Saturday, 17 November 2012

November - keeping riding into winter

It's getting darker, tho not necessarily much colder. Riding this week has actually been warmer than the rides on the Rough Stuff camping weekend back in June!!! And this week has been a great week for rides.

I'd been largely off the bike in the first week of November - the first weekend we drove all the way down south to collect our third hand tandem. We'd planned on trying the bike there, but after some consideration of unfamiliar roads, unfamiliar bike & adverse weather, we decided to play it safe and save the test ride for familiar territory.

Lacey Green Windmill
Typically the day we were driving home was beautiful & I know we will be back to The Chilterns for a proper explore soon.  We stayed in a lovely garden annexe flat that we hope to visit again soon. Perfect place for a couple to base themselves at in that part of the country.

guard dogs in Oxford

apt seasonal decorations in Oxford

The tandem test ride round the park was a success, so we decided to do a proper first ride out to Brockholes. On separate bikes it usually takes about an hour; we shaved over 15 mins of this without breaking a sweat.
Kids looked befuddled by the tandem. Not one of them knew what it was called though! A sign of the times? We had a picnic at Brockholes nature reserve, I think that's probably my first winter picnic ever in my life.
We tried a new route home and fast discovered that our tandem isnt good for hilly muddy off roading! Shame that OS maps dont show if a bridleway / farm track is paved or not. But we did at least find a great fun route to Preston for our rough stuff bikes!

I booked a day off work in the week to join up with the troupe from the cycle club staying at Mankinholes Youth Hostel.
Calderdale has steep hills, so I was expecting it to be a very tough day, however John had a bad leg after a cycling / dog incident so we took a more sedate route than was originally described. It was brilliant. All the steep hills were ones we descended and I discovered there is a road to Mankinholes that isnt vertical!

puddle peddling

Heptonstall in the distance

Rochdale Canal at Hebden Bridge

above Todmorden

Stoodley Pike

A couple of cycle commutes to finish off the week. I'd hoped to get to over 100 miles this week, but circumstances meant I only did 83. But I enjoyed every single one of those miles, even the busy commute home in the dark and especially the few hundred feet of dark muddy single track foot path connecting the housing estates where I cant see what my wheels are riding over ;-)

Accrington in the morning mistiness.
NCN6 Woodnook Greenway