Thursday, 16 November 2017

Over the hills to Ilmington 35

Out to Wilmington today on the Warwickshire/Gloucester border.  Meeting up with Grajham and Mick in Leamington and the three of us will take on the challenge of some hilly bits!  Basically, the route is south from Leamington, Wellesbourne, Halford, Watcote and into Ilmington where, hopefully, the Community Cafe and shop will be open.  The forecast was not bad at all, sunny at first with the possibility of rain later.

The Fuzzy Duck

This was at Whatcote, a short distance from the A3400.  Nothing too special about the place, the name appealed to me that's all.  It does have a mention in the 2015 Michelein Guide but more for the decor than the food.

In the Cotswolds

Well on the edge of them.  This was the view from the cafe at Ilmington.  A pretty village is Ilmington, has a couple of decent pubs and some big hills around it.  This is supposed to be the highest village in Warwickshire.  At one time it was called Elmington because of all the elm trees that grew there. That evolved to Ilmington and all the elm trees have been killed off by Dutch Elm Disease in the 70s.

The Token

With the three of us out together, it was time to hand over the token that signifies whose turn it is next to pay the bill.  Looks like it is my turn next!  

Cyclists Fighting Cancer

On the way back, went through Alderminster, Loxley and Wellesbourne again.  At Alderminster, stopped at the Cyclists Fighting Cancer shop and HQ to have a chat with the manager and check out some bike racks for Mick.  The charity exists to enable children and young people living with cancer across the UK to regain their physical fitness, strength and confidence by giving them new bikes, adapted trikes, tandems, other equipment and support.  Check out their website at

With a couple of decent hills remaining, picked up the return route to Leamington and just made it back as the rain started.  Covered 35 miles today.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Burnham on Sea for tea 26

Not out with the Old Gits tomorrow so doing a bit today to keep the mileage going.  Bit of a cold one today, not helped by a NW wind which lowered the chill factor.  Foresaw this a put an extra layer on, covered the ears up and dug out some old ski gloves.  That paid off as despite being a bit cold at first, didn't take too long to feel more comfortable.
Just did the Mark, Highbridge normal route to the Bay View Cafe and after a cup of tea came back through Brian and the Bleadon Nature Reserve.  Nothing to report on this one at all, and no photos unfortunately.  Just a tad over 26 miles was the ride total.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

To Clevedon for a ginger cupcake 37

Methinks it is the first day of winter today!  With a stiff breeze coming from the NW and a temperature of 8/9 degrees, it was distinctly chilly out there today.  The forecasted light rain stayed away and there was quite a lot of sun shining .  Certainly a good decision to put another layer on and get the thicker gloves out.  Contacted my daughter in Clevedon this morning to find out what she was up to today and was told that she had made some ginger cup cakes.  No brainer then, off to visit the offspring.

Water Trough

The ginger cakes ( x 2 ) and a cup of tea really hit the spot after a cold ride over there.  Caught up with the gossip and headed back to Weston.  Struggling to find anything of interest until just after starting back spotted this old Victorian water trough over looking the pier.  It was built in 1883 by the Rev. Neuman in memory of his wife and provided a drink for horses dogs and people.  A stunning location he chose with Wales in the distance, the English Channel and the pier.  Oh yes, and the blue sky.  It wasn't too bad a ride home as the wind was helping for much of the way.

Covered 37 miles today ending a good week on 140 miles.  

Friday, 10 November 2017

Old Gits Training around Wrington 30

Another day out with some of the Old Gits, six others in fact, who fancy getting out and about a little bit more than the usual Tuesday ride.  This was a circuit that I trialled last week and was designed to get a little bit more hill work than the previous flat ride around the Levels.  Starting in Weston, it went out to Banwell, Sanford and Churchill, tea at Wrington, and back through Congesbury and Puxton.  It was decided, over a slice of Victoria sponge, that travelling further on the Strawberry Line to Winscombe may not be such a good idea after recent rain so we diverted back through St Georges.

Strawberry Line

As the ride 'captain' it was unfortunate that the 9 o'clock start had to be missed.  The others assembled on time and took off as scheduled.  At 0917hrs I made the start having previously advised them and agreed to catch them up. Must admit to putting a bit of effort in to achieve that and the first half, up to the cafe, is littered with personal bests and an average speed of just under 13 mph. A miracle considering the hilly aspect of it!  Puffing and panting on arrival at the Mother Hen I was greeted with no bikes outside.  Calamity.  Over a cup of tea and a couple of phone calls it turned out the others had deviated from the planned route to avoid possible traffic in Banwell.  (It was completely clear lads.)  They turned up 5 minutes later. Never mind, we were together as a group and over a drink and some delicious home made cake, agreed the Mother Hen was a good choice of stop.  Onwards then to the Congresbury to Sanford section of the Strawberry line where the photo was taken.

Nice to get some positive remarks about the route and most of riders clocked up 30 miles.  Mine was just over.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Usual trip to Burnham on Sea 30

Wind and rain yesterday, glorious sun today.   Just going out for the usual trip to Burnham on Sea, not rushing, just mooching along enjoying the day.  Took a diversion at the start to see some carnival floats then down to the Bay View Cafe for tea and toast.

Carnival Season.

Its carnival season in Somerset.  Nearby Bridgwater boasts it is the home of carnival and started the trend in the 1860s by celebrating the Gunpowder Plot.  It has grown into a huge event with numerous floats, some huge as the photos show.  Many local towns have carnival committees and spend the whole year making these monsters.  They then tour round the towns in Somerset and this weekend it is Weston's turn to host the event.  Some of these floats have taken over the coach park prior to being trundled out on Friday and a bit of sweet talking the security personnel gained me access to take some photos.  I think this first one has a halloween theme.

The bike leaning on the cone, "Don't lean it on the displays" she said, shows the scale of these things. Bear in mind an articulated unit or a tractor has to be coupled on the front before it can move.

Not quite sure what this one is but there are lots of horses in there somewhere.  On the night (it starts moving at 7.30pm) these are lit by 1000s of bulbs, music will be blaring from them and performers stand or dance as the float goes round. This year, it has been rerouted because of a slight alteration to a road layout and these monsters can't negotiate it.
If I get to see it Friday night, will get a picture of one of these in action.

Oh yes, the ride!  Did the normal route and clocked up just over 30 miles.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Old Gits Back from Burnham in the rain. 21

Old Gits day and the monthly ride down to Burnham on Sea.   Nine Old Gits started although one retired after a couple of miles with a puncture.  We did cut the ride short as the forecast for the morning heavy rain at 11.    Shame really, if we had taken the planned route to Mark and Highbridge the day would have finished up with the total miles on Strava 20,000 not 19,993.  Next time out should do it.                                  

Garden Gnomes for sale?

No, its some Old Gits sheltering from the rain at the Westcroft Garden Centre.  Battled against a stiffish breeze going down to the Reeds Hotel at Burnham, where we had refreshments.  It was dry going down there although the heavy rain was just on time; on the return journey!  The forecasters got it spot on today.  All the riders were prepared for rain and a short stop to clamber into wet weather gear was necessary.  At the obligatory stop at Westcroft for eggs, some Old Gits took advantage to lurk amongst the compost out of the rain.  It did not stop at all on the return to Weston. 

It went as pretty much as expected.  21 miles today, 7 short of that magic figure!

Monday, 6 November 2017

A Bimble around Banwell 21

Getting a quick one in before it gets dark.  With a limited time frame, just going out to Banwell, Sanford, over to Puxton and back along the promenade.  A bit of a cool SW wind but with an extra layer on didn't notice the cold.  Out with the Old Gits tomorrow and might need a decent pair of gloves on and waterproofs if the weather forecast is to be believed.


Must be a good year for mistletoe, now the leaves are falling of the trees it is evident what a bumper harvest it will be this year.  Not sure the trees will be pleased about that as mistletoe is a parasitic plant that feeds off the tree itself.
  This was taken in Puxton Lane near to Hewish.

Dusk over Knightstone

Rode through Weston and joined the promenade at the northern end and cycled the 1.5 miles to where I live at the other end.  Looking over the Marine Lake towards Brean Down, took a couple of minutes to appreciate the setting sun.

Nice 21.7 miles that was.