Sunday, 25 February 2018

Nailsea to Weston via Clevedon 27

Another cold day thanks to east winds from Siberia.  A clear sunny day though, so wrap up warm and thinking about where the cold is coming from, take the train to Nailsea and ride back to Weston with the wind behind, if not all of the way, most of it.  At the same time, take a diversion to Clevedon and visit my eldest daughter who has promised tea and cake will be waiting.

Nailsea Station

Officially, Nailsea and Backwell station, as it is in-between the two towns.  It is only 20 minutes from Weston and that includes three stops.  Quite a regular service, every 20 minutes or so, and despite press coverage about the poor service given by British Rail, personally, never had a problem.  Always on time, never crowded, clean and never been refused permission to take the bike on board.  Being the holder of a senior railcard (cost £30 a year) there is a benefit of 30% off fares which over 12 months more than pays for the card.

Clevedon Pier

As promised, there was a cup of tea and a raisin muffin waiting for me at my daughter's.  Much appreciated.  Wasn't too cold at all, the plan was working with the wind from behind or over the shoulder so there was no need to warm up at all.  Caught up on the family gossip then off again but couldn't  leave Clevedon without a photo of the iconic Victorian Pier.

Kingston Seymour

A small hamlet of just over 300 people,  it is halfway between Clevedon and Yatton.  An ideal cycle route between the two with very quiet country lanes.  There were severe floods here in 1607 and the place was under 5 feet of water for days.  The sea defences have been strengthened since then thank goodness.  The photo is of the village centre, not exactly a hive of activity, the bus shelter has the Parish Council information and the letter box is a Edward 7th model (The playboy king, his mum Victoria was not amused, who reigned 1901 to 1910. )  Not too many of these letterboxes about today.

Another 27 miles to add on today and the plan worked, arrived home without feeling cold at all.

Friday, 23 February 2018

6 Old Gits go to West Hay 42

A cold old blow as 6 Old Gits met for a Friday ride out down to Shapwick and West Hay.  As one of the chaps said, "We are heading into the Beast from theEast."  It was a very cold wind at times and made riding at times a tad uncomfortable.  The plan was to extend the ride through Catcott and Shapwick and have refreshments at the cafe at Shapwick Nature Reserve.  That failed when we read a note on the cafe door saying it was no longer trading!  'Oh Golly Gosh' was the consensus of opinion.  The person in the information centre offered us a drink for a small donation but that was a no brainer in the absence of cake.  Plan B swung into action and we went to Sweets cafe at West Hay, a ten minute ride away.

Sweets Cafe

Thankfully Sweets was up and running and the wood burner was chucking out some heat.  A bonus was the comfy chairs positioned around were empty, and we soon filled them.  The bacon rolls were a bit slow in coming out to those that ordered them but the fruit and nut cake was delicious and went down a treat. For the record, from L to R, Andy, yours truly, Ian, Steve ( hogging the warmth), Jim and Phil.

Totney Drove

It was hard to get going again from Sweets but the promise of the wind behind us did help the process.  Photo taken along Totney Drove looking towards Mark. Most swans seem to be congregating in fields (must be near spring) but this one is the exception.  The wind was right on our backs and it seemed like a summer's day bowling along this 2.5 mile stretch of perfectly straight road.

Seemed to get back in record time, a very enjoyable ride and we all clocked over the 40 mile mark today.  Mine was 42.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

A flat spin around Weston 21

As forecast is was bloomin' cold today, a really fresh wind from the east courtesy of Mr Putin.  With a temperature of 3 degrees mid afternoon it was always going to be chilly on the eastbound bits of today.  Decided to just stay around Weston and keep to the flat roads.  With a longish ride planned tomorrow with some of the Old Gits, didn't want to push it too much today.  Managed to do just under 21 miles but could not avoid a couple of railway bridges but that was no big deal.  In fact, went the whole distance without changing gear but there was no rush, the plan was to take it easy.
Heading east at one point, the muscles in the face seemed to seize up, good job it was a solo ride, could never have had a sensible conversation like that (so what's new you say).  Despite the cold, it was a good ride, just need to ensure the thermals are ready for the morning.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

A cracking ride out to Burnham 33

A cold but sunny morning, far too nice to stay indoors today.  Went down to Burnham on Sea and really enjoyed the morning.. Compared to yesterday, pushing that heavy MTB around, getting back on the road bike was a breeze.  One 'scary' moment when turning into a lane, was confronted with a huge tractor decimating the hedgerows.  The road surface was covered in twigs and smashed up branches and the word 'puncture' kept crossing my mind.  It wasn't to be thankfully, obviously have had my share.  Also came across a big lorry stuck in the mud of a farm gateway.  I think the driver has summoned assistance because he was fitting a tow rope to the front of the vehicle. I did offer to pull him out but not sure he saw the funny side of that one.

Went through Mark and Highbridge and stopped at the Bay View Cafe for a cuppa.  Back through the nature reserve at Uphill in positively spring like weather and finished up on 33 miles.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Struggled with the Old Gits! 20

Out with the Old Gits today, a good turn out considering the cold weather, 18 hardy souls started today.  This winter must be toughening us up.  It was the 'reverse route' and that does seem to be a more popular trip out for the lads.  Must admit, a bad choice of bike for me, used the old mountain bike which is so much heavier than the road bike and it seemed to be a drag pushing that round. In fact, after tea and toast at Caffles went back to Weston the least hilly way, only a fraction shorter but mainly flat.  The east wind behind helped as well.  Others who had commitments also did the same and it ended up about half did the full loop, the sick, lame, wounded and their carers took the easier option.
It is fair to say, the last 5 miles were quite pleasant in the warm sunshine, but having seen the long range forecast earlier, did not get too excited, NE winds from Russia may well have an impact at the weekend.  An enjoyable ride overall, covered 20 miles today but did not stop to take photographs.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Burnham Circuit 30

Start today's ride with a puncture.  That is three now in less than a week.  Luckily I found this one before the start and was able to fix it in the warmth and comfort of the kitchen!  Found a little thorn in the cover, obviously picked up from some country lane where the farmers have been trimming the hedges. On the way out of town, called at Halfords and picked up two new tubes.  That should last the week at this rate.
After messing about with that, went out to do a circuit including Burnham, Highbridge and Mark.  Did intend to push it a little further but settled for a reverse run around the Levels.  The weather seems to have picked up a bit which is a bonus.  Covered 31 miles on this trip, 135 for the week.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Wrington Circuit 31

Not a bad day for a ride, the temperature was just about in double figures, a sunny day, dry with not much wind.  Heading east from Weston to explore some of the countryside around the Wrington area 'scoping' out routes for when Mick and Graham pay a visit next.  Went so far and came up to the A38, a busy trunk road, not the best of roads to be on at times.  Returned to Wrington to the Mother Hen tea room for a cup of tea.  Returning to Weston, it was surprising how many visitors were strolling on the prom, amazing what a little bit of good weather does.  No photos today and covered 31 miles.