Thursday, 20 October 2016

Stuck at Home!

Haven't been able to get out this week due to a bad back!  Monday, lifted down the mountain bike from the eye level it is stored at (A daily task) and felt a muscle in the lower back strain.  Had this before so fully aware that rest and recuperation are the answer so this week has been spent watching daytime TV (do people really do this all the time?), dosing up on painkillers and applying regular hot compresses.
It must be bad, did not go out with the Old Gits or travel up to Leamington this week. Making a little progress but may need a few more days yet.  Getting bored now.
Just been trawling through some old photographs and noticed a few that have not been published before.  These might liven this page up a bit.

Old Gits Peleton

Not sure when this was taken but seeing the blue sky and an abundance of cow parsley in the hedgerows, it has to be early summer.  Is it my imagination or can you feel the heat coming off the road?

Caffles Garden Centre

Taken before the revamp to the outside decking area.  Cannot be winter with coats hanging up outside.

Dolphin Square Weston

Taken by the main library in April, this is the shell of the new shopping centre and cinema that is going up.

That's all folks.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Burnham Bash 30

A nice autumnal morning, good for a ride down to Burnham and get some miles in.  Bit of a southerly wind which should help on the journey back.  Travelled the normal route, across the Somerset Levels to Mark, then cut across to Highbridge for a cup of tea at the prom cafe in Burnham.

Made me smile

Nothing much to photograph at all this morning until, going down the side road between East Huntspill and West Huntspilyl, suddenly saw this cheeky looking scarecrow peering over a large gate.  It came right out of the blue, there are no competitions on round here, and it did make me chuckle.  Little things please little minds as my old Mum used to say.

Another Road Closure

It did seem very quiet on the B4130 Brent Road north of Brent Knoll.  Here is the reason why.  Closed for 3 weeks.  At least the contractors had fllled in a small section of the trench to allow cycles and pedestrians through.  The dark clouds were rather ominous but apart from a few spots, the rain held off.

30 miles covered, taken the week's total over the target. Result

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Clevedon Crawl 35

That was a much better day out.  There was quite a strong NE wind which made the outward journey to my daughter's harder than usual but heading home was much easier, hence the bit of a detour.  Tea and toast and marmalade also helped the journey back.  Thanks Jacqueline.

Paddle Boarding

Where the Strawberry Line crosses the A370 there is a small bridge over the River Yeo.  Today, there were a couple of paddle boarders wending their way towards Congresbury.  It looked very peaceful and idyllic.

Despite the bad start, (I nearly turned round after 5 miles) not a bad ride at all. Clocked just over 35 miles.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Knearly went round the Knoll 15

Didn't really enjoy this ride out this afternoon.  Still got the residue of a chest infection and a head cold to boot.  Had intended doing about 30 to Burnham but got to East Brent and turned back.  Not a bad day either for the weather.  Not much to photograph around either.  Glad to get back in the end but at least thats another 15 miles done.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Old Gits Day 23

Out with the Old Gits CC  for a reverse run of our normal one.  We get a lie in this morning as the start time is from the prom at 8.45am.  A bad start to the day for one of the chaps, he had a puncture as he arrived at the start.  Quite chilly this morning, it was a mistake to think the autumn had not arrived yet, the sun shining was not a good indicator that shorts and thin gloves would be ideal. They weren't!

New Recruit

Stopped halfway round for the usual tea and cake at Caffles Garden Centre.  The staff were preparing the place for Christmas and getting the tree/lights and stuff ready.  We spotted this character sitting in the corner and decided to recruit him into the Old Gits Club so decked him out in the required safety gear.  Not sure if he will turn up next Tuesday though.

Xmas Card?

Gathered around the Christmas tree, the Old Gits posed for a possible future Christmas card.  Had to include the new recruit.

Good ride round, a good turnout, 14 plus a couple of guest riders, and thankfully by the finish it did get warmer. Covered 23 miles today.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Jimi Hendrix Experience 7

Not doing much after yesterday's 'crash'.  A bit sore in the nether regions but the target today is to get to see a statue of Jimi Hendrix which is at Freshwater near to the site of the IOW music festival.  Only about 3 miles from Yarmouth, this should be eminently achievable, aches and pains willing!  There does look like a good cycle path down to Freshwater Bay so will try that and return by a different route.

Bridle Path

An excellent way to get from Yarmouth to Freshwater Bay, this bridle path follows the path of the River Yar and is very flat.  At least somewhere is on the Isle of Wight.  Very busy with walkers (one who moaned as I went by that 'This is supposed to be a footpath'. No point on wasting energy pointing out the error of that statement.  Much of the 3 mile track was as per the photo with glimpses of wading birds on the river's edge. (More sandpipers Mick?).  No cyclists to run into today!

Freshwater Bay

A delightful cove on the south west coast of the island, this is where the Jimi Hendrix Statue is located.  Freshwater is also the birthplace of Sir Robert Hooke, a british phycsist of the 17th century. Tennyson lived here for a time and the IOW music festival started around these parts and led to bigger festivals, notably in 1970, which was bigger than Woodstock and attracted 600,000 visitors. It led to an Act of Parliament governing festivals.

Jimi Hendrix

Acclaimed as one of the greatest musicians ever, Hendrix had a huge effect on music with his innovative use of sound amplifiers and effects coupled with an incredible talent as a musician.  He died shortly after the 1970 IOW festival after asphyxiation in the bath of a friend.  A sad loss.  This statute was placed in the garden of Dimbola Lodge in 2006.

Dolphin Tree

A very clever use of an old tree stump.  This is in the garden of a house in Copse Lane Freshwater.  Would not have chosen this way back if the size of the hills had been taken into account.  Should have gone back via the cycle path.
PS  Look at that sky!

Nice and easy 7 plus miles today.  Below the target for the week but never mind.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Cowes Crash! 31

The target today was to reach Cowes on the northern part of the island with a hope that the hills would be less severe. They were - a bit.  Another good day for cycling, overcast but no rain forecast and a slight easterly breeze.

Yarmouth Harbour

The accommodation we are at is only a few yards from the Ferry Terminal at Yarmouth so that seems a good place to start.  And what better place than the Harbour Office.  Not much to do in there today, it all seems fairly quiet.

IOW Ferry

This is one of the ones that we came across on yesterday.  It is fairly small but surprising how many cars they managed to squeeze onto it. It is a RORO (Roll On Roll Off ) type which meant we were last on yesterday and last off.  Very well organised though, even better with a mini restaurant on board.  Only took about 30 mins to actually get across to the island.

Into Cowes

Rather than take the main road from Yarmouth to Cowes, spotted a sign for cycle path along the coast road.  Not really a road along the coast, but it was a lot quieter and more scenic that the main road.  This is the view entering the west of Cowes, with the mainland across the Solent. A bit of a shock, there was a 1 in 5 hill to negotiate just before this point.  Must confess, had to walk that one.


Cowes is famous for its annual yachting regatta held in the August of each year.  The population doubles during this week! This regatta is the oldest to one in the world.  There is also a powerboat race a short time afterwards. The task now is to find somewhere to have a break.

Beware the gun

A nice ride entering into Cowes along the sea wall.   Chatted to a couple of veteran cyclists who tried to talk me into taking part in the annual round the island ride. "Its only 62 miles and a bit undulating." I don't think so, these undulations are too mountainous for my liking.  They also told me that the IOW is internationally known for its cycling, reaching in the top ten in the Lonely Planet Guide.  There was a notice near these cannons, 'Be wary of loud noises when the cannon starts races'.  Hopefully, all these do not go off at once but are only there for the decoration.

Tea and Belgium Bun

Found somewhere, just off the harbour.  Not a bad deal, £2.65 for tea and a bun.  The only criticism, there needed to more currants in the bun.  Checking out the best way to get to Newport, the next place on the way back to Yarmouth, found out there is a dedicated cycle path ( NCP 23) between the two towns which runs on the path of a disused railway line. That will do.
There is more to this:-  The path was arrow straight apart from one little bend just before Newport.  A blind bend. What happened next?  There was a crash, me, head on with a young lady travelling in the opposite direction.  We both ended up in a heap, our bikes locked together. Some bumps and bruises (thank you cycle helmet) and a bent brake lever.  Not serious enough to prevent riding further fortunately.  Might feel it tomorrow though.

With the phone losing battery power, did not take any more photos though there was opportunity with some good subjects.  Just over 31 miles covered today.