Wednesday, 28 September 2005

National Downshifting Week

National Downshifting Week isn't until April, but they have some great suggestions, Treehugger lists some. If everyone did some of these, the world would be a much better place.

[Update: From the NDW site, I found the CityHippy blog.]


I like this cartoon. It's not a million miles away from all the people who drive their car to the gym.

Blog To Learn

Next Friday I'm going to a course on the use of blogs in education. It's going to cover what blogs are, so I think it'll be very basic, though I hope to come away with some useful information. I'll report back.

Monday, 26 September 2005

Local loop ride

On Sunday afternoon, I went out and rode my usual local loop. It's just a loop around some local bridleways, but it has the odd nice trail and gets out into the countryside (despite crossing the A1(M) and running alongside the East Coast Mainline).

Local Loop Route Map

Along the way, I startled a couple of bunnies and surprised a heron. I'd been to a harvest festival service that morning, so it was nice to ride along the edge of fields that were part way through the ploughing and good-seed-scattering process.

Apart from the odd longer ride, most of my recent riding has been on the road; on my 6 mile-a-day commute. Since adding an extra 8 mile trip in on Tuesday afternoons for the last couple of weeks, my legs have been feeling pretty tired by the end of the week, so I wasn't sure how well I was going to go yesterday. Turns out, pretty well! I think I probably did one of my faster times around the loop (helped by not taking coffee, because Sarah nicked off with my rucksack so I was travelling light) and was climbing most things a sprocket or two higher than normal. I was even taking some smooth off-road climbs in the big chainring, which is not like me at all; I'm more of a spinner than a grinder.

I think it's down to my commute; two 3 mile sprints against the traffic every day, on a 32:15 singlespeed, makes you work hard to accelerate, and there are a few climbs each way too. My four mile each way trip on a Tuesday afternoon is done at a really high cadence (almost all above 100rpm, I reckon) which forces me to spin the pedals in smooth circles, rather than just pushing up-and-down.

Whatever it is, I hope it all combines to give me a better result than last year (last) in next Sunday's annual cyclo cross race.

Sunday, 25 September 2005

Thursday, 22 September 2005

Crap at updating

As usual, I'm going through a crap at updating phase. I occasionally remember to add in interesting link to the sidebar though, if you want to look at those.

I'll probably post more in the winter months. Maybe.

Sunday, 4 September 2005

On-and off-road through Bolam, Bishop Auckland, Middridge and Aycliffe

Ride map - 28/08/2005

It was a mix of on- and off-road, about 47km. Darlington to Burtree Gate on the road; off-road along a field-edge bridleway to the Walworth road; along that road to the A68, briefly on the A68 and the back on a monor road to Bolam; BOAT from Bloam to another road; bridleway (part of the W2W route) to Bishop Auckland; on the road to Eldon, then bridleway and road to middridge; off-road along bridleway to Aycliffe the Church Lane to A167; road through Brafferton to Coatham Mundeville; Patches Lane bridleway back to Whessoe Road, and then home.

  • Distance: 47km

  • Surface: Mixed on- and off-road

  • Time: About 4 hours

  • Weather: Warm and dry, quite windy

  • Bike: Inbred, with 1.75″ semi-slick tyres

[Update:] Having ridden some more local trails with narrow tyres, I'm even more convinced that a cyclocross bike would be the ideal bike for me and my current riding. Then I saw this fixed gear Surly Crosscheck on the MTBR forums and just thought it would be the ideal bike for me. Fixed might be going a bit far (but I'd like to give it a shot), but I only used a few gears on this ride, don't struggle with an ss on my ride to/from work, so I think a bike like this would be great.

A ride

I ride a really nice ride on my bike last Saturday. At some point I'll get around to writing it up properly. It covered part of the new W2W route, was about 45km and made me want a cyclocross bike even more than I already did.

I had an idea for a mass long-distance bike ride along the way, too.