Last Ride of 2013

This was my last ride of 2103, the longest I have ever been and possibly the best time I have had so far. I have finally broken the 15 mile barrier for the first time which is pleasing.

Riding with other people is always preferable to riding alone, I think you are motivated to go further and try different things when you are with someone else and it was the same this time out.

The only problem I have encountered is the gear shift has broken (for the front cogs) so I am stuck on the middle cog – not a major issue as I usually ride on this gear most of the time, it’s just annoying when you are going downhill and want to pedal faster.

This post is just a reminder to myself of what I can achieve and how far I can ride rather than being anything interesting or witty (I like to think some of my other posts fit into this category).

Today’s ride took me out towards the windmills but not my usual route. We went up around a couple of tracks rather than on the roads, then followed part of the windmills route. Having stopped to admire a couple of houses we headed off towards Winscar Reservoir above Holmfirth. This is where the gear shift broke so we decided to turn around and come back, via the back of the windmill route, finishing off-road at the back of the local farm.

The details don’t really matter in terms of time, it was a good ride out and fun off-road.

Ride Details

Distance: 15.4 miles

Time Taken: 1:54:34

Elevation Gain: 1,159ft

As usual I took some pictures, which are below

Looking down the track above the farmers field

Looking down the track above the farmers field

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Rainbow

Rainbow

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All Hail the 200 Club

It’s taken quite a while but I have finally managed to reach the magic 200 mile mark for the year. Now some of you may do that in a couple of days, but it’s taken me just short of 4 months to ride my second 100 miles.

I’ve ridden through the wind and the rain, seen glorious sunsets and stunning views and today I even rode through hail stones (some of which I got in my mouth). So its been fun for the most part, some days have been a hard slog, some I’ve nearly been sick, but I’ve made it.

The first 100 miles was done a little quicker, time wise at least, but in more rides. I guess the cold weather and the shorter days has made it more difficult to get out, that coupled with a small operation in September which left me unable to ride.

I hope that Santa will bring me some more gear this year, I could do with some long cycling shorts (tights I believe they are known as) for riding in the colder weather, not that it could be too much colder than today! I am also hopeful of getting a Camelbak for those longer rides in the mud and a running top for that fateful day that I start to jog.

I did the first 100 miles in 20 rides, the second I have done in 13 which shows that I am going further when I go out, I am just going out less. I have also done some of the miles quicker as it has taken about an hour less to do the second 100 than it did the first. As I have mentioned in previous posts its not just about the time it takes and how fast I go, after all I ride a mountain bike, its about enjoying the time I get to go out and have a ride.

The main stats are as follows, these are year to date

Distance: 212 miles

Rides: 33

Elevation Gain: 14,915 ft

Time taken: 24 hours 25 mins

There are still a few days left of this year so I may get out again and increase my total for the year, it will all depend on the weather and more precisely the wind. There is nothing fun about cycling to a standstill in wind that would blow me over if it hit me side on.

Onwards and upwards towards 2014, I want to at least double my distance next year, maybe I will set myself a goal of 500 miles for next year! I also want to get off road more so that will reduce both times and distance as it’s much harder. Its all about the enjoyment, not breaking records (which are always nice) or how far I go. The fact that I am still going out, sticking with something is the best thing.

If You Go Down to the Woods Today

You may just get a big surprise – I kind of did when I took the bike to Center Parcs for the weekend and ended up off-road somewhere I never knew existed.

I decided to take the bike, along with the kids bikes to the Nottingham Center Parcs for the weekend, not really expecting to go further than the village centre and back. I took my cycling gear with me, shorts, a couple of tops and a waterproof just in case and I’m really glad I did.

I managed to get out and have a proper cycle round the whole place, not just on the roads either. At the top of the village there is a path that takes you off-road behind the villas right round until you reach the nature reserve. The track is covered in pine needles and bark chippings that I think will have been put there to soak up some of the standing water. The picture below shows the track.

A view along the track at the back of Center Parcs

A view along the track at the back of Center Parcs

I also took some lights with me, being the last weekend in November I was never going to get much cycling time in the light. What I hadn’t banked on was the glorious sunset over the lake I managed to shoot with my iPhone (all of my pictures are taken with my phone). I almost cycled past, but took the opportunity to turn round and appreciate the view and take what I think it a stunning shot.

A simply stunning view across the lake at Center Parcs

A simply stunning view across the lake at Center Parcs

I only went out for about 30 mins per ride, logging two of them which I have merged together, details below.

I haven’t counted the time I took to ride to the shop when we found out that the bread we took with us had gone mouldy, or the trip back from taking the car to the car park and riding back to the villa (which was on the other side of the village). If I had, I would have broken the 200 mile mark for the year!

Ride Details

Distance: 9 miles

Time Taken: 58:33

Elevation Gain: 176ft