Monday, 17 July 2017

Three Ride Catch Up.

Some more quality time on the bikes this week just gone, but really, any bike time is time well spent. I say that, but these were very selfish rides - I enjoyed them, but there's not a lot to tell about them to reward anyone unwisely straying onto these pages. No tales of derring do, no glorious vistas to try and describe, no appearances on Traffic Cops likely. They were very quiet, gentle toots about my usual haunts that did me a power of good, but there's nothing much of it to share unfortunately, at least, not with my meagre writing and relating skills. That last bit frustrates me a bit... no, a lot actually, I do wish these blog entries were more interesting and informative writing wise. 

But anyway, I'm going to lob some photos up from these rides instead of wittering on about nothing, starting with the first ride to Idless Woods, for which I gave Fatso the gig.

 Now this is why I love the lanes. Granted, for stark visual, photographic, appeal, I prefer them in winter when the trees are bare, but scenes like this put jam in my sandwich pretty well too. To drive along here in a car is to miss out on the warm air, the sounds and the smells. To spear down this road like some Tour De France refugee, thrashing the pedals while chasing a Strava Personal Best is just a great experience wasted in my book. Drifting along feeling the air on your face and listening to the birds is what it's all about, but as Bertie Bassett once said, it takes all sorts, so I shouldn't criticise.

But I do read forum posts, and also watch Youtube videos, about people saying they're not enjoying their cycling and thinking of giving it up as the Personal Bests have dried up, they fret about their lack of wattage output and they're just not enjoying it any more. Well you're doing it wrong! Well maybe not completely wrong, but just try forgeting all the competitive guff for a change and just go out and chooch about for a bit. Go wherever the lanes take you, just go for a quiet ride on a bike for heavens sake! Don't set targets, set limits- say a maximum of 10mph... Or keep it in one gear - a low one...Yes really! Leave your Strava wotsit at home along with your heart rate monitoring watch! Wear non luminous clothing! After walking, the bicycle is the simplest form of transport going, it doesn't have to be complicated. I can't help thinking some folk need reminding of that sometimes!
Talking of personal bests, that must be the longest caption to a photograph ever...

After riding the new Plus Bike around a lot, I thought I'd dig Fatso out again, and boy did it feel weird to start with! Low, fat and wide... oh and noisy! Noisy tyres, noisy freehub, noisy chain rattling against the front derailleur... damn! I'd forgotten I'd got a second coggy thing on the front after riding the one by set up of the Plusser. 
I don't know if it's just me, but when I get something new vehicle wise that's different, it's not switching to the new that causes the problems, it's going back to what I should be used to. After years on Japanese motorbikes, I bought a mid seventies Triumph with the gear/rear brake on opposite sides to what I was used to. Riding that was never an issue, going back to my other bikes was. Same with driving and riding in Europe. Never an issue driving on the 'wrong' side of the road, but get back to England and at the first roundabout I'm thinking 'Whoa this is weird... go round this clockwise? How does that work?'
It was the same with Fatso, I was getting in a right tangle with the gears to start off with, but I soon got back into the swing of things, and most importantly, no one saw or heard all the clanging and grating of chains over cogs and derailleurs... Least I think no one did.
Another big caption... Hmmmm...

 The entrance to Idless Woods at Lanner Mill is just beside this old shed/garage. Unusually there were no cars parked here on this occasion, there's normally a couple belonging to walkers and paid dog walkers.
That's some hill too, but thankfully the entrance is only half way up, and when going all the way up, it also provides a nice spot to give the legs a rest to poke about and take photos.

No interesting barn finds here unfortunately, just some old agricultural looking junk.


A full day's rain the previous day had left a few puddles in the woods, but precious little mud.


The trees being in full leaf makes for some slow shutter speeds on even the brightest days, and therefore blurry action shots. 

Saturday saw me take the Marin out again for a goodly potter around my local 'hood. A careful bimble this, as I had given it a full clean after its previous outing and I didn't want to get it all mucky again! So I may have been riding routes designed to avoid mucky farmyards, known puddle hot spots etc...

 The road through the farm at Boswiddle is always clear of Cow poop and country dumplings. Not sure I like the look of the local refreshments on offer though. Reckon you could stand a shovel up in that and it wouldn't fall over...

Under trees for more ride by selfies, and again the problem of low light levels leading to blurry action shots. The answer of course is to increase the ISO and shutter speed vastly, therefore arresting the action, but also destroying the fine detail in a noisy, fuzzy mess.

Despite the aforementioned day of rain, the local rivers and streams are running, if that's the word, at the lowest I've seen them in a long time. 
This unnamed stream usually flows quite nicely and noisily too - that lovely invigorating roar of flowing water as it is pinched at the sides when passing beneath the bridge on the road. At the moment the only sound is a slight trickle. Large parts of the stream bed were able to be walked on without fear of getting one's Beetle Crushers wet, so I took the opportunity to explore a bit beyond where the bank runs out, but a metal fence stopped me going too far, unfortunately. I'd like to walk along some of these streams at some point, wonky back allowing, to see where they go and to generally just poke my nose.
Poking around these river and stream banks is always interesting though, and makes for time relaxingly spent.

Sunday saw me machine gunning Imodium down my throat as I needed another ride but wanted to make sure I didn't get any unpleasant emergencies. 
This was just going to be round my usual loop, one of those rides just to keep the legs turning and the fitness up, but although gloomy and very humid, it was still a nice enough day out and I couldn't stay indoors. Sometimes it's not a desire to go out for a ride, it's a need, a fix I have to have.
Whether or not to go out was the easy part, the difficult bit is now deciding which of my motley collection of bi-wheelers gets the job. Having only ridden on fat tyres in recent weeks, I thought I'd reacquaint myself with 'skinny' rubber (2.25s!) and take the Voodoo.

 Woo... wobbly... slow... pedaly...
Yup, I did say slow. The Voodoo is a heavy bike now I've put panniers on it and fill them with all my junk, and it really did feel slow as I set off towards my beloved Tregassow Lane. My legs were flailing like the pistons on the Flying Scotsman as well and it wasn't just down to my cocking up the gears again, but also down to those smaller wheels requiring more effort. 
Well if I got confuddled by Fatso's 2x10 gear set up, going back to the Voodoo's 3x8 really saw me floundering to start with. I had to take my shoes and socks off to count the gear changes I did, and even then I had four gears left over. I'm going to need a calculator.

You've seen on Star Trek when Kirk says 'Warp Factor nine Mister Sulu! and it all goes a bit blurry? Well Pfft! Ain't anythin' special.
The Voodoo approaching maximum chooch factor 10 on the lane twixt Trehane Barton and Riverside.
I dickered about with the photo in Nik software, as in the overcast gloom, the Go Pro shots lacked oomph.

 The fields around Four Turnings Junction are besmothered in various crops at the moment. Spuds in this case...


... while on t'other side of the road are acres of Cauliflowers, with both of these crops being surrounded by fields of Wheat.
Harvesting all these growy things must take some doing that's all I can say. I have enough trouble pulling up the occasional Dandelion in my back garden.

Right, that's the lot I think, Thunderstorms are in the forecast for tomorrow afternoon, so that'll be something to look forward to, even if I do chicken out and don't take a bike for a ride in it - I'm a bit of a wuss about riding when lightning is about I must admit, but I do love a good storm so we'll see...

---------------