juliet: (australia - kata tjuta)
I realised the other day that I never got round to uploading my photos from cycling the Great Ocean Road, and meandering around West Australia.

Great Ocean Road to Mt Gambier
South and West Australia
juliet: (fixie)
08:03 Leave house for schools course in Muswell Hill.
08:18 Just past Tower Bridge, realise have left photo ID & CRB number (both required by school) at home. Phone P for CRB number, but if I go back for my passport will be hideously late, so plough onwards hoping that we can sort something out when I get there.
08:50 Halfway up Hornsey Rise, something goes spang in my knee. Ignore it & press onwards.
09:01 Arrive at bottom of Muswell Hill. Reflect that Muswell Hill should come with a health warning, & specifically this health warning should read "TAKE THE GEARED BIKE NOT THE FIXIE, YOU DOZY COW, EVEN IF YOU DO HAVE TO GET UP 10 MIN EARLIER TO SORT OUT THE SADDLE*". Nevertheless, start riding up Muswell Hill.
09:02 Begin standing on pedals.
09:04 Realise that a) Muswell Hill is about 3 x longer than I thought, b) that it is only getting steeper, and c) that I can no longer turn the pedals even when standing on them. Give up and walk.
09:11 Arrive at top of Muswell Hill, which is bloody hard work even on foot. Dash into newsagents to acquire restorative sugary beverage as can already feel precipitous decline in blood sugar. (Note to self: the muesli isn't cutting it, back to the scrambled tofu.)
09:15 Arrive at school, on time hurrah. School very quiet, and curiously dark.
09:16 Informed by very apologetic teacher that school is shut for the day as their power & thus heating are out of action. No idea what has happened to message to this effect sent to office/emergency phone.
09:20 Lead instructor & I are taken round playground, school, etc by apologetic teacher, then shown the staffroom and offered tea. High quality sofas in staffroom, good stuff. Have gossip meaningful discussion of work-related issues with lead instructor.
10:05 Leave school again. Zoom down Muswell Hill cursing traffic jam that prevents real actual full-on hurtling, spinning out, & other such excitements.
11:05 Arrive home, having made brief detour via Spitalfields Health Shop. Put kettle on.

So, hm, yes. I think I deserve a nap or something.

* Someone nicked the saddle & seatpost off Cepheus before Xmas, & I have still not put the replacements on. I worked out this morning that this is because if I don't put them back on, then Cepheus will stay safely in the house & no one will steal any more things off him. Obviously I need to get over this.
juliet: (bike fixed)
This morning there were two nervous cyclists. Now there are two happy much-more-confident cyclists!

My job rocks.

(While I'm here: anyone London-based who wants bike training? Funding available in some boroughs.)
juliet: (Default)

Links, and other stuff:

  • Various people I know are doing LEL (London-Edinburgh-London) on bikes this week:twitter link here.
  • Other cyclists have been going rather faster round France for the last 3 weeks: some v good photos here. Also, Cav's sprint yesterday was bloody amazing. As was Bradley Wiggins' ride up Ventoux on Saturday. (I really felt for him on seeing the shots of him afterwards, sat on the floor slumped against a fence with his head down, looking like he was either about to throw up or had done already.)
  • My cycling friend Gerald was on the plinth in Trafalgar Square dressed as a dinosaur, playing swingball, and stomping on a model London.
  • Rats playing musical instruments!
  • Climate Camp this year is 26th Aug - 2nd Sept & will be somewhere within the M25, with good transport links. Video here explaining why you should come along!. I spent yesterday helping to build a bicycle generator which will be used to provide power for the London neighbourhood. The secondary aim was to produce a decent design that can be made from stuff you can find in a skip or for very cheap, & doesn't require a dedicated bike/bike frame or any more than basic DIY skills & tools (saw, drill, screwdriver). Success was achieved, but Version 2 (new & improved!) is already on the drawing board. Anyway: Climate Camp is going to be awesome, come along & check out all the exciting workshops!
  • Different sort of activism: [personal profile] damned_colonial did what looks like a fantastic keynote speech at OSCON on the topic of women in open source (slides here). The comments on this positive writeup of the talk have been getting rather toxic, in the customary ways[0]. Randal Schwarz being a particular culprit (sigh). Some of you may be interested in the discussion; [personal profile] zorkian has also suggested writing to Linux Fund about it.

Myself, I have mostly been trying to sort out work stuff (in the sense of getting existing commissions in on time & deciding What Else I Do Next); trying to get rid of stuff on Freecycle; and trying to remain calm and not hide under the bed. Spent the weekend doing climate camp stuff (direct action workshop on Saturday, which was excellent and very interesting, and raised some practical & emotional issues for me which I need to sit down and think about; and then the bike generator thing yesterday as above) and visiting my parents, which was nice.

Intermittently grumpy about what is (for me) a shocking lack of fitness: far slower than I should be on the bike, and spinning downhill is bumpy (no souplesse...). I am however aware that a) this will improve the more I get out there, & b) my standards are slightly abnormal. If I can still ride 25 miles in a day I'm not doing all that badly, really, even if it does make me unduly hungry atm.[1]

Oh yes, and Glade last weekend was fun despite the fairly wet weather, due to excellent drainage & the fact that it helpfully didn't rain after dark at any point after Thu evening. Not keen about the fact that you can see passing cars on the nearby road from the middle of the site, though - it kind of reduces the 'special getting-away-from-things' feeling. We did however have cubical jam[2], which is a superior foodstuff of the future and makes everything better. Or at least slightly more waxy.

[0] "We do X because it's what sells, so tough shit"; "if more women participated then these negative behaviours would stop"; "you're only 4 (5, 6, whatever) voices, I speak for the majority". BLAH BLAH BLAH ignorant sexist crap. I was teeth-grindingly furious by the time I was 1/3 through & am going to have to finish the thread now so I can comment [sigh].
[1] This is related to fitness, because the higher your heartrate the more blood glucose you need (as opposed to running off body fat, which you have loads of), and the less fit you are the higher your heartrate goes, roughly.
[2] Shot Bloks. Eaten by the pros, apparently. Maybe they like wax. It's a lot like eating a candle made out of jam.

juliet: (audax)
Today I have mostly spent going UP a mountain (590m: 500m gain in 8km), between St Helen's and Derby. (Weldborough Pass, specifically.) I did this very very slowly, and with the aid of the ipod as alternative distraction to the perennial favourites "Name That Roadkill" (difficulty increases with extent to which corpse has decomposed/been eaten[0]) and "Count The Tinnies" (Australian version of "Count The Lucozade Bottles". Obviously they don't have Lucozade here.)

The descent on the other side was cracking (once it stopped being on a road which someone had decided to tarmac by scattering gravel over some sticky stuff and leaving it at that, i.e. with bits of sodding gravel skittering everywhere), though. For some reason putting panniers on the front of the bike led me to forget about countersteering, so my descending had become rubbish; I've now remembered again (courtesy of an article in Cycling Australia) so all is once again well and I can zoom round hairpin bends with abandon. Which I did. Zoom! The only game suitable for playing on descents is "No Brakes B*tch", which originated after I read an interview with one of the GB mountain bike team in which she said that this is what she chants to herself on descents. I like her style.[1]

Cracking though the descent was, it was not in fact "downhill all the way to Derby" as claimed by both the postie at Weldborough, and my routesheet. I knew this, really, as the postie was in a car, and drivers are just as unreliable on gradient as they are on distance, that is, very; and the routesheet used GPS or something which is also unreliable on gradient. This is why Audax UK still AFAIK insists that to award AAA points the organiser has to do things the old-fashioned way, counting contour lines on an OS map. But I digress. Anyway: it was about 10k actually downhill (which was top fun), 8k "rolling" with a downwards trend, & 2k very downhill indeed into town.

Plan A was to go another 33k to Scottsdale today, but Plan A has been abandoned in favour of Plan B, which is to camp in the park here (for free! But with, I think, no showers - ah well) & go to Scottsdale first thing tomorrow morning. It's a bumpy 33k & I am feeling a bit off today.

Other things I have been up to:
* stroking a Tasmanian Devil! And a wombat, and a kangaroo.
* being somewhat disappointed by the restaurant Angasi at Binalong Bay - everything *drenched* in oil and a bit bland. Maybe they just don't do veggies well.
* being intermittently rained on.
* cycling 6.5k up a VERY STEEP and unsealed road to stay at Seaview Farm, on top of a mountain near St Mary's. It was absolutely lovely and worth the effort of getting up there. Nice kitchen! Nice lounge with fire! Absolutely spectacular view! It was with great difficulty that I took myself off to St Helen's the next morning.
* Going to a carol concert in Richmond! Which was also lovely. (And occurred several days ago, but never mind.)
* Um, cycling a lot.

I would like to place a small bet that it will rain tonight, because I don't have access to a camp kitchen & thus will have to experiment with cooking in the tent porch. I will do my best not to set light to anything that shouldn't be set light to.

[0] When going fast it is possibly to confuse large stringy pieces of bark with *really* decomposed corpses, but this is less likely when averaging 3mph or less.
[1] For the benefit of people who are reading this & might worry (e.g. my parents - hello!), I feel I should note that I am in fact a v careful descender & do brake when appropriate. I just like to minimise the occasions on which it becomes appropriate.
juliet: (audax)
Today I have mostly spent going UP a mountain (590m: 500m gain in 8km), between St Helen's and Derby. (Weldborough Pass, specifically.) I did this very very slowly, and with the aid of the ipod as alternative distraction to the perennial favourites "Name That Roadkill" (difficulty increases with extent to which corpse has decomposed/been eaten[0]) and "Count The Tinnies" (Australian version of "Count The Lucozade Bottles". Obviously they don't have Lucozade here.)

The descent on the other side was cracking (once it stopped being on a road which someone had decided to tarmac by scattering gravel over some sticky stuff and leaving it at that, i.e. with bits of sodding gravel skittering everywhere), though. For some reason putting panniers on the front of the bike led me to forget about countersteering, so my descending had become rubbish; I've now remembered again (courtesy of an article in Cycling Australia) so all is once again well and I can zoom round hairpin bends with abandon. Which I did. Zoom! The only game suitable for playing on descents is "No Brakes B*tch", which originated after I read an interview with one of the GB mountain bike team in which she said that this is what she chants to herself on descents. I like her style.[1]

Cracking though the descent was, it was not in fact "downhill all the way to Derby" as claimed by both the postie at Weldborough, and my routesheet. I knew this, really, as the postie was in a car, and drivers are just as unreliable on gradient as they are on distance, that is, very; and the routesheet used GPS or something which is also unreliable on gradient. This is why Audax UK still AFAIK insists that to award AAA points the organiser has to do things the old-fashioned way, counting contour lines on an OS map. But I digress. Anyway: it was about 10k actually downhill (which was top fun), 8k "rolling" with a downwards trend, & 2k very downhill indeed into town.

Plan A was to go another 33k to Scottsdale today, but Plan A has been abandoned in favour of Plan B, which is to camp in the park here (for free! But with, I think, no showers - ah well) & go to Scottsdale first thing tomorrow morning. It's a bumpy 33k & I am feeling a bit off today.

Other things I have been up to:
* stroking a Tasmanian Devil! And a wombat, and a kangaroo.
* being somewhat disappointed by the restaurant Angasi at Binalong Bay - everything *drenched* in oil and a bit bland. Maybe they just don't do veggies well.
* being intermittently rained on.
* cycling 6.5k up a VERY STEEP and unsealed road to stay at Seaview Farm, on top of a mountain near St Mary's. It was absolutely lovely and worth the effort of getting up there. Nice kitchen! Nice lounge with fire! Absolutely spectacular view! It was with great difficulty that I took myself off to St Helen's the next morning.
* Going to a carol concert in Richmond! Which was also lovely. (And occurred several days ago, but never mind.)
* Um, cycling a lot.

I would like to place a small bet that it will rain tonight, because I don't have access to a camp kitchen & thus will have to experiment with cooking in the tent porch. I will do my best not to set light to anything that shouldn't be set light to.

[0] When going fast it is possibly to confuse large stringy pieces of bark with *really* decomposed corpses, but this is less likely when averaging 3mph or less.
[1] For the benefit of people who are reading this & might worry (e.g. my parents - hello!), I feel I should note that I am in fact a v careful descender & do brake when appropriate. I just like to minimise the occasions on which it becomes appropriate.
juliet: (Default)

And lo! I am back in Perth again. Where it is sunny and warm and other suchlike things which I was led to believe that Australia would feature but have so far been largely failing to materialise. Also I am staying in the One World Backpackers which is lovely -- cheap wireless, free towel, free breakfast, nice garden with hammocks, lovely sofas in the living room.

The last few days of cycling have featured: hills; trees; a crazed avian cyclist-assassin. Finally, a use for the helmet, viz, protecting my delicate scalp-fleshes from the CLAWS. Shouting at it had no discernable effect, so I sprinted instead. Apparently I can go quite fast when I have the incentive. All scalp-fleshes thankfully still intact.

The trees were all very nice. I climbed to a 61m fire lookout (up pegs stuck in a treetrunk;, went on a tree-top walk on a slightly alarmingly swaying walkway (it was fabulous, though, to see the trees from that height); and cycled for 27km through forest on a road which saw a car about once every 15 min, so it was mostly just me and the trees. And the hills. And lots of birdsong (but no crazed assassin-birds).

I am ludicrously healthy at the moment: lots of energy, clear skin, cold wet nose[0], that sort of thing. Apparently getting 8 hrs sleep a night and lots of outdoor exercise, on a diet of lentils, rice, veggies, and porridge, with very little alcohol, is good for you. Who knew? I have developed legs that Chris Hoy would be proud of[1] and I laugh in the face of hills[2]. I look forward to all of this deserting me in the New Year when I go back to *not* spending my entire time on a bike. On the downside, WA is apparently Mosquito Central, and my legs are all over bite marks/scabs where I've scratched too much. Bah.

I have also developed a list of Good Songs For Cycling To, which includes:

  • Bad Touch (Bloodhound Gang)
  • Baby I Don't Care (Transvision Vamp)
  • Up In Our Bedroom After The War (Stars)
  • Born To Run (Springsteen) (sadly I do not actually have this with me on this occasion, but I once got from Trafalgar Sq to home via the Embankment in 17 min flat with this on repeat.)
Since I am of the opinion that if you're not capable of singing at least a bit whilst cycling, you're trying too hard[3], I have been able to cause much alarm in roadside cows. Transvision Vamp in particular seem to make them stop and stare, although tbh roadside cows will stop and stare at pretty much anything. I guess there's not much entertainment for them.

Off back to Adelaide on the train tomorrow; for now I think it may be dinnertime.

[0] This is actually true on occasion, e.g. when going downhill fast into the wind.
[1] This is a gross exaggeration, which is probably for the best as Chris Hoy, whilst a splendid and very impressive chap, is also a freak of nature who has leg muscles where normal people just have, like, skin.
[2] This is an outright lie.
[3] This is not actually as lazy as it sounds. Broadly speaking the higher your heart rate, the more you're using carbs instead of fat, and breathing hard is a decent stand-in for heart rate. And high carb usage = more chance of bonking. Which is bad, if doing long-distance.

juliet: (Default)

And lo! I am back in Perth again. Where it is sunny and warm and other suchlike things which I was led to believe that Australia would feature but have so far been largely failing to materialise. Also I am staying in the One World Backpackers which is lovely -- cheap wireless, free towel, free breakfast, nice garden with hammocks, lovely sofas in the living room.

The last few days of cycling have featured: hills; trees; a crazed avian cyclist-assassin. Finally, a use for the helmet, viz, protecting my delicate scalp-fleshes from the CLAWS. Shouting at it had no discernable effect, so I sprinted instead. Apparently I can go quite fast when I have the incentive. All scalp-fleshes thankfully still intact.

The trees were all very nice. I climbed to a 61m fire lookout (up pegs stuck in a treetrunk;, went on a tree-top walk on a slightly alarmingly swaying walkway (it was fabulous, though, to see the trees from that height); and cycled for 27km through forest on a road which saw a car about once every 15 min, so it was mostly just me and the trees. And the hills. And lots of birdsong (but no crazed assassin-birds).

I am ludicrously healthy at the moment: lots of energy, clear skin, cold wet nose[0], that sort of thing. Apparently getting 8 hrs sleep a night and lots of outdoor exercise, on a diet of lentils, rice, veggies, and porridge, with very little alcohol, is good for you. Who knew? I have developed legs that Chris Hoy would be proud of[1] and I laugh in the face of hills[2]. I look forward to all of this deserting me in the New Year when I go back to *not* spending my entire time on a bike. On the downside, WA is apparently Mosquito Central, and my legs are all over bite marks/scabs where I've scratched too much. Bah.

I have also developed a list of Good Songs For Cycling To, which includes:

  • Bad Touch (Bloodhound Gang)
  • Baby I Don't Care (Transvision Vamp)
  • Up In Our Bedroom After The War (Stars)
  • Born To Run (Springsteen) (sadly I do not actually have this with me on this occasion, but I once got from Trafalgar Sq to home via the Embankment in 17 min flat with this on repeat.)
Since I am of the opinion that if you're not capable of singing at least a bit whilst cycling, you're trying too hard[3], I have been able to cause much alarm in roadside cows. Transvision Vamp in particular seem to make them stop and stare, although tbh roadside cows will stop and stare at pretty much anything. I guess there's not much entertainment for them.

Off back to Adelaide on the train tomorrow; for now I think it may be dinnertime.

[0] This is actually true on occasion, e.g. when going downhill fast into the wind.
[1] This is a gross exaggeration, which is probably for the best as Chris Hoy, whilst a splendid and very impressive chap, is also a freak of nature who has leg muscles where normal people just have, like, skin.
[2] This is an outright lie.
[3] This is not actually as lazy as it sounds. Broadly speaking the higher your heart rate, the more you're using carbs instead of fat, and breathing hard is a decent stand-in for heart rate. And high carb usage = more chance of bonking. Which is bad, if doing long-distance.

juliet: (Default)
So far, it has rained a bit, and I have had some very nice wine. And cycled 20k very slowly (due to stopping at a cave, and an Aboriginal cultural centre, and the place with the wine and some lunch), and 35k really quite fast.

Then I had to put up a tent on *deliberately placed gravel*. "There's a [somethingorother, didn't catch the word] for your tent", the campsite owner said, showing me where I was headed on a map. The somethingorother is a patch of dirt & gravel (mostly gravel) with some kind of nylon close-weave net over the top, on which you are expected to pitch your tent. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY. Took me 35min to put up a tent which normally takes <10min, because I could not get the *bloody* pegs in the ground. I have vibration ouch on my peg-holding hand now. Grumble.

Last night I spent being The Only Grownup In The Village, at a caravan park in Dunsborough. It is Schoolies Week, which is when every 18-yr-old in Aus, having just finished their exams & thus their school career, goes in search of a beach and quite a lot of alcohol. The caravan people said, doubtfully "I'm not sure you'll *want* to stay here, and normally we don't let anyone else in while they're here", but I assured them that sleeping in a campsite, even surrounded by inebriated teenagers, would be preferable to sleeping on the side of the road, so they charged me $14.50 and sent me over to the back of the site. The teenagers all looked at me as if I'd grown an extra head (I checked: still only the one), and I had a couple of conversations that went:
"You're - not a leaver, are you?"
"No, about 12 years too old."
whereupon polite conversations about what I was up to were held, and my tent was admired. (One lad asked how old I was, and looked quite shocked to hear the answer "30. Three-zero.". They made a hell of a racket all night but this did not bother me in the slightest, so all was well.

Nearly sunset now so I should go sort my dinner out. Off to Augusta tomorrow, & to the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse - apparently one of only 4 places in the world where 2 oceans meet. A long day though - I'm not stopping at Augusta but heading 20k or so inland, to a national park campsite which has only cold showers. HORRORS.
juliet: (Default)
So far, it has rained a bit, and I have had some very nice wine. And cycled 20k very slowly (due to stopping at a cave, and an Aboriginal cultural centre, and the place with the wine and some lunch), and 35k really quite fast.

Then I had to put up a tent on *deliberately placed gravel*. "There's a [somethingorother, didn't catch the word] for your tent", the campsite owner said, showing me where I was headed on a map. The somethingorother is a patch of dirt & gravel (mostly gravel) with some kind of nylon close-weave net over the top, on which you are expected to pitch your tent. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY. Took me 35min to put up a tent which normally takes <10min, because I could not get the *bloody* pegs in the ground. I have vibration ouch on my peg-holding hand now. Grumble.

Last night I spent being The Only Grownup In The Village, at a caravan park in Dunsborough. It is Schoolies Week, which is when every 18-yr-old in Aus, having just finished their exams & thus their school career, goes in search of a beach and quite a lot of alcohol. The caravan people said, doubtfully "I'm not sure you'll *want* to stay here, and normally we don't let anyone else in while they're here", but I assured them that sleeping in a campsite, even surrounded by inebriated teenagers, would be preferable to sleeping on the side of the road, so they charged me $14.50 and sent me over to the back of the site. The teenagers all looked at me as if I'd grown an extra head (I checked: still only the one), and I had a couple of conversations that went:
"You're - not a leaver, are you?"
"No, about 12 years too old."
whereupon polite conversations about what I was up to were held, and my tent was admired. (One lad asked how old I was, and looked quite shocked to hear the answer "30. Three-zero.". They made a hell of a racket all night but this did not bother me in the slightest, so all was well.

Nearly sunset now so I should go sort my dinner out. Off to Augusta tomorrow, & to the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse - apparently one of only 4 places in the world where 2 oceans meet. A long day though - I'm not stopping at Augusta but heading 20k or so inland, to a national park campsite which has only cold showers. HORRORS.
juliet: (Default)

The intention today was to cycle from Port Fairy (where I currently am) to Portland, and thence to Mt Gambier tomorrow, in order to get a bus to Adelaide. But this part of the journey was only really for logistical reasons; the bit I wanted to do was the Great Ocean Road, which I did over the last 5 days. So when I awoke to a stinking headwind this morning, and the nice VLine bus man assured me that the bike would go on the bus to Mt Gambier, I thought, sod that then. So I am having a nice relaxing day in Port Fairy, eating cake and checking the internets and such. You may wish to keep your thumbs crossed for me that the VLine bus driver agrees in re the putting of bikes on buses.

The Great Ocean Road, however, was a fantastic ride, even if I did have a headwind for the first 2.5 days. Executive summary of the 333km ridden from Geelong to Port Fairy:

  • Oh wow, how amazingly pretty is that?
  • OMG there is a koala! And another one!

The detailed version )

[0] Humour me, kids, I have been all on my own on a bike for the last 5 days. There's only so long you can spend going "OMG this is insanely beautiful", though I admit I've been doing my best to push the envelope on that one. In between times you end up occupying yourself with such activities as making up stories about the social lives of soft toys, practising whistling backwards, and trying to get a song, any song, in your head that isn't either Waltzing Matilda or Papa Was A Rodeo. Thankfully I do very much like the latter, which is handy as I've had it as an earworm on and off now for about 5 years.

juliet: (Default)

The intention today was to cycle from Port Fairy (where I currently am) to Portland, and thence to Mt Gambier tomorrow, in order to get a bus to Adelaide. But this part of the journey was only really for logistical reasons; the bit I wanted to do was the Great Ocean Road, which I did over the last 5 days. So when I awoke to a stinking headwind this morning, and the nice VLine bus man assured me that the bike would go on the bus to Mt Gambier, I thought, sod that then. So I am having a nice relaxing day in Port Fairy, eating cake and checking the internets and such. You may wish to keep your thumbs crossed for me that the VLine bus driver agrees in re the putting of bikes on buses.

The Great Ocean Road, however, was a fantastic ride, even if I did have a headwind for the first 2.5 days. Executive summary of the 333km ridden from Geelong to Port Fairy:

  • Oh wow, how amazingly pretty is that?
  • OMG there is a koala! And another one!

The detailed version )

[0] Humour me, kids, I have been all on my own on a bike for the last 5 days. There's only so long you can spend going "OMG this is insanely beautiful", though I admit I've been doing my best to push the envelope on that one. In between times you end up occupying yourself with such activities as making up stories about the social lives of soft toys, practising whistling backwards, and trying to get a song, any song, in your head that isn't either Waltzing Matilda or Papa Was A Rodeo. Thankfully I do very much like the latter, which is handy as I've had it as an earworm on and off now for about 5 years.

juliet: (audax)
Last Saturday was my last audax of the season - the 200k Anfractuous from Chalfont St Peter. After the previous weekend's 600k extravaganza, I'd have been sorely tempted to bail on it, had it not also been [livejournal.com profile] uon's first 200k, thus making me feel obliged to turn out so he would!

Ride report )

I really enjoyed the day - was surprised at how well I felt given that I'm clearly still recovering from the Middle Road. A splendid end to the season :-)
juliet: (audax)
Last Saturday was my last audax of the season - the 200k Anfractuous from Chalfont St Peter. After the previous weekend's 600k extravaganza, I'd have been sorely tempted to bail on it, had it not also been [livejournal.com profile] uon's first 200k, thus making me feel obliged to turn out so he would!

Ride report )

I really enjoyed the day - was surprised at how well I felt given that I'm clearly still recovering from the Middle Road. A splendid end to the season :-)
juliet: (swimming in the sea!)
I spent this weekend having MUCH FUN.

Acid on Sea! )

GBBF )

Riding to the seaside )

Today I am at work. Boo to work. But it is nearly hometime.
juliet: (Default)
I spent this weekend having MUCH FUN.

Acid on Sea! )

[livejournal.com profile] dogrando, [livejournal.com profile] marnameow, & I headed to Earls Court for the Great British Beer Festival. Located [livejournal.com profile] fernasto (down from Manchester, hurrah), & [livejournal.com profile] boyofbadgers & [livejournal.com profile] katstevens. Drank tasty beer. Talked nonsense (some of it beer-related). Discovered that beer-decisions made much easier by the fact that it was the end of the festival & they were running out of beer. People brought me beer without me having to do much in the way of effort. Hurrah. We got all enthusiastic about going to Poptimism afterwards, but by the time we'd had some dinner, it was getting late & we were too tired, so returned to Bermondsey instead.

[livejournal.com profile] uon & go on a Bicycling Adventure. Specifically, on this occasion we were Adventuring to Brighton. (Which is <60 miles from home, in fact - a v pleasant cycle). The purpose of the exercise was for [livejournal.com profile] uon to do his super-domestique thang ;-) & pace me a bit faster than I'm normally inclined to go. Also to go swimming & for tasty food.

The first 20mi or so were spent in extracting ourselves from London, via the A23 through Streatham & Croydon (OK at 9-10am on a Sunday but not a road I'd like to tackle later in the day). It was sunny, and a lovely day for a ride; and concentrating on navigating London meant that I got over my usual 10-mi or so hump (i.e. it takes me about that long to get into the swing of things) without really noticing it. We crossed the M25 just north of Reigate, which meant that we got to go down Reigate Hill. This is an *immense* amount of fun; sadly I didn't quite manage to break the speed limit (40mph), but only because the car in front had to brake for a corner which I'd have been able to take flat out otherwise.

Got slightly lost in Reigate, due to me not concentrating on the one-way system, but managed to extract ourselves & continue. I was doing reasonably well with the hanging onto doop's wheel (in "grim death" fashion when gradients sloped upwards; quite easily on the flat; overtaking him on downhills as I have better bike), and we were making splendid time. Stopped at the Hedgehog Inn (near Copthorne) for chips & BEER just after midday, at 32mi. Realised on departure that my rear brake was off, & possibly had been off for the duration. Whoops.

Unfortunately it was shortly after that that I registered Something Amiss with my back wheel: viz, a visit from the P****ure Fairy[0]. The customary round of cursing ensued as I struggled with the removal of the excessively tight tyre (& eventually gave up & got doop to do it. Again. I can get it back on OK, though.). Somewhat unnerved at this point as I was feeling very untrusting of the rear tyre (inspection revealed it to be increasingly bald & scarred); had brought only 1 spare inner (the other being still on the coffee table awaiting fixing after the Dun Run); and had just discovered what appeared to be a very slow flat on the front as well. We went for the "pump everything up & hope for the best" option, & planned for a detour to Haywards Heath in 5 or 6 miles to locate a bike shop.

The next couple of miles were Not Good in speed terms - inflation level of tyres makes a massive difference. We did manage to find a Halfords in Haywards Heath, though, which reassured me; and after another 5 min of pumping it looked like both tyres were doing a bit better & should hold out.

Thus off! to Ditchling & the Beacon. I was pleased with myself on the way into Ditchling, as I managed to hold doop's wheel almost all the way to the top of a couple of hills (the increasing headwind helped my determination here...). The sun was back out again in full force by now, so we stopped in Ditchling for suncream application, water, & a handful of fortifying biscuits before tackling the Beacon. We looked up the road.
d: "That big green thing up there - that's the Beacon?"
J: "Yes, yes, it is."
d: "And we're going to cycle up that? Woman, we are both crazy."

Having done my best to push myself up most of the hills, I confess to returning to my customary "granny gear & twiddle" approach at this point (doop stormed off ahead as per). I will try it a bit faster next time! Made it up successfully albeit at average speed of 4mph; and the view at the top really is fantastic, right over the Downs in both directions, and back towards London, and down to the sea. Unfortunately the next couple of miles, which should have been rapid freewheel (mostly) were instead rapid battle into headwind; but the scenery continued glorious. Then DOWN the hill into Brighton (featuring several Experiments With Rapid Downhill Braking at traffic lights, inc doop's rear wheel locking up with thankfully no ill effect), & to the SEA!

We had a swim (best thing ever!), sat on the beach, & congratulated ourselves on getting to the seaside under our own steam :-) Then took ourselves off to Terre a Terre for a very very very nice dinner. I confess that I am now thinking that this is definitely a ride that warrants a repeat performance! Although probably cannot manage Terre a Terre on every occasion ;-)

59 mi, 4h15 riding time for riding average of 13.1mph (very good for me over that distance). 7h15 total time (faffage inc pub, tyre, Halfords, suncream application, etc etc - we weren't worrying about total time at all). Must ride the Beacon faster next time!


[0] 3 visits in 3 rides, after nothing at all for 2000 miles or so. I bought new tyres today.


Today I am at work. Boo to work. But it is nearly hometime.
juliet: (audax)
So, on Saturday night, once again I set off to ride from Hackney to Dunwich overnight (116mi). I rode this last year & enjoyed it enough that I bought the lovely lovely Cheviot & started riding audaxes :-) This time I was with [livejournal.com profile] uon & the ACF (cycling forum) lot, rather than on my own, which was nice.

Summary of first 65 mi (to village hall): wet, somewhat unpleasant. Summary of remaining 55(odd)mi: increasingly dry, becoming actively enjoyable. And then a SWIM in the SEA! So I am pleased I didn't bail at the hall as I was briefly considering doing.

Ride report )

And chapeau to doop on his first Imperial century & (by the time you include the there & back bits), first 200k! Particularly impressive for someone who 9 months ago couldn't ride a bike :-)
juliet: (audax)
So, on Saturday night, once again I set off to ride from Hackney to Dunwich overnight (116mi). I rode this last year & enjoyed it enough that I bought the lovely lovely Cheviot & started riding audaxes :-) This time I was with [livejournal.com profile] uon & the ACF (cycling forum) lot, rather than on my own, which was nice.

Summary of first 65 mi (to village hall): wet, somewhat unpleasant. Summary of remaining 55(odd)mi: increasingly dry, becoming actively enjoyable. And then a SWIM in the SEA! So I am pleased I didn't bail at the hall as I was briefly considering doing.

Ride report )

And chapeau to doop on his first Imperial century & (by the time you include the there & back bits), first 200k! Particularly impressive for someone who 9 months ago couldn't ride a bike :-)

August 2017

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