Archive for the ‘ Cycling ’ Category

Glastonbury to Bath

More rain. Lots and lots of rain. Leaving the flat swamp lands I could see the drainage ditches filled to within a few centimetres of the level of the road. I suspect the rain today will have covered them. Scary is that once the road is covered in water, even if it is just a centimeter deep, you can’t tell where the road edges are. So you can happily cycle into the ditch on the side.

Up in the hills, the situation wasn’t much better. Crossing things like this takes a bit of faith as you dont know what is under the water, and while clipped in, falling sideways will be disaster. FYI, it was deeper than my pedals.

Trying to avoid the puddles gets pointless after a while once your clothes are saturated with water.

And the roads turn into streams.

Today I was trying to find some more old railway lines.

They did minimal changes to the lines. Here you can see an old station. In other places they didn’t even dig up the stone railway sleepers, just chucking more rocks on top.

Riding along the rain line, the route takes me up to this bridge.

The road on top is so flooded…

people started to taking their canal boats along them.

I am promised no rain tomorrow, but I am getting a bit of a cold, and riding in waterlogged clothes soaked to the bone didn’t help. Tomorrow I will do Salisbury to somewhere past Southampton.


Bridgwater to Glastonbury

The rain has begun:


The south west is getting stupid amounts of rain. It is as if god knows I am here.


I decided to cheat and get a train to Bridgwater and cycled from there to Glastonbury.

There are a couple nice areas here, but I had to wait for each shower to pass before taking a photo.

Form 10km out you can see the tor which I was aiming for.

You can see why when it rains, Glastonbury gets rather wet. It an island surrounded by swamps.

Here is what it looks from the top of the tor. Flooding all around. You can walk around the tor winding to the top like the athletes in the olympics, but with rain and 40mph gusts at the top and I was wearing cycling shoes.

Then the rain started again so I backed up on myself and got to the hostel.


Also, you know you are in the south west when your coop looks like this.

Tomorrow is even more rain than today and more easterly winds. I have to get to Bath, and there are no trains anywhere round here.

Plymouth to Exeter

This years plan is to get to Southampton from Plymouth. First step was to get to Plymouth and with all Kings Cross trains cancelled I managed to get to there at 11:30PM.

Onto day 1.

Leaving Plymouth takes you through a nice park which is really is mountain biking route, but the winter tires did their job.

The paths next to the stream are nice as because it has been raining a lot, the streams are lively and there are plenty of waterfalls.

The water was far away at this point, this was nice. Later the lively water was annoying as it was over the roads.

The trail tries to use as much of the old train line as possible. Here is where the remaining track ends and the cycling trail takes over.

To get on some, you have to ride through them before riding up to the start. This is nice because you can see them from both angles.

The route has many many viaducts to go over the vallies

There was a lot of moisture steaming off things like benches.

Entire fields were steaming. It was quire impressive.

And of cause tunnels. If you ride through tunnels, you will get wet as the ceiling dribbles over all who dare to pass through.

Then came Dartmoor which was beautiful, but it has hills. Dear god, so many hills. 20% gradients. Sharp corners on descents.

Now, this is a road. Not some dodgy unmapped road. It is a real road on both Google maps and open cycle maps. Both suggested this route. But OK, I can still use the foot bridge.

But 200m further you come across this. No, There is no way you can ride through that. I did manage to find a foot bridge that got me to a footpath. Generally the roads were crazy. Covered with mud, rotting tree branches and streams flowing down them on gradients.

Finally got to Exeter with the rather scary cycle routes right next to the river..

Exeter seems to be obsessed with guns.

But more annoyingly, they really like cobble stones on roads with 15% gradients.

Berwick to Edinburgh

Managed to start at 8am only to find the roads were just ice. Not even patches, but completely ice over. Nihtmare as I had three 200meter climbs. If you stop, you will not start again as the back wheel will just spin on the spot. Averaged just 16kmph as even the down hill parts needed to be done incredibly slowly. The hills do have a bit of snow on them. There were sections where hail embedded itself into the ice, so that gave me a little grip. Constantly having your hands on the brakes in -2 degree weather makes your hands go numb very quickly. I needed to stop three times to warm them up as they stopped being able to squease the brakes. There was a bit of passing sleet but nothing as bad as yesterday but having a puncture in these conditions is really horrid. First step to changing an inner tube is the cup of tea. After the last hill, there was nice dip into “Peas Bay” where there are crazy people kite surfing.

Back out nd along a horrid dirt path next to the A1 and rail line. Here I was incredibly worried that I would get another puncture and I ran out of inner tubes. I would have to get to smewhere warm and dry to patch the tues I have up. So once I got to Dunbar I thought I should just call it a day. It was nearly 1pm and I would only have an 2.5 hours left before sunset to do a stretch that took nearly 5 hours in the morning. There were no more hills, but it was damn cold, weather report was predicting more sleet and I was getting worried about getting a puncture on the next sectin which looked like more dirt roads.Caught the train to Edinburgh. So, just 60km today. With the total distance sitting at 790km I am annoyed at not breaking the 805km mark needed to get the “Mini Proclaimer” (500 miles). Tomorrow I have a couple hours in the morning before I go to Manchester so I will have a little ride around.

Robin Hood’s bay to newcastle

Started before 8am with some lighs on because today was gonna be a very l9ng day. First whitby along thhe cinder trail and another puncture. Whitby was nice and allowed me to restock. Then the stupidly steep hills of yorkshire. Hovis adverts do not do them justice. Three 250meter climbs at 25% slopes. Murder. Getting through M’brgh was hell. Put me in a bad mood and behind schedul. After that iwent onto main roads to catch up some time. Got to newcaßtle very late but the last hour was through cities so there were lights. Went out with some people i met to bigg market.

York to Robin Hood’s Bay

The day started well with a nice tail wind. Was very easy to mentain 35kmph right to scarborough. The weather was just as reported with westerly winds but a constant low hanging sun keeping me warm. Thenthe clouds came out just as I got to the beach, so I got inside a pub for a fish lunchen. When I got out it was’t much better with a couple rain drops hitting me. The trip to the bay goes along tops of hills with steep winding slopes to tacle. Up here it started to snow sideways. Not nice. Got to my destination very cold. Took 5 minutes to be able to unclip my helmet.

Barnetby to York

First of all there was the ride to the Humber. The moon was out and the sun was only just rising at 8am. The bridge is massive. Then it was a long  long route along the side of the Humber. This was directly against the wind and with nothing shielding me from the horrid gusts.At Selby I got to see the swinging bridge. and the route to york has planet monuments along it placed to scale with their distance from the sun. The sun is in ofcause shining out of York. Short trip today at 100km but against the wind most of the way.

I did take a video over the humber and lots of pictuers, especially as I saw the bridge being swung, but there is a screwup abut this. I was just about to use the computers available at the hostel to upload them by putting the SD cards into the mini camera and use it as a usb drive. The damn thing realises it is not a card it has seen before and then formats it. So not only have I lost my camera photos, but also the stuff on my android SD drive. I just re-downloaded the maps onto the android card, but I lost a couple movies I wanted to watch. Grrr, and the day was going so well with no screwups.

My knee is starting to ache a bit. Will do some stretches tonight. Tomorrow is a long 140km day btu going east.

Boston to Barnetby

A much less stressful day today. Got a taxi to Boston to get some more inner tubes. Then the day started with a nice ride by the riverside towards Lincoln. The original plan was to take a look at the cathedral but after yesterday I was keen to get to my destination before it got dark. So I turned north just before Lincoln and headed to Market Rasen. A bit of lunch and then it was time for some hills. The climb was pretty steep but it all levelled out at just over 100 meters. Got to Barnetby by 3pm and even then it was starting to get dark. I demand more sunlight hours. Tomorrow York directly againsr a 20mph head wind.

Mammoth ride preparations

Handlebar bag:

Trousers, t-shirt, jumper, pants, socks, balaclava, microfibre towel, tablet PC.

Toothbrush, toothpaste, shower-gel, ear-plugs, lip balm, baby powder (don’t ask), carbohydrate/protein drink powder, dextrose tablets, vitamin C tablets, electrolyte tablets, Creatine, head torch, cleat spares, shoe sole covers, two mini action cameras, batteries, USB battery charger, tablet charger, usb charger, mini-USB cable, maps, passport, bag strap, spare lock key.

Saddle bag:

Tyre levers, inner tube, multitool, patch kit, oil, back light, front light.

I have now figured out how to pack everything into the bags but it is very tight. About half the times I pack the handle bar bag and I cant close the zip, in which case, I empty it and start again.


Tights, two base layers, arm top, underwear, two pairs of socks, glovers, cycling gloves, SPD shoes, overshoes, foldable waterproof.

Back pockets:

Energy gels, grain bars, waterproof (folded), phone, money and camera (not pictured).


Raleigh Airlite 100, changed saddle, pedals and tyres, tiny pump, 750ml drinks bottle, thermos flask and a little map holder.


Day 1 Sunday: March, Wisbech, Boston, Stickney.

Day 2 Monday: Loncoln, Market Rasen, Barnetby.

Day 3 Tuesday: Hull, Selby, York.

Day 4 Wednesday: Bridlington, Scarborough, Robin Hood’s Bay.

Day 5 Thursday: Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Gateshead, Newcastle

Day 6 Friday: Amble, Seahouses, Berwick-on-Tweed

Day 7 Saturday: Eyemouth, Dunbar, Edinburgh.

There is a google map but it is pretty innacurate.

London to Cambridge ride

A couple weeks late postng this but I recntly completed the London to Cambridge ride. It was actually Cambridge-London-Cambridge ride as we cycled down the day before

Just to make it more interesting, Andreas and I went on a tandem. We got a pretty decent time with a 27kmph average.