First Recumbent Century (long)

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Danny Colyer, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    There was a time when I would often go out at the
    weekend and enjoy a 70 or 80 mile ride, or occasionally
    a bit further. But that was before my beloved and I
    became an item.

    On 10 July 1998 (a week after I first asked Catherine out),
    I towed my BoB 140 miles to a juggling convention. Then I
    took 3 days over getting home. That was the last time I rode
    more than 60 miles in a day, and I can only think of five
    occasions when I've ridden more than 30 miles. Since then
    I've wanted to spend my weekends with Catherine (and more
    recently with the kids), and she hasn't wanted to do that
    sort of mileage.

    But I've missed my long rides, and for years I've intended
    to ride the Avon Cycleway, an 85 mile (according to the
    leaflet) loop around the outside of Bristol. Last year I
    agreed with a friend that we'd ride it together this summer.
    As Catherine's taken the kids to her mum's for a few days,
    and I've booked Monday to Wednesday off work to make the
    most of a few days to myself, this weekend seemed an ideal
    opportunity.

    To start with I wasn't at all sure about my ability to
    complete the ride, it being my first long ride in 6 years
    and the first ever on the recumbent (I arbitrarily define
    'long' as anything over about 70 miles). I was even less
    confident about Jamie, although he seemed sure enough of
    himself. I had no doubts about his fitness, but I knew he
    hadn't put in many miles on the Speed Machine. When it
    came to it, he seemed to finish the ride a lot fresher
    than I did.

    I arranged to meet Jamie at Warmley Station (on the Bath-
    Bristol cyclepath) at 10:00 on Sunday morning. I had thought
    long and hard about which of my 3 pairs of cycling shoes to
    wear for a ride of this length, but one look out the window
    on the morning of the ride confirmed that it had to be the
    sandals. Throwing fashion caution to the wind, I also slung
    a pair of socks in a pannier just in case we were late back
    and it got chilly. Thankfully I didn't need them.

    With my ever improving slaphead credentials I deemed it
    prudent to wear a cap, but that didn't last more than an
    hour before I decided it was just too hot.

    After a hearty breakfast of porridge, I left home at 09:55
    and arrived at Warmley Station dead on time, to find that
    Jamie had already been there for a few minutes. The first 5
    miles (along the cyclepath) were of very little interest to
    me, as I ride them every morning on my way to work. It all
    got a bit more interesting after we passed my office.

    From Saltford, our route (NCN Regional Route 10) coincided
    with NCN National Route 3. I was impressed by how well
    signposted Route 3 was, and said as much. 2 miles later we
    found ourselves retracing our tyre tracks having missed the
    turning for Burnett. It turned out that there *was* a sign
    but it was buried in a tree.

    When we found our turning, we stopped for a snack. I took
    my first photo of the day and removed my sweaty cycling
    cap. While we were stopped, Jamie was stung 3 times by a
    bee. Yes, I know it's surprising to be stung 3 times by the
    same bee, but it was definitely a bee (I helped him get it
    out of his jersey), it definitely didn't leave it's sting
    behind (I saw it clearly) and there were definitely 3
    puncture marks (which Jamie hoped to use for sympathy from
    his wife later on).

    2 miles later (after a fantastic descent) we stopped at
    Compton Dando to take my second photo (of the church), only
    to find that my camera battery was flat. Catherine had the
    digital camera in Sevenoaks with her, so I had my old film
    camera with the 3-year-old film that I hoped to use up.
    Until shortly before leaving I also had the disposable
    camera that lives in my pannier, but I had discarded it
    because I felt I was carrying too much.

    We stopped again for another snack 3 miles later, in the
    shade of the magnificent Pensford Viaduct. I wished I had a
    working camera with me.

    Somewhere between Stanton Drew and Chew Valley Lake, Route
    10 seems to part company with Route 3. We hadn't realised
    this and, not having seen any Route 10 signs, carried on
    following Route 3. This fortuitous mistake led us to the
    Spar in Bishop Sutton, where I was able to buy a camera
    battery. Then, once we worked out where we were, we were
    soon able to find our way to the Northern shore of the lake
    where we stopped for lunch. We were watched by a young boy
    who was fascinated by our bikes and whose father, had he
    wanted to get away, would have had little hope of shifting
    the child until he had seen us ride off.

    Soon after Chew Valley Lake, Regional Route 10 rejoins
    National Route 3 for a few more miles, so we again had
    adequate signage. When the routes again diverged, Route 10
    was clearly marked. We rode the next 14 miles to Clevedon
    with few navigational problems. When I noticed on the map
    that we were passing close to Nempnett Thrubwell, I resisted
    the temptation to suggest a detour to see just what The
    Wurzels were singing about.

    On the approach to Clevedon we had a continuous 3 mile
    descent. While I reflected on how nice it was to have a
    bike that could be ridden at 30+mph with no stability
    problems even when heavily laden, I also couldn't help
    thinking about the cyclists' theory of gravity. What goes
    down, must go back up.

    At Chelvey we stopped again and had a long chat with a local
    cyclist who had stopped for a can of lager. He was surprised
    that we were planning to ride the whole of the Avon Cycleway
    in one day, but reckoned we should make pretty short work of
    it on the recumbents.

    In Clevedon I prodded my scalp and decided it was starting
    to go pink, so I put my cap back on and kept it on until the
    sun was low enough to pose no threat.

    From Clevedon, the route runs alongside the M5 for about 7
    miles. Somewhere along there, 39 miles into the ride, Jamie
    suffered the only puncture of the trip. A snakebite caused
    by hitting a pothole with underinflated tyres. Stelvios
    have a minimum pressure rating of 85psi, but when I
    squeezed the other tyre I estimated the pressure at about
    60psi. After helping him remove the wheel, I took the
    opportunity to have a snack and replenish my sun cream. And
    to take a photo of Jamie fixing a puncture :)

    At Clapton in Gordano, while we were stopped to look at the
    map, we were passed by a couple of upright cyclists who
    seemed to be going our way and to know where they were
    going. After catching them up on a descent, it transpired
    that they were riding at the same speed as we were. So we
    followed them for the next 3 miles. Just before Pill they
    turned down a side road that wasn't signposted as part of
    the route, so we stopped to check the map.

    After a brief discussion with a very nice lady who told
    us we looked great on our bikes, we concluded that they
    had gone the right way, so we headed off down there
    ourselves. And got lost. We should have just kept
    following the other guys.

    The Wurzels sang about Pill as well ("Pill, Pill, I love
    thee still"). Dunno why, from what little I've seen of it
    it's a dump.

    Eventually we found our way to the mile long bridge where
    the M5 (and the cyclepath alongside it) crosses the Avon. On
    the ascent to the bridge I was mildly amused by the signs
    saying "Maximum Speed 15mph", but not as amused as if I
    hadn't already seen a sign saying that mopeds and scooters
    were allowed to use the path.

    On the bridge itself we leapfrogged each other, each taking
    photos of the other riding. Standing on a motorway bridge
    when a lorry goes past is *very* disconcerting. Then towards
    the end we checked to see where we were going next, and at
    this point we noticed a difference between our route guides.
    My 1998 edition directed us up the B4055 towards Henbury,
    while Jamie's 2001 edition directed us up an off-road
    cyclepath that presumably didn't exist in 1998. We decided
    to follow the more recent guide, ending up on Route 41 and
    seemingly on a route marked on Jamie's map as "proposed
    future route for the Avon Cycleway".

    Then we got lost again. We continued to follow Route 41 in
    the hope that it was going where we wanted to go, but we
    really didn't know where we were. We'd have been much better
    off following my older route guide. Still, by following
    Route 41 we eventually found a sign for Route 10. I also got
    some great pictures for my farcilities page - the gates on
    Route 41 are ludicrous.

    The rest of the route was reasonably well signposted.
    Somewhere around Olveston (about 60 miles in) I started to
    tire, and for the next 15 miles the hills seemed cruel. At
    about 70 miles Jamie phoned his wife to tell her he'd be
    home a couple of hours later than expected, and got an
    earful. Then somewhere around Yate, knowing we were on the
    home run, I caught my second wind. Unfortunately that was
    also when it got dark, so we really had to keep a sharp eye
    out to see the little brown route signs. Lighting wasn't a
    problem, as both our bikes are fitted with SON hub
    dynoamoes and Lumotec Oval Plus lights. Jamie also had one
    of his Lumicycles with him, but I only had a couple of
    LED's for backup.

    On the outskirts of Yate we joined another off-road
    cyclepath for a few hundred yards. It was tarmacced, with a
    bridleway running alongside it and a sign instructing
    equestrians to keep off the tarmac. So, predictably enough,
    the tarmac was liberally sprinkled with horseshit.

    The next 9 miles seemed a lot easier than the previous 30.
    Jamie and I parted company at Mangotsfield Station, by which
    time it was nearly 2 hours later than he had originally told
    his wife to expect him home. And he had to get up for work
    in the morning. I felt very glad that my wife was away and I
    /didn't/ have to get up for work in the morning.

    I had another mile of the loop left to ride. Jamie had
    already ridden it on his way to meet me in the morning. But
    before tackling it, I stopped for a flapjack and drained the
    last of my water.

    I had always intended, if I felt up to it when I reached
    Warmley Station for the second time, to add another loop
    to take my mileage up to the magic 100 mile mark. I was
    actually feeling pretty shattered by the time I returned
    to Warmley Station, and I'd been getting twinges in my
    right knee for the last couple of miles. But with my
    computer reading
    94.97 miles, I decided to go for it. Perhaps not a wise
    decision, given the knee twinges, but who knows when the
    next opportunity to complete a century will be?

    I headed first for the drinking fountain a few hundred yards
    further along the cyclepath. Then I went to explore some of
    the local sections of the ring road cyclepath that I've
    never bothered with before, discovering some interesting
    links. When I finally reached my front door, at one minute
    to midnight, feeling very ready for the big bowl of pasta
    that I had thankfully prepared the night before, and with my
    knee killing me, my computer showed a trip distance of
    101.21 miles at an average speed of 11.2mph. I would have
    liked to have gone a little bit further, knowing that my
    computer could conceivably be out by as much as 2%, but I
    really didn't want to ride any further with that knee.

    (I remember that I used to allow for an average speed of
    10mph for long rides, but I couldn't remember whether that
    included stops or not. After taking 14 hours to complete a
    century, I can only conclude that it probably didn't).

    I don't think I've ever felt less like stretching, but
    stretch I did. After a good night's sleep the only serious
    aches were in my Achilles tendons, which I hadn't thought to
    stretch because I've never had a problem with them before.
    At no point did I suffer any of the back or neck aches that
    would have resulted from doing this ride on an upright bike.

    Overall it was a good ride, and my first long ride with
    company, which was nice. And now we know that we should be
    OK on the 60 miler that we plan to do next weekend (Clevedon
    Challenge in Bristol's Biggest Bike Ride, plus the ride to
    the start and home again at the end): <URL:http://www.bristol-
    city.gov.uk/tourism/bbbr_2004_index.html>

    Much of the route is along the same roads that we rode on
    Sunday, but in the opposite direction. I did the same ride
    on the Street Machine 3 years ago, so I hoped I should be
    OK, but of course you can lose a lot of fitness in 3 years.

    --
    Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my
    reply address)
    <URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/> "He who
    dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
    Tags:


  2. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Danny Colyer wrote:

    <snip nice TR>

    I'm sort of waiting for an Obvious opportunity rather than
    particularly planning one. I thought the moment might have
    been when I had to pick up the bike from Ben after leaving
    it to have its new HS33 brakes fitted, and I set off from
    Bearsden along the Forth Clyde canal path, figuring I'd take
    a look at the Falkirk Wheel and then popping in a deviation
    or two to get up to 100 back at Dundee.

    All went well up until Falkirk (the Wheel is very cool!)
    but then it started pleuting. Decided to head for Stirling
    and if it had turned into serious rain I could bail out
    c/o my return ticket and if it blew over I could carry on
    with another bail option at Perth. Unfortunately it turned
    into Serious Rain and wanting to enjoy myself I caught the
    train home :-(

    Ah well, another opportunity will arise, I'm sure...

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer Tel 44 1382 660111
    ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382
    640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net
    [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  3. Graeme

    Graeme Guest

    Danny Colyer <[email protected]> wrote in news:ca1nm4$36h$1
    @news7.svr.pol.co.uk:

    > Throwing fashion caution to the wind

    We've seen the photos Danny, we know you threw that into a
    raging gale some time ago :)

    Nice trip report by the way.

    Graeme
     
  4. Graeme

    Graeme Guest

    Peter Clinch <[email protected]> wrote in news:ca1pku$drr$1
    @dux.dundee.ac.uk:

    > Unfortunately it turned into Serious Rain and wanting to
    > enjoy myself I caught the train home :-(
    >

    I've always found Serious Rain to be good fun. Mind you, a
    few hours of it might be a bit much. Does heavy rain
    affect you more on a 'bent as you're more "face up"
    compared to a wedgie?

    Graeme
     
  5. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Graeme wrote:

    > I've always found Serious Rain to be good fun. Mind you, a
    > few hours of it might be a bit much.

    Well, quite. And there's rain and there's rain. This wasn't
    a light shower with festive rainbows, this was prolonged,
    cold and driven pretty nastily by a good supply of wind. The
    "take off glasses to see where I'm going" kind :-( I did
    have the waterproofs, and was very glad of them too by the
    time I got to Stirling.

    > Does heavy rain affect you more on a 'bent as you're more
    > "face up" compared to a wedgie?

    It'll depend on the exact vehicle. A lowracer with no
    mudguards would be no fun at all, pop a Streamer fairing on
    something like the Streetmachine and you'd be significantly
    drier. I don't find that much difference aside from a
    tendency for small puddles to form in creases on the front
    of my jacket, plus my feet stay drier.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer Tel 44 1382 660111
    ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382
    640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net
    [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  6. Johnb

    Johnb Guest

    Graeme wrote:
    >
    > Peter Clinch <[email protected]> wrote in
    > news:ca1pku$drr$1 @dux.dundee.ac.uk:
    >
    > > Unfortunately it turned into Serious Rain and wanting to
    > > enjoy myself I caught the train home :-(
    > >
    >
    > I've always found Serious Rain to be good fun. Mind you, a
    > few hours of it might be a bit much. Does heavy rain
    > affect you more on a 'bent as you're more "face up"
    > compared to a wedgie?

    I have a streamer fairing for the trice that keeps most of
    me dry. I do find rain a bit ununcomfortable on the face -
    I do not like water in my eyes and usually wear a small
    peaked cap on the bike. It is certainly less effective on
    the 'bent.

    John B
     
  7. Pk

    Pk Guest

    Graeme wrote:
    > I've always found Serious Rain to be good fun. Mind you, a
    > few hours of it might be a bit much.

    FUN!

    Was cycling in the Jura (France) last week. Saw the sun for
    3 hours the whole week. The first day was the wettest i have
    ever been out in never mind cycled! My waterproof was not up
    to the job and my wife's very expensive goretex cycling
    jacket worked for a while then it too gave up in disgust!

    Spent 3 hours in a cafe at lunch waiting for the rain to
    ease - it just got worse!

    And you say serious rain can be fun!

    Bah! Humbug!

    Great holiday though - tremendous food and organisation
    (Headwater) - despite the weather.

    Drove back 12 hours yesterday - blazing sunshine all the
    way!

    pk
     
  8. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    PK wrote:

    > And you say serious rain can be fun!

    Some major mud-based silliness on the MTB for maybe an hour
    or so, yes, especially if you're in a position to say
    "Enough! Off to the Tea Shop" and (a) be there and (b) not
    be refused admission in a matter of minutes.

    If, OTOH, you have no choice but to keep hacking away
    along very long roads or tracks as you get wetter and
    colder then...

    > Bah! Humbug!

    is, I'd say, about the size of it. Hence my bailing out of
    my proposed Century after about 40 miles :-( Still, the
    first 30 or so were most agreeable.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer Tel 44 1382 660111
    ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382
    640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net
    [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  9. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    I wrote:
    >>Throwing fashion caution to the wind

    and Graeme responded:
    > We've seen the photos Danny, we know you threw that into a
    > raging gale some time ago :)

    Ttthhhrrrppp! :p

    I almost hoped I'd have to resort to the sandals, so that I
    could write something like: "I'd already donned my
    legwarmers and gilet. Now I took the fashion plunge and put
    my socks on under my sandals, despite still being more than
    9 years shy of my 40th birthday."

    But at 23:00, the digital thermometer on the building
    opposite Warmley Station was reading 19C. I put my gilet on
    towards the end of the ride, but I really didn't need any
    more than that.

    --
    Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my
    reply address)
    <URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/> "He who
    dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
  10. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:
    > <snip nice TR>

    Thanks Pete. I wasn't sure if anyone would read it to the
    end, but I thought it'd be a nice way to remember the ride.

    I was about to write something about it being the first ride
    report I'd written, then I remembered a couple of unicycle
    ride reports that I'd written in the past. So I used Google
    to track them down, and I've brought them all together on my
    website. Once I've got my films developed I'll add some
    pictures to the latest report.

    > All went well up until Falkirk (the Wheel is very cool!)
    > but then it started pleuting. Decided to head for Stirling
    > and if it had turned into serious rain I could bail out
    > c/o my return ticket and if it blew over I could carry on
    > with another bail option at Perth. Unfortunately it turned
    > into Serious Rain and wanting to enjoy myself I caught the
    > train home :-(

    That sounds like a wise decision (and 'pleuting' has added
    to my vocabulary).

    --
    Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my
    reply address)
    <URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/> "He who
    dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
  11. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    I wrote:
    > I almost hoped I'd have to resort to the sandals...

    Bum. You know what I meant.

    --
    Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my
    reply address)
    <URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/> "He who
    dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
  12. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    Simon Brooke wrote:
    > ....even in England they don't have placenames
    > _that_ daft!

    <G>They do in Somerset.

    The South East has a few good ones, too. I well remember the
    first time I passed through Pratt's Bottom on a school trip.

    --
    Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my
    reply address)
    <URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/> "He who
    dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
  13. On Mon, 07 Jun 2004 21:57:50 +0100, Danny Colyer
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Simon Brooke wrote:
    >> ....even in England they don't have placenames
    >> _that_ daft!
    >
    ><G>They do in Somerset.
    >
    >The South East has a few good ones, too. I well remember
    >the first time I passed through Pratt's Bottom on a
    >school trip.

    Head for the Fens. Pass through such enticing hamlets as
    Ring's End, Three Holes, Ape's Hall, Loosegate and
    appropriately here, Guy's Head. Not to mention the bizarre
    Quadring Eaudyke and Carlton Scroop.
     
  14. Simon Brooke <[email protected]>typed

    > in message <[email protected]>, Danny
    > Colyer ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > > I arranged to meet Jamie at Warmley Station...

    > H'mmmm...

    > > Somewhere between Stanton Drew and Chew Valley Lake...

    > Dubious...

    > > we were passing close to Nempnett Thrubwell...

    > Nope.

    > > At Clapton in Gordano...

    > No way!

    > > Just before Pill...

    > You're taking the piss!

    > > I parted company at Mangotsfield Station...

    > ...even in England they don't have placenames _that_ daft!

    I think they do. Some of the above feature in 'The Meaning
    of Liff' IIRC

    --
    Helen D. Vecht: [email protected] Edgware.
     
  15. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    Helen Deborah Vecht wrote:
    > Some of the above feature in 'The Meaning of Liff' IIRC

    Surprisingly, I could only find one of them: Nempnett
    Thrubwell (n.) - The feeling experienced when driving off
    for the first time on a brand new motorbike.

    Perhaps some of the others are in 'The Deeper Meaning of
    Liff', but my copy doesn't appear to be in its correct place
    on the bookcase.

    --
    Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my
    reply address)
    <URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/> "He who
    dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
  16. Jon Senior

    Jon Senior Guest

    Helen Deborah Vecht [email protected] opined the
    following...
    > I think they do. Some of the above feature in 'The Meaning
    > of Liff' IIRC

    Epping has since become such a common part of my family's
    language that some people can't actually remember where it
    came from, and expect to find it in the OED.

    Jon
     
  17. Danny Colyer wrote:

    > The South East has a few good ones, too. I well remember
    > the first time I passed through Pratt's Bottom on a
    > school trip.

    Demonstrating the existence of this to a female
    acquaintance by the name of Lindsey Pratt had an, ah,
    /interesting/ effect...

    Helions Bumpstead. Now /there's/ a name to conjure wif.

    --

    Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  18. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Dave Larrington wrote:
    > Danny Colyer wrote:
    >
    >> The South East has a few good ones, too. I well remember
    >> the first time I passed through Pratt's Bottom on a
    >> school trip.
    >
    > Demonstrating the existence of this to a female
    > acquaintance by the name of Lindsey Pratt had an, ah,
    > /interesting/ effect...
    >
    > Helions Bumpstead. Now /there's/ a name to conjure wif.

    Ugley Womens' Institute.

    Tony
     
  19. Mark McN

    Mark McN Guest

    Reply to Dave Larrington

    I've been to Twatt (the one in Orkney, I believe there are
    others), and over in Cheshire there's Peover Superior and
    Lower Peover.

    I'm told the locals pronounce "Peover" to rhyme with
    Belvoir. As is only proper.

    --
    Mark, UK. We hope to hear him swear, we love to hear him
    squeak, We like to see him biting fingers in his horny beak.
     
  20. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Mark McN wrote:
    > Reply to Dave Larrington
    >
    >
    > I've been to Twatt (the one in Orkney, I believe there are
    > others), and over in Cheshire there's Peover Superior and
    > Lower Peover.
    >
    > I'm told the locals pronounce "Peover" to rhyme with
    > Belvoir. As is only proper.

    The latter is correct although not known to the vicar of a
    friend's church many years ago when she was leaving to move
    to Peover. There was a collection and presentation at which
    the vicar uttered the words "I hope you will take this with
    you to Peover as a memory of our church and village"

    Tony
     
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