The tree-surgeon was sure they only needed the logs large.
Not only was that wrong, but the guy didn’t want the logs at all. Now I’m stuck with massive logs that are too big for me to cut and I move out on Friday.

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2018, first ride.

6C, strong W, sunny start, wet finish.
I rode Mustang with MapMyRide+! Distance: 27.30km, time: 01:15:39, pace: 2:46min/km, speed: 21.65km/h.

Woodvale has a new gate sentinel. This Hawk replaces a Provost that stood in the spot before.

2018: has just started. A year full of change for me. New house, new town and new work. My cycling has depleted somewhat this year. I totaled 4,800 miles, nearly 1,000 down on last year. I did spend a lot of time hiking in the summer which is fine but the autumn was rather shorter than it should be. Now I know where I’ll live this spring, I find energy is renewed.

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Wild and windy across the moors.

7°C, strong westerly wind, dry but grey.
I rode Mustang with MapMyRide+! Distance: 61.81km, time: 02:57:08, pace: 2:52min/km, speed: 20.94km/h.


I like this bike more now. that’s the difference 1cm makes. Earlier in the week, I put a longer stem on to relieve the pressure on my hands. It has mostly worked. anyway, today’s ride, though a little slow, was comfortable. I rode the hill climb up Bannister Lane near Parbold and got up there comfortably. It wasn’t easy but it wasn’t painful either. Later after a garage stop the route turned into the westerly wind. It’s nice to have gears for times like these. what I really like about this bike is the handling. It’s very light at the front, probably designed that way to make up for sluggish handling  with big gravel tyres. I have 28c road tyres on this wheelset; though it would make sense to go up a size for winter rides, perhaps to 32c.

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Fear a Gazump?

5°C, light W but dry.
I rode Mustang with MapMyRide+! Distance: 27.46km, time: 01:18:45, pace: 2:52min/km, speed: 20.92km/h.


My seller’s estate agent phoned today. It’s complicated, but the seller called for ‘final offers’. You pitch your best offer for the house and hope that another interested party doesn’t make a higher bid. Even though I was told last Friday that the house is practically mine, it was at risk. I could be gazumped. The purchase isn’t legally binding until ‘exchange of contracts’. That’s almost the last stage. Searches, mortgage and surveys are always done and paid for. A buyer who is the victim of gazumping is very vulnerable right up to that time. It’s precarious and risky. There is nothing in English housing law to protect us from gazumping.
The worst part, personally, is the anxiety that all that time is wasted. Time to imagine how you’ll adapt to your new home, where to put things and what improvements to make to the house. Over time, we all adapt our house to make life easier and fit in with our personal needs.
I’m starting again, and I want to use the opportunity well. Structural updates need to be done first. For example, adding power sockets, moving lights and shelves. The most dramatic changes can’t be done yet. It needs a decent kitchen and even better, a utility room to the side.
As you can see, my head is full of thoughts and I don’t want it shattered by loosing the house. Gazumping is an appalling prospect.

The agent phoned a few hours later to say ‘the house will be mine’. Phew.

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