Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Shorter rides in Milton Keynes 2012

First apologies for the dodgy font on some of this post, I must learn to write it out properly and not just copy and paste from a word doc :-)

Next year I'll be doing the First Sunday of The Month rides again, this will be the (I think) 10th year of doing these and it is still as popular as always.

When I started these I only did a couple of 10 mile rides. People found these too short but didn't want to go out on the longer and faster CTC rides. The idea of 20 miles every month looked like a good one.
They were started to get people out on bikes, to show people how easy it is to get about Milton Keynes by bike, to get people cycling more often and to show that cycling on the roads is not as scary as people think.

It has worked as the amount of riders I get is usually between 10 - 20 but can be as many as 50!
Riders that have come out as finding it hard to do 20 miles are now going out and doing 75+

We ride in all weathers but there may be times when we decide to not ride if it is dangerous ie frozen roads or snow. Sometimes when it is chucking it down there will only be a couple of us there (I can't get rid of Norman :-D ) but there will always be someone at the start.

January 2012 will be the 112th month these have been running.

All rides start at 10am from Elizabeth Square Bandstand 

Rides are approx 20 miles.

Unless stated otherwise.

January 1st  ~ Ride to Stony Stratford via Whaddon. On road.

Febuary 5th  ~   Ride to Stewkley via Swanbourne and Dunton. On road.

March 4th  ~   Ride to Woburn via Wavendon (a few hills). On road.

April 1st  ~ Ride to Stockgrove park via Leighton Buzzard (a few hills). On road.
May 6th  ~ Ride around the lakes of MK (Parks Trust). Mostly on redways and shared use paths

June 3rd ~ Ride around the Millennium cycle route, (Parks Trust)
13 miles starts at Furzton Lake (At the bridge by the bowl) Mostly on Redways and shared use paths.

July 1st  ~ Ride around the back of Linford lakes and back via Haversham. (Parks Trust) Mostly on Redways and shared use paths although some quiet roads are used.

August 5th  ~ Ride to Winslow using Sustrans Route 51 (Parks Trust)
18 Miles starts at Furzton Lake, (at the bridge by the Bowl). Mostly on shared use paths.

September 2nd  ~ Ride to Woburn via Little Brickhill (a few Hills). On road.

October 7th  ~   Ride to Harrold and Odell park café, 30 Miles (Start at Campbell Park by the head sculpture). Redways through MK and on road to cafe.

November 4th  ~ Ride to Marston Vale café via Woburn (30 miles). On road

December 2nd  ~   Ride to Cranfield via Newport Pagnell. On road

(Parks Trust) listed rides are rides put on in conjunction with

The Parks Trust as part of their Easy Rider rides programme.

All the rides are taken at a pace to suit the slowest rider with plenty of stops if needed.
Children are welcome, But under 16’s must be accompanied by a responsible adult. 

The rides will use a mixture of surfaces so robust tyres are advisable.

The rides use the redways, shared use paths and quiet roads where possible.

You are advised to ensure that your bicycle is in a roadworthy condition. Carry a puncture repair kit or spare inner tube. Bring along a drink or some money to get something at the stop
(Which is usually about half way or so).

Helmets are a personal choice,
(I’m not going to stop you riding if you’re not wearing one).

This ride is not a race or trial of speed.
The route is on open public shared-route paths and roads.
You are expected to follow the rules of the road and
show consideration to other road/path users.
Although lead, the route is not waymarked or marshalled.
The organiser provides no rescue service.
You are responsible for your own safety/conduct.

For more info or any other questions

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

A Change of plans

After the Stockport 300 and the ride home went ok, I was looking forward to the Welsh 600 in mid May and a 400 into north Wales at the end of the month. Neither of these rides went well and I ended up packing and getting the train home on both.

Working away for 3 months and not riding to work in the week, along with eating too much hotel/restaurant food has left me unfit and a bit up on weight! Due to having my kids at the weekends and planned holidays this month, it looks like I'll not have the time and fitness to qualify for PBP (Paris - brest - Paris) this year.
I'm not really that fussed about it though as it has felt that I've HAD to do all the rides this year just so that I could go and do PBP.
I've not been getting the enjoyment from cycling this year as much as I did in the last few years.

I'm going to get back out on my bike now for a few shorter and more enjoyable social rides, whilst still doing the shorter audax rides.
I now have over a week off in August still booked and I may even go and do a bit of cycle camping/touring.
Now I just have to decide where I'm going to go :-)

I've always wanted to tour around the Netherlands and it's slightly easier to get to from here than my other idea of touring Ireland.
I was going to go over a few years ago for Cyclevision and the recumbent racing but this never happened and last years 1200km audax has only made me want to see it at a slower pace.
So far the idea is Ferry over and ride along the Rhine to Arnhem (Mum went to school there for 14yrs). Up through the Apeldoorn and onto the North coast, maybe visiting some velomobile and recumbent manufacturers on the way up through to drool over stuff I can't afford!!
Then ride back south along the coast for the ferry home.

Now to spend the next month or so doing another favourite pastime of mine, spending ages looking at maps :-D


Monday, 25 April 2011

Stockport 300

With train tickets booked to allow a leisurely ride to the start at 23.00 grabbing food on the way. All was going to plan until overhead cable problems near northampton. I eventually got on the train 55mins late.
I got to the start with 10mins to spare and was away with the bunch, I found myself near the front and stayed with 2 fast lads all the way to the first control at 75km 5 minutes after it opened.
The ride got a bit lanesy and without a good light I couldn't keep up the pace, after nearly going through a hedge on one decent I slowed down a bit getting to the next control at Ford about 5-10 mins behind the fast 2, the service was quick and my egg and beans on toast went down a treat.

The next section got a bit lumpy as we headed for the Welsh borders again slowing me down, I've never been a good climber at 16.5st and to slow me down this time I had my panniers on with some clothes and trainers in ready for a few days away.
Daybreak in the misty lanes and valleys was lovely though.
After a garage control at Newton with coffee and cake it was starting to warm up slightly and I left bypassing the hills to take the main road back to Ford for another stop at Dinkies diner this time for a bacon and egg roll.

I was a bit tired now and the fast start could definitely be felt in my legs, the road surfaces were terrible and the narrow tyres and 100+psi in them was causing the bike to rattle terribly, it was also starting to get on my nerves.
I was following the gps track and as it was the same route as out I wasn't taking much notice. It was only when I got almost back to Whitchurch I realised I'd missed a turning. Wasn't much off course though and with a quick look at the map I was soon back on course.
The lanes were starting to get worse and with the Sun getting higher in the sky I was getting a bit hot and more tired, the next control took a long time to come but I was glad when it did.

For a ride called the plains it got rather more hilly in the last section, the extra weight of the panniers was really felt now and I did walk up a couple of the steeper ones. The sun had really brought out the flies also and I was constantly brushing them away.
The final few kms couldn't come soon enough and it was good to see the finish again, 320km in total in 15.50hrs.

All I had to do then was have a slow ride to Manchester airport travelodge and my great priced £10 room.
Showed, fed and after 3 ciders I was asleep by 20.00, 36hrs after getting up.

PBP qualifier ride number 2 complete, now for a couple of days in Yorkshire with family and then 2x200km rides home on Wed/Thu.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

I'm still here!!

This new season has not come up to expectations so far, maybe it's because of all the riding I did last year where I reached my goal of getting the AUK recumbent points record.
Maybe it's because I think I have to go out and ride because of the French ride this year, instead of going out to enjoy it.

So far this season I've managed to get out once a month for my RRTY (200km a month) although I've also DNS'd and DNF'd a 600, 300 and 2x200's.
I got round the Kennet valley run yesterday, a great ride in a lovely area. But I didn't enjoy it!!
It was good to see a lot of friends and it was great chatting to them all, but I really didn't like the cycling bit.

Perhaps I need to do some fast shorter rides and something different to get the motivation back ready for the longer rides later in the year.
I have loads of rides planned and with everything else I don't have a free weekend until Sept!!

So it looks like I'll be out doing local rides this month with some hills involved for good measure :-)
There are some great roads around here to cycle on. I'll be getting the maps out later to work out some routes.

The next audax will be The Dean on the last weekend of March, another ride that I don't have a good record on, 1 DNF due to a broken steering, a DNF due to a new not setup correctly bike and a DNS due to sickness so far. Let's see how it goes this year.

Hopefully it will come back soon and I'll start enjoying it again.

See you on the road :-)