Thursday, April 28, 2011

More Words on #30Daysofbiking, The Best of Times, the Worst of Times.

A sunny commute, last week.

I'd intended to write this at the end of last week, the third full week of #30daysofbiking,

It turned out that we were rather busier than I'd anticipated over the weekend (in a good way), so it's being written now, part way through the fourth full week of the challenge.

Last week was a particularly pleasant time to be out and about by bicycle. The weather was glorious, and the 15°C threshold for knee friendly shorts wearing was reached on several days (although still not at the time I set off from home). Commutes were mostly uneventful, with light half term traffic contributing to a general feeling that things weren't so bad after all out here.


On Friday, I took a quick ride out on the rougher part of the Cheshire Cycleway near to home.

The Bridlepath forming part of NCN 70

The ride up is on road, and then there's a stretch of gravelly, holed bridleway. It's interesting to ride for someone used to tarmac, and I discovered fairly quickly that I don't ride it particularly well.


Just over the bridge you can see in the distance on the pic above. The LHT is a heavy bike, but it should be ok...

My speed topped out at around 13mph on the gravel, and I wandered a bit on it, torn between trying to make the bike hold a line, and trying to stay on the bike full stop! Riding the crown of the road doesn't work here because of the strips of grass down the centre.


Cherry Tree & NCN70 Signs

Once off the bridlepath, it's back onto tarmac again, and as the sun warmed my limbs, the blossom trees along the route created an odd, snowstorm like flurry to ride through. Rather than retrace my steps, I rode on through the blossom to the main road, and then home. It was a short ride, but really enjoyable.

On Sunday, after returning from my sister's 18th birthday party (Happy Birthday Sis!) I took the opportunity for another quick ride, this time on the SCR2.

Another Lovely Day to be Out

This time, I rode one of the back road routes up to Sandbach - another old route of mine that's a quick 16 mile or so loop.


Granted, it's no Kapelmuur, but this Church is on a Hill.

There's a couple of nice hills on this route, and a decent loop bit at the end that allows you to retrace your steps.

No ride on Monday, (Happy Birthday Son!) but Tuesday meant that commuting resumed.

Another Bridleway, this time part of the commute home.

The half term traffic is still (not) there, and the roads are still pretty quiet, but I've had a couple of nasty run ins with drivers over as many days.

The first was a Cravendale logo'ed truck, that stopped at the same lights on the roundabout I was waiting at, about 6 inches from the bike and I. Now if you know anything about trucks and bikes, you'd be pretty worried by that. The driver gesticulated, well, something, in his mirror, I guess at me, and then roared off at speed up the exit to Crewe station...where he had to stop at the pedestrian crossing anyway. A pointless move from a "professional" driver. (The lane next to the one he and I were "sharing" at the lights was empty, or, god forbid, he could have waited behind me and overtaken safely).

Anyway, can you guess whether I'll be buying any Cravendale product in future?

Oh Shit.

As if to prove that that was not my day, I managed to hit a load of debris in the bike lane just after the Handforth Roundabout, and ended up with this (see pic) in my tyre, and a rather less obvious thorn. Then my spare tube was punctured, so a roadside puncture repair was my only option (thankyou, Rema, for your nifty TT02 kit). That done, I rode on, only to find that the less obvious thorn had caused a slow puncture (impossible to find by eye). It soon became clear that I needed to stop every mile or so to top up the tyre, making the ride home somewhat tiresome.

My last morning commute of the week was enlivened by another truck driver (no company logo) who took exception to my moving out to stop him trying to squeeze past me (he'd have overtaken into the path of a coach that I'd seen, and he, evidently had not, no less). An angry hoot, and a stupidly close overtake followed (again, with a now completely empty lane alongside that he could have used to overtake safely). I'd estimate he waited an extra half second, if that, to pass, and for this, he was entirely willing to risk killing me. It's dispiriting when car drivers indulge in this sort of petulant attempted murder, but when people who drive for a living do it, it's hard not to lose hope entirely.

Posted via email from monkeyphoto's posterous

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