Category Archives: Photography

Yaay! #June100 Completed

Thank You!

Two remarkable things happened the other night.

  1. I went for a ride after a carvery meal out;
  2. I completed the #June100 challenge, doing my first 100 mile month in, probably, EVER.

It was Friday evening and I’d given up hope of getting any cycling done.  I had Avon orders to submit, we were late home from work and my OH’s Dad was moving home.  Not an auspicious outlook for the day’s riding.

But, things went a bit better than that.  We realised I could put the Avon order in on Saturday; the home moving had gone extremely well; and we decided to go for a local carvery meal rather than cook at home.

The 3 M’s: Motivation, Meat and Momentum.

A plateful of beef, turkey, gammon and all the trimmings is usually a signal for the evening to end.  Add to this a pint of San Miguel and normally you’d have two hopes of getting me to exercise – and one of those would be Bob.

But… the June100 had other ideas!  I knew I was only 2.74 miles short of target and it was a beautiful evening.  So when we got home, bellies full, I filled my drinks bottle, got the shed key and gritted my teeth.  I was going to do it.

As you can see, I did it… and it was a fantastic evening ride, just in time to see a stunningly beautiful sunset over Hollingworth Lake.  The phone’s camera doesn’t do it full justice, but I still love this photo and I’ll always remember it as the one I took after completing the June100 challenge.

What Next?

It’s been a great month for me and it’s not quite over yet. Last night, I put the new slicks onto the Focus Fat Boy ready for this Sunday’s Manchester to Blackpool bike ride.  Tonight I’m hoping to give them a quick blast out on the roads just to make sure I’m not going to get any pinch flats when I put a few miles in.

The difference in rolling speed will be interesting too – I’m hoping I can get past the magical 30mph mark on the way back down into Littleborough from t’Lake this time!

After tonight’s ride, the June100 will be over for me, so I’d like to thank all those who’ve kept me going over the last few weeks.  It’s been emotional and I’m amazed how many have stuck it out, motivating me (and hopefully everyone else) through the challenge.  22 out of 31 riders have already done it, and I think more will finish over the next 2 nights.

Thank you all.  I love you (though not in the biblical sense, and I don’t want your babies) and you’ve been a massive help.

Now, about this #July150…. ! 🙂

Almost There – #June100 Miles

15 Miles To Go!

On Saturday, it was a bit gloomy and cooler than recently, but N1S and I threw an extra layer on and headed our for a lovely loop.  For once, we stayed away from t’Lake and headed South.  We used the cut through Firgrove playing fields to get to Milnrow, then ducked down Buckley Lane to play around on the empty cycle paths of Kingsway Business Park (which is still largely empty thanks to a global recession and crappy local Government).

From there we joined the canal and headed to Castleton.  Surprisingly, some holidaymakers were negotiating the lock on their barge, which made for a nice photo-opportunity.  N1S helped them with the lock gates and then off we went, leaving the canal at Stakehill and starting the climb up Thornham Lane.  Most of the way up there is a little pub called “The Tandle Hill Tavern” where apparently the landlady is only 20 years old.  Well, regardless of her tender years she did a good job of presenting us with 2 cokes (diet for me) and 2 bags of mini cheddars.

Up and over Thornham Lane we went, before realising we were running short of time and deciding to take the most direct route back to the canal and home.

Just over 13 miles and a couple of very pleasant hours bonding with my boy:   Sweet.

Fathers’ Day Bonus

As an added highlight, my kids bought me the Banksy book.  It’s a tenner at HMV and you should buy it.  Very beautiful graffiti, and very though-provoking commentary.

My kids are way too cool 🙂

“Thank God For The Rain, Dad.”

Don’t get me wrong.  I love living in a temperate climate.  The changing seasons bring me enormous and unceasing pleasure as the months roll by each year, offering photo-opportunities; fashion choices; beautiful changes to our daily outlook…

…but Jeeeees! What’s With All This Snow??!

My daughter is 6.  She loves sledging; she loves snowmen; she loves snowballs; she loves her pink fluffy woolen hat and her big comfy pink sequined gloves.  She is also very bored of the snow now, thanks.

This morning on the way to school she sighed and said simply, “Thank God for the rain, Dad”.

I didn’t have to respond.  We just exchanged a knowing smile and stared into the hazy brake lights of the car in front as we trundled through the morning rush hour.  It was a blessed relief to be watching cold rain trickling down the blackened hillocks of packed ice and snow by the roadside, which for the past week have been rendering our pavements unwalkable.

The BBC pomised me a “dirty thaw” over the weekend.  I, for one, don’t care how dirty it is – as long as it’s a thaw I don’t mind.

So, from me: Thank You, God.

Knypersley Pool Walk

On New Year’s Eve 2009 (is that really only 7 days ago?) we drove down to my brother’s and spent the afternoon walking around Knypersley Pool.

The Pool was designed by Thomas Telford and opened in 1827. Now it’s owned by British Waterways and used as an angling lake.  It’s also a haven for people from South Cheshire and North Staffordshire in need of a stroll.  My brother and I both consider angling to be a way of wasting an afternoon, so we took the families for a walk on the paths that surround the reservoir.

It was a very frosty day so we wrapped up well before setting off.  The cold weather made for some excellent photo-opportunities and I’d recommend taking a camera of you’re thinking of spending some time there.  I’d also implore you to take a flask and something to nibble on: there was no evidence of any refreshments available when we went, although I’m told that on better days it’s possible to find something to eat and drink.

As you can see, I attempted to make my own piece of Land Art in the style of Richard Shilling – do you think it worked?

If you fancy a pleasant afternoon strolling around a beautiful reservoir that’s less than an hour’s drive from Manchester, I can highly recommend this place.  But cyclists beware, bikes aren’t allowed on the paths.  I found the cycling ban baffling at first, but thinking about it: I assume that it’s at the behest of the anglers who have made it possible to keep this place open to the public.

Tell ‘em Phill sent you.  I’ve attached the map so you can zoom out and find it.

View Knypersley Pool in a larger map

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