I’m not sure why, but my recent 12 mile ride, was quite possibly the one thing that’s really got me wanting to be back on my bike. Maybe it was the weather, maybe it was the comfort of the bike, the correct use of the gears, the ease I found it, or maybe it was the look of pure joy on a toddlers face as he sat in front of his father on a mountain bike.
I don’t know what it was, but it’s what cycling does, it makes you forget all your problems and worries. It gives you that feeling of euphoria as the endorphins flood your brain. It’s pure and unaltered fun.
The only part of the ride, that I hate, is the initial run down the A61, it’s a fast road, and some cars don’t give you the room you need. I always feel slightly sick while I’m on the road. But it’s a short run until the right hand turn onto Nidd Lane, and not long till your at the entrance to the very posh Nidd Hall Hotel.
Skirting along the wall of the Hotel grounds, it’s almost a mile of quite easy flat, you’d be hard pressed not to get a 16mph average, before you hit the main downhill section as it dips down a tiny valley. Watch your speed, as there is a tight right hand bend. Then, a short sharp whack up, you should be able to carry a lot of speed up the hill, drop the gears and power up the last bit before the flat and back to the ripley roundabouts. But a warning to everyone. The relatively short but fast downhill you can if you push it hit 40, but that corner forces you to lean hard and be quite close to the centreline. There is also a lot of run off in the corner, which leads to a loose gravel surface that you could easy wipe out on. So care is needed.
Then it’s a gentle push back up the cycle path to home. The cycle path is fantastic. Depending on the time of the day, you’ll see Rabbits, weasels, pheasants and all other random animals. Once I had a barn owl fly right in front of me for a good 4 minuites before it got bored of playing that game and veered off. It was one of those magical moments that just make it special.
As you’ll know, if you read this, I’ve often suffered with pain on the bike. However, that may now be a thing of the past.
I’d made a couple of changes to my position, lowered the saddle until it was clearly too low and moved it back up in increments until it felt just right. I also moved the saddle forward in the rails to compensate for the lowered position. The stem replaced down to 90mm, with a 7 degree rise. I also changed the bars from a 44cm to a 42. The bar is more of a compact than my fizik cyrano bars. The difference was incredible. I felt a hell of a lot more comfortable, my shoulders weren’t bunched up, a bend in my elbows. My knees are a little close to the bar ends, but I can cope with that.
4 miles in, no pain and my wattage was up and cadence had increased. 4 miles back home, and just the regular sore thighs because I’m fat and unfit. But non of that crippling upper thigh pain.
A few more rides just to be sure, but I’m fairly confident that these changes might of worked.
I went out the other day for a ride. Only the second ride for a good few months, and still had the dry lube on. I’d applied squirt lube, and this ride was very wet. I mean it wasn’t just a bit wet, it was properly chucking it down. I’d not had reason to think of the lube during the ride.
Gear shifts where remaining crisp and even, chain noise wasn’t an issue. I’d heard that Squirt was a good lube even in the damp, and this certainly was a wet ride.
Getting home, I dried off the bike, and did the ritual of spraying the derailers with GT-85, and running the chain through a rag to dry it off, the lube had gone a little runny with the rain, but it was still there doing its job.
Squirt really is a great lube and well worth the cost. It is however time to change back to the wet lube now the winter is here…
Night rides give a whole new lease to the normal routes. Familiar roads and lanes have different and often creepy appearance.
But lightened by my trusty Volt 800, the roads lit up, the noises of various animals scurrying around the path edges the only sound.
Busting the light upto 800, more than enough of the path was illuminated for me to feel comfortable riding at 20mph, at least until I came across a deer, which was as surprised to see me as I was it. For a couple of seconds, it just looked at me, not quite sure what todo, before exploding over the fence into the night.
My See.Sense rear icon+ Light however died. Plugged it in to charge, and the charge light came on as normal. When I went back sometime later, the charge light was off, signalling the end of the charge cycle. However, the light would not turn on. Neither could I get it to connect to the companion app on my phone. Eventually the low battery light flashed and it connected to the app, which report zero battery. Plugged it back in, nothing. No charge light, no charge going in. Its dead jim. Contacted see.sense, who have asked for the light back to see what’s happened, so hopefully the reportedly excellent customer service see.sense are known for will sort it out.
Enjoy a good night ride, it certainly can bring back old routes to life.
Today I just went with the bike. Initially heading out to knaresborough, I decided todo one of my routes, but in reverse.
After buzzing through the crowds at knaresborough waterfront, people paying zero attention and just wandering all over the road, I turned left and headed out toward Farnham.
The relatively small hills disappeared beneath my wheels. Hills are starting not to bother me as much as they did, but I still struggle on certain grades.
Through the fast sweeping bends at Farnham, and onto the long road to Scotton. Everything looks different, I’ve never ridden the road in this direction, refreshing, it was like a whole new road to me. The outside of my feet were killing me, a sharp constant pain. It was so bad, I had to stop. I slacked off my shoes a touch, and that seemed to help.
The road turned into the busy B road, but I’m only on it for a short time, legs shouting up the hill until gravity takes over, soon turned off toward Breton. A real little roller coaster of rolling road, before the hell that is Ripon road.