Bloody Joggers

I like to think I’m a considurate cyclist. I slow down on shared use paths, I say hello and thank you.

But one thing that boils my piss is joggers wearing earphones in the middle of the sodding path.

If your going to wear earphones, stay to the side, or listen at a volume that still lets your hear when someone is shouting excuse me behind you.

On today’s ride, I shouted several times, with no response. It wasn’t until I Litterally shouted “on your right” and the jogger finally got the message. Albeit with a hell of a fright.

I don’t want to be rude, I don’t like being rude. But please considure others when your jogging along in your own little world.

Gusty.. 

Today’s ride was a short easy one, well apart from the wind. 

It was a constant wind, according to the met office 25mph. And man could I feel it. 

As always on the short route to Ripley and back, it’s a tail wind down Bilton Lane, headwind along the cycle path and a nasty sidewind/tailwind on the busy main road to Ripley. Coming back, and the wind was blasting me from the side and front, but back on the cycle path, it was a tailwind. It’s that moment, where you can’t feel the wind, it appears calm, apart from the leaves moving. It isn’t until you stop you feel the wind again. 

Heading back off to Bilton Lane, dreading the headwind that I was bound to encounter going back up, I crossed the viaduct, and on. A couple where walking their scratty little dog off lead, and something told me that it was going g to wander. And surely enough it sauntered right in front. I stopped just short of its nose. And it just stood there, giving me a distainful look. With a muttered “sorry” the owners wandered off. 

And back onto Bilton Lane. And there was my enemy, that wind. Bilton Lane acts like a giant wind funnel, and I’m battling through it. Half way up, and I’m averaging 300w just to try and maintain 10mph, even with me as compacted as possible to present a smaller area for the wind,  But eventually, the end was insight. With my heart feeling like it was about to burst I finally turned off into the shelter of St John’s church. 

But then, another wind tunnel on St John’s road, before the mother of all headwinds on Skipton road. But home I was.. 

A wee ride out

It was a beautiful day, and again I got a little carried away on a ride. Only intending to complete a 20 mile maximum, I ended up doing nearer 40. But, I did make a conscious decision to ignore the Garmin, and just enjoy the ride. No worrying about power, speed, distance or cadence and just get back to the pure joy of riding my bike. Switching off the mind and just enjoy it. 
Started off on the standard dog head, which unfortunately contains a short segment of a road I really hate riding. Last week I saw another cyclist wipe out. It’s a fast, busy main road and always makes me nervous. But it dos’nt last long until I’m back on lovely quiet back roads. 

I sat a while at Farnham to regain some energy, and just enjoy the day when a cyclist rode past, who, shall we say was a big chap. I caught up with him at the bottom of Farnham Rise. I take my hat off to him. He was attempting a hill that beat me many times, but there he was, plugging his way up the hill. I offered a few words of encouragement as I rode past. 

I set a new personal best on the descent toward Staveley, before turning onto the next hill. Yet another one that beat me a few times. I can now push my way up, albeit not fast, but at least I’m not stopping. 

Before I knew it I was blasting down Pottery Lane and into Ripon. 

Sitting outside the Cathedral for while watching the tourists walk past I decided to head out toward Fountains Abbey, or at least the Deer Park. 

So off I went, in completly the wrong direction. So after several Google Maps checks I eventually headed out in the right direction. Along the canal the road is a horrible broken and tatty road, causing me to curse several times as I rattled around on the bike worrying about crushing the crown jewels. 

Then I was on Studley Road, and I completly lost all energy on the hill and had to stop. I watched as some rich farmer played with his helicopter flying low over the village, hovering and rotating before flying away and back again. 

Through the village of Studley Royal and into the deer park, over no more than 5 cattle grids. And now, a long slog up hill to get to the carpark area and a bench to have a sit down. 

Studley Deer park is a beautiful place to visit, with vast deer herds, wonderful old trees, and the ruins of Fountains Abbey. it’s a designated World Heritage Site of some 800 acres features an 18th-century landscaped garden, some of the largest Cistercian ruins in Europe, a Jacobean mansion and a Victorian church designed by William Burges.

I sat admiring the lake, watching the ducks and geese fight for the tourists attention. I watched as another cyclist stopped, posed his bike and took a picture, I smiled as it’s something we all do. I’ve no idea how long I sat there, but eventually I got back on the bike, and headed home by the same general route I came down. Now feeling drained and ready for home it was a general slow limp home. 

Sat at home, I wondered why my legs were hurting, and it appears I caught the sun, right on the top of my knees. 

A jolly jaunt 

Set out on my bike for an easy spin, and it ended up slightly longer than I had planned. And with having nothing to eat before I went out, turned unpleasant for the last part.

Its one of my favourite routes, with some minor hills, but generally quite flat. From Ripley I headed out toward Brearton Lane, before going into Scotton with its fast sweeping bends.

Then comes that hill. Some call it minor, I call it a challenge. For me anyway. After that hill, time to recover on the long fast descent into Stavely. But watch that wind, it’s always in your face increasing the work your having todo. Hunker down and cut through it as best you can.

Through Stavely and onto Minskip Road. A long undulating road, but strangely fast. Next thing you know your crossing the A1 and into Boroughbridge, with its ever present aroma of cowshit.

Finally head out of Boroughbridge and into Roecliffe and its massive industrial area, but a lovely village. Following the road all the way to Bishop Monkton. A wonderful road to ride, but be careful as it is liable to extreme floods and it also gets very narrow toward Bishop Monkton. I looked down at my Garmin here, and noticed my power meter had died. I’ve had more issues with stages than anything else. So stopped, removed battery and reset the crank and it appears to be working again. Off I pedal through Monkton and toward Knaresborough. By this point I’m feeling really heavy legs, with hunger pangs rippling round my stomach. Knowing there’s another steep lump to climb I battle on wishing I had a banana in my pocket.

Through Knaresborough and the gauntlet of shitty drivers and zombie pedestrian idiots I make it onto the Beryl Burton Cycleway. No way in hell I can muster anything to get up the hill, so I get off and push the bike up. Finally close to home, there is only one long slope to climb before home.

Bilton Lane isn’t steep, it isn’t even difficult, my best time up it is 2:15,generally I do it in just over 3. But this time, with zero energy and a serious bonk going on, I plod up it at a very sedate 9mph against the ever present headwind.

Finally all downhill to home, bike back in the garage and food. And drink.

A second is a lifetime.. 

I really thought that I might of got PB on this segment, but alas, I missed it by a second. One measly second. Oh well. I did however get a PB on the longer segment that this segment is part of, so that’s something at least.

wp-image--487355481However, I’m hoping the cyclist that came off on the A61, which is a nasty road to ride is ok. I stopped and asked if he was ok, said he was but looked a bit shaken.

That particular stretch of road is really bad, national speed limit and lots of twists and turns, and with it being a route to the motorway system sees a lot of heavy traffic.

The Ride