Friday, 27 December 2013

Boxing Day Cycling

I'm getting to grips with Do It Yourself Audax rides. And with the niggles that seem to crop up. First I plot in Memory Map, then I do the Google Man walking distances. Then when I ride the route and pull the tracklog data off... the distances never tally & of course the elevations are never on mark (but that seems a universal issue & I'm too lazy to count contours).

Coal Clough windfarm, Long Causeway

Yesterday I decided to have a go at my second short hilly ride after thoroughly enjoying the first a couple of weeks ago.
Later this year I'd like to do some of the hilly 100 / 150k calendar rides, but I'm building up to that. That distance on a non-hilly ride is a piece of pie, but I'm a slow hill climber (I'm really an off road rider - so low gear & chill out going up), so I need to get my legs in gear for a faster pace. Doing short hilly rides seems a sensible option & there are no shortage of hills where I live.

Google Man had tallied the most direct routes at 53.5kms, but the tracklog was a mere 49.8. It probably wont count. Which will be the second duff DIY route I've done (the first was a gps problem when it lost signal).

In any case, it was a lovely Boxing Day ride. I probably should have rested with the cold I have, but I'd have hated missing out on a beautiful day.  The first six miles were hard as I warmed up, but the rest was lovely and the massive thumbs up from a German couple driving past me on a steep hairpin gave me an extra big smile as I continued climbing.

And of course, I got to cycle past where my Dad's ashes were scattered. He'd usually drag me over this way on very cold boxing days when I was growing up, so it's always nice to relive that tradition.

Widdop Reservoir

That road in the distance snaking past that tree- that's where I'm heading. Very deep valley just below with one of the toughest inclines I can think of... thankfully it's quite short.

Thursden Valley

I wont be making the Rapha Festive 500 this year. Right now, my nose is a tap and I'm living off vapour rub & I'm not a martyr to cycle in gale force winds either (well not on road anyway).
So time to spend a couple of days tucked up, vegging out & watching cartoons. Hopefully I'll be fine for the club ride on Sunday. 


  1. Wow, some truly awesome pics there. What a great way to meditate about your father.

  2. Very sweet write-up and photos recounting your boxing day ride. Take care and rest up for more rides to come, Georgie.

  3. Widdop is one of my favorite rides. Splendid views.

  4. "Google Man had tallied the most direct routes at 53.5kms, but the tracklog was a mere 49.8. It probably wont count." The good news is - you're wrong :-)

    The Google Man is the definitive distance for your ride, the GPS track log is not. All the GPS track log is for is to show when you started/ended the ride and to prove you went through your control points.

    I've done plenty (er.... 20? 30?) DIY by GPS rides and often I only look at the GPS when I'm nearing a control. Lots of times that's when I notice the battery has conked out! I stop to replace the batteries, make sure the GPS is logging again as I pass through the control point and carry on. The track log is under distance but the ride still get validated.

    Hope this helps.

  5. what beautiful landscape georgie, and also google man ... :)
    thanks for sharing such special moment about dad with us. i miss mine and mi brother beyond words but here we are, on our journey onto a brand new year. best wishes and all the best for you+ your loved ones in 2014 xxom