25 March 2012

Enjoying the start of spring...

Getting some extra miles in, by riding the bike during my breaks at work, didn’t quite work out as planned this week. I managed just one lunch time ride, of 5 miles, on Monday and then didn’t get chance again for the rest of the week! The best laid plans and all that. Still, it’s been another good week with a further 161 miles being covered. Of those miles, 122 were from commuting to and from work and the other 39 came from a rather nice ride in the sun this morning.

During the ride into work on Monday I heard my first Chiffchaff of the year with a single bird singing by the river near Alvaston Park. By the end of the week the number of singing birds was close to double figures. On Friday it was Sand Martins that put in their first appearance of the year (for me) when I spotted two flying around over their regular nesting site, again by the river.

On Monday and Tuesday I took a little time out to watch the sun start to go down over Derby whilst riding home from work. I didn’t have the camera with me so had to make do with the one on my phone - not great results but you can get a feel of how nice the weather was.

This morning I took the Cannondale Bad Boy out for a lazy few hours of riding. The 39 mile ride could have easily been much longer, if only I could have been bothered to put some thought into were to ride! I set off at just after 8am and just followed my front wheel. I had no idea where I was going to go, or how long I planned on being out. Not a great way of achieving a decent mileage.

In the end, my route took me out to Swarkestone, along the canal path to Weston and then Aston, through the grounds of Elvaston Castle before heading to Alvaston Park. Here, I took a little break, Hobbit style, and enjoyed “2nd breakfast”. A sausage and bacon sandwich from the cafe set me up perfectly for the next part of my ride!

The second part of the ride saw me head over to Allestree, Duffield and Little Eaton before climbing up into Holbrook. From there I passed through Kilburn, Horsley Woodhouse, Smalley and Morley before heading back towards home via Oakwood and the edge of Spondon. The ride served its purpose, in so much as I got some miles in, but it proved that, for me, the secret to longer distance rides is planning. With no pre-planned route I just fumbled my way around and headed for home too early. The body was strong but the mind was weak!

The Cannondale Bad Boy, in the
early morning mist.

Stats for todays ride were...
Total distance - 39 miles
Total time - 2hrs 30min
Max speed - 32mph

Average speed - 15.9mph
Calories burnt - approx 1705

18 March 2012

Just another week...

After enjoying a gorgeous day last Sunday, when I rode up to Chatsworth and back in just a pair of summer weight cycling leggings and a lycra cycling shirt with arm warmers, it’s been back to more seasonal weather over the past week. The temperature has dropped back into single figures, the clear blue skies have been replaced by cloudy, dull ones and the wind has picked up again. Thursday was the worst of the week, with dense fog greeting me as I set of for work on the bike. By the end of the 7 mile ride I was soaked - I hate fog about as much as I hate rain.

The total mileage for the week, commuting to and from work, was 129 miles, taking the total for the year to 1,212 miles, 155 miles ahead of last year's total at this point. Fingers crossed, I’m hoping to get a few extra miles in this coming week by getting out on the bike during my breaks at work. It will only be around five miles each day, but every mile counts. Plus, it’s a break from the day job!

Now, a few photos. Nothing special, just a handful of shots from around the garden yesterday lunchtime. If nothing else, they make me feel as though warmer, longer days are on the way.

Ta ta!

The ladybirds in the photos... I had a quick count-up of the ones I could find easily around the front garden today. More than 110 of them!

11 March 2012

A 70 mile morning...

A further two weeks on from my last update and it’s cycling that is on my mind, once again.

The continuing run of dry, and at times rather warm, weather has allowed me to keep on clocking up the miles, with just over 313 of them passing under my wheels. The total mileage for the year now stands at 1083 miles. That’s 139 miles more than the same time last year. I’m pleased to be ahead of last year, but would rather the gap was a little bigger!

Today, the weather was just about perfect for cycling so, at just after 7:00am, I set off on the road bike and headed north. Seventy miles, and 3hrs 50mins, later I was back home having passed through Derby, Duffield, Belper, Matlock, Chatsworth Park, Bakewell and then back again along the A6. With all the speed limits that are now in place along the A6 any journey into the north of the county by car can be time consuming, but it does make the road feel just a little safer when on a bike! Some you win, some you lose I guess.

Stats for todays ride were...
Total distance - 70 miles
Total time - 3hrs 50min
Max speed - 32mph

Average speed - 18.3mph
Calories burnt - approx 3200


A view of Chatsworth Park - whilst taking
a food & drink stop.