Sunday, August 31, 2014

Southport holiday

We went back to Vitalise Sandpipers again (missing the Flower Show, as there weren't any twin rooms available that week when we went to book).

Sandpipers from the Marine Way bridge

And of course I took my bike -- both for little shopping trips and for longer ambles.

For a change, on Tuesday, I took the train for the first few miles -- buying a day-return ticket for Blundellsands and Crosby for the princely sum of £4.08 (for which I thank the local ratepayers!), getting off at Freshfields, and allowing myself a choice of stopping points on the way back.

The new furthest point of my cycling expeditions

Starting by picking up the trans-Pennine trail, which was at worst narrow packed gravel with a few puddles, I picked up NCR 62 until it reached the canal, and then went the other way, until the point where the cyclepath switched banks made a sensible place to tend back to base. Taking the main drag back for the first mile or so was no problem -- the very wide street and lack of serious traffic all helping. Then a little track through the park to join up with the way I'd come last time.

Actual art

This time, the tide was out, and I actually noticed the Crosby beach attraction


Modern art committing slow suicide

and then headed back along the coast path until I was back at Freshfields, which in terms of convenience was the obvious place to get the train back from.

On the way, the strong wind had knocked my bike over when I'd propped it up at one stop, and it had snapped the shaft of the clip-on bar-end mirror I'd been using; so it was fortunate that on the train back, as we pulled out of Ainsdale, I noticed the Mecycle shop next to the station.

So, there being a dearth of obvious cycle shops in Southport, I headed there on Thursday for a replacement, or as near as possible, and they were ever so helpful fitting a different, smaller, but actually more convenient little mirror. Then I went on for a bit more of an amble -- encountering as it happened another couple of cycle stores, whose stock of mirrors was even more meagre -- until the rain started, just a drizzle as I headed back from Formby, but starting to come down heavily as I reached Ainsdale.

So I stopped at Mecycle again, this time for the cafe, and a lunch of lentil stew, until the rain went over, and clear blue sky took its place.

Despite a forecast that had painted Monday as the only wet day of the week (there were actually just a few sprinkles of wet, at least locally -- there were substantial puddles on the way on the southward loop on Tuesday), the real rain waited until Friday, when I didn't get any miles in at all, because of it. Wednesday was a no-miles day too, because in the good weather, we made the organised trip to the Lakes (two hours each way, and a couple of hours there).

Views from Lake Windermere

August cycling

With 81.9 miles off meter; odos 10270.8/349.3 gives 157.2 + 136 -- a disappointing 375.1 miles for the month, and a total of 2803 for the year. Looks like I shall be passing the 3000 miles mark (last year's stretch goal) around mid-September.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Almost breaking even

So after 4 years of owning my new Smart, it's on 10151 miles, while the WAV is on 10365 (since March '10); meanwhile my old bike is on 10231 (since fitting the odo in early Jul '10), and the new one at 256 miles after the reset.

So that's 1243 and 2515 miles driven respectively, a total of 3758; adding up the miles for the bikes, and counting all the off-meter miles (other bikes and various meter failures), that comes to 3747 miles pedalled, which is only about an average day's worth of miles less.

It's been true a while now that in terms of hours, cycling is my primary mode of transport; now we're getting to the stage where it'll be true in terms of miles as well.

Later: Recalling another 7.5 miles done off-meter puts the cycling total to 3754 -- which is within margin of error the same as driving.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

The Outer Limits

Following on from the previous post -- having done the Ely to St. Ives run, I filled in the last big arc on this map

showing the extreme points I've reached on day cycling trips from home, essentially all of it during the last five years.

The limitations of terrain, including the limited crossing points of rivers and major roads, mean that there aren't really any more significant big targets to aim for now :(

Update 7-Sep-2014: what is probably the last long ride of the season, to close that wedge to the east; while doing so, I found the junction at Brinkley and going past the pub that is now the Brinkley Lion familiar; just that it was the first time that the pub had been open as I went past. It is possible that in the past I went a little further that the new line on the map, but probably not too much.