Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Blown back from Bridgwater 17

Taking advantage of the wind today.  It is a strong south westerly, the BBC say it over 40 mph but it didn't feel that strong.  Took the 1323 train down to Bridgwater from Weston and rode back on the A38.  Some may say it is a busy trunk road which at times it is.  With the M5 running alongside it and the time of day, it's not too bad at all.

My train arriving.

He she is. Bang on time.  Despite the media barracking of British Rail, on a personal note have never experienced a problem.  The worst so far has been a 5 minute delay but then again, commuting in the south east must be a nightmare at times.  No problem getting on either, plenty of room for man and bike and 20 minutes later, after a quick stop at Highbridge it's out on the road back home.  

Covered 17 miles today, very quickly!  Average speed was 15 mph, an all time record but it was wind assisted in all fairness.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The Old Gits plus a bit more. 31

The Old Gits were out today and the weather was very kind to us after yesterday's downpour.  We did the 'reverse route' which is out to Sand Bay,  to Puxton and Hewish for the tea stop and back via Banwell.  This week, as we made good time up, I added an extra loop on to take in Lympsham and back through Uphill Nature Reserve.

Meeting up at Knightstone.

Eleven of us convened at the northern end of the promenade by Knightstone Island.  The photo shows the Grand Pier in the background and the tide was in!  A couple of others, one on the sick rota and one scratting to help out with a bit of bus driving, joined us later at Caffles for refreshments.

Surprisingly mild for mid November, covered 31 miles with the added Lympsham loop.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Up that Bleadon Hill again 14

Need to go out for at least a ten mile ride to get to the 100+ total mileage for the week.  Only need about 11 so can go for the shorter option and add some hills into the ingredient.  Bleadon, sitting on the side of the Mendip Hills always has plenty to offer in that department so checking out the forecast and seeing big daisies prominent all morning went out around 1030. 

Across the Levels

Climbing Bleadon Hill from either direction is quite a personal challenge, not too bad on the much lowered gear mountain bike, but more difficult on the road bike.  Studying the local Ordnance Survey map before leaving, it was apparent that there was an alternative way around the steepest part of the climb through some side roads on the estate.  It was longer but not so steep but what was not obvious from the OS map that the last 200 yards back onto the main Bleadon Hill road was one way; not mine!  Looking at the ominous No Entry signs, and taking the absence of traffic into account, risked going along it the wrong way.  I did check where the nearest Police Patrol was and as it was 183 miles away thought the risk was worth it.  Stopping near the top of the hill, took this photo looking south towards North Devon,  Brent Knoll on the extreme left of the picture.

Canada Combe

Combe being 'a short valley or hollow in a hillside' this one runs down the north slope of the Mendips just south of Weston.  Fine going down it but must confess, have been unable to ride all the way up without stopping because of a nasty little kick in the middle of it. Looking very autumnal at the moment.

14 miles ridden today taking the weeks total to 102 miles.  Job done.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Brean, Brent and Bleadon 26

Not too much to say about today's trip out.  It was a dull day, possible threat of rain, not too strong a breeze so just going to stay relatively local.  For a change, heading towards Burnham but not that far  and going in a reverse direction to normal.
Going through Brean, it was deserted compared to the throngs that fill the pavements in the summer.  Cut over the levels to Brent Knoll and rode across the levels back through Bleadon to Weston.  There were a couple of herons strutting about near Rooksbridge and an egret showing off in one of the fields. Apart from some sheep and a few cattle, never saw anything else moving. Clocked up just under 26 miles, still 12 short of the 100 target.  Looks like Sunday morning will be taken care of!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Over the hills to Ilmington 35

Out to Wilmington today on the Warwickshire/Gloucester border.  Meeting up with Grajham and Mick in Leamington and the three of us will take on the challenge of some hilly bits!  Basically, the route is south from Leamington, Wellesbourne, Halford, Watcote and into Ilmington where, hopefully, the Community Cafe and shop will be open.  The forecast was not bad at all, sunny at first with the possibility of rain later.

The Fuzzy Duck

This was at Whatcote, a short distance from the A3400.  Nothing too special about the place, the name appealed to me that's all.  It does have a mention in the 2015 Michelein Guide but more for the decor than the food.

In the Cotswolds

Well on the edge of them.  This was the view from the cafe at Ilmington.  A pretty village is Ilmington, has a couple of decent pubs and some big hills around it.  This is supposed to be the highest village in Warwickshire.  At one time it was called Elmington because of all the elm trees that grew there. That evolved to Ilmington and all the elm trees have been killed off by Dutch Elm Disease in the 70s.

The Token

With the three of us out together, it was time to hand over the token that signifies whose turn it is next to pay the bill.  Looks like it is my turn next!  

Cyclists Fighting Cancer

On the way back, went through Alderminster, Loxley and Wellesbourne again.  At Alderminster, stopped at the Cyclists Fighting Cancer shop and HQ to have a chat with the manager and check out some bike racks for Mick.  The charity exists to enable children and young people living with cancer across the UK to regain their physical fitness, strength and confidence by giving them new bikes, adapted trikes, tandems, other equipment and support.  Check out their website at

With a couple of decent hills remaining, picked up the return route to Leamington and just made it back as the rain started.  Covered 35 miles today.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Burnham on Sea for tea 26

Not out with the Old Gits tomorrow so doing a bit today to keep the mileage going.  Bit of a cold one today, not helped by a NW wind which lowered the chill factor.  Foresaw this a put an extra layer on, covered the ears up and dug out some old ski gloves.  That paid off as despite being a bit cold at first, didn't take too long to feel more comfortable.
Just did the Mark, Highbridge normal route to the Bay View Cafe and after a cup of tea came back through Brian and the Bleadon Nature Reserve.  Nothing to report on this one at all, and no photos unfortunately.  Just a tad over 26 miles was the ride total.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

To Clevedon for a ginger cupcake 37

Methinks it is the first day of winter today!  With a stiff breeze coming from the NW and a temperature of 8/9 degrees, it was distinctly chilly out there today.  The forecasted light rain stayed away and there was quite a lot of sun shining .  Certainly a good decision to put another layer on and get the thicker gloves out.  Contacted my daughter in Clevedon this morning to find out what she was up to today and was told that she had made some ginger cup cakes.  No brainer then, off to visit the offspring.

Water Trough

The ginger cakes ( x 2 ) and a cup of tea really hit the spot after a cold ride over there.  Caught up with the gossip and headed back to Weston.  Struggling to find anything of interest until just after starting back spotted this old Victorian water trough over looking the pier.  It was built in 1883 by the Rev. Neuman in memory of his wife and provided a drink for horses dogs and people.  A stunning location he chose with Wales in the distance, the English Channel and the pier.  Oh yes, and the blue sky.  It wasn't too bad a ride home as the wind was helping for much of the way.

Covered 37 miles today ending a good week on 140 miles.