Tag Archives: August150

#August150 Round Up. Great Cycling You Lot.

August 150 Is Done!

I’m amazed how quickly August passed by.  The holidays certainly helped: there’s something about being at home or away with the kids that makes time fly.  It’s been a fun month though.  Anyway, you’re not reading for that, you want the round-up, right?

Well, here we go:

  • 41 – the number of people on the sheet
  • 35 – the number who posted some mileage – very impressive!
  • 23 – the number who rode more than 150 miles! Wow 🙂

Special mentions go to the following people:

  • John Berry, for being first to complete AND for topping 1,000 miles in the month.  That’s an average of over 33 miles every day.  Is this a man or a machine?  Follow his blog, why don’t you?
  • Louise K, for being the first girly to hit the 150, and for doing it on an adventure riding the Liverpool-Leeds canal.  That’s exactly the type of thing I was thinking way back in the June100 days: enjoying the bike and increasing the miles 🙂 Read about her adventures more on her blog, too.
  • The Le Tower To Tower riders (Emma, Dave, Anthony and Chrisplus a couple of other guys who aren’t in the challenge) who finished the month hitting around 100 miles each day – along with smashing the September target too – on their ride between the Blackpool and Eiffel towers.  Awesome work, you lot.

Have a look at the full spreadsheet here.  With an average of over 213 miles per person, I’m chuffed to be associated with this stuff.

It’s September, And That Means The Sep100 !

I asked for some quick feedback on twitter, and enough people responded positively.  So, I set up the Sep100 spreadsheet to keep the challenge rolling 🙂

What’s Changed?

Thanks to input from Lisa, Austin and others, I’ve added a column for stationary miles.  Now as far as I can see, the definition “stationary” kinda means they’re not miles, but I’ll leave that argument for another day.  So if you’re turbo training or the weather turns nasty, you can still clock up some activity.

Lisa also suggested a TT league, but due to time and technical issues I’ve simply added “best 5 mile” and “best 10 mile” columns.  Just time your best 5 and 10 mile splits, record them somewhere and stick them into the sheet.  It’s just another excuse to compete (and no doubt something Lisa plans to win)!

If you want to join the club, just hit the sheet and email me at the address shown there.  Simple!

Enjoy your September Cycling, everyone 🙂

Ride Success, Technology Fail – Weekend #August150 Miles

When the weekend began, I thought I still had an outside chance of achieving the August150 target, so I mapped a 20+ mile ride with a bit of a challenge thrown in: a nice, big hill.  I rode out of Rochdale through Whitworth to Bacup, then over Sharney Ford to Todmorden and back home along Rochdale Canal, the National Cycle Network’s Route 66.

Ride Success!

The slow climb from Rochdale to the top of Britannia (about 8 miles?) was okay.  None of it gets steep and it’s just a case of keeping the legs turning and not getting too bored.  The scenery isn’t nice until you get to Facit where you discover that there is, in fact, a Fudge Village there.  A whole Village, of Fudge? I kid you not.  Sorry I didn’t get a picture but I’m diabetic so I didn’t stop. Sod you lot who can eat what you like 😉

There’s a nice quick drop into Bacup centre then before turning right into a helluva hill.  I admit, I got off twice on the way up and walked a bit.  As I was getting back in the saddle after my second breather, a girl on a yellow bike wearing cutoff jeans, with her mp3 player wired into her ears, pedalled past me slowly but purposefully and in a much higher gear than I was spinning.  If that was you, good on yer!  It’s a good job I don’t have any illusions of masculine superiority, that’s all I can say.  I’d have sulked right then!

Then…. Wheeeeeeeeeeee!!

The drop down into Todmorden is brilliant!  A nice wide, fairly gravel-free, very steep tarmac road all the way down the hill.  Without a turn of the pedals I hurtled towards Tod, collecting flies on my grinning teeth and with tears being blown from my eyes into my ears.  What fun!  Oh, and I passed the girl who’d pedalled past me earlier.  Did I mention how fearless boys are on bikes, compared to girls? 😉

From Tod, the ride home was a leisurely affair, with the grin plastered firmly on face until my gadj let me down.

Technology Fail

Fail 1:  Solar Battery. A few weeks ago I bought a solar battery from dealextreme.  Now, I know that their stuff is a bit shonky, but I’d tested this thing once by putting it on the windowsill for a bit, then attaching it to my phone and I definitely witnessed it giving life to my phone’s battery.  Definitely.

About 2 miles back towards Rochdale, I noticed my phone was running low.  At 20% battery my GPS automatically switches off, so I pulled the solar backup from my pocket, connected the usb cable and plugged it in.  Nothing. Wiggled the connections.  Nothing. Swore. Still nothing.  Shonky far eastern piece of poo.

Fail 2:  Phone Handlebar Mount. This is the 2nd time my HTC HD2 phone mount from Mobile Fun has broken.  Last time it was the bit that cradles the actual phone that gave in, and full credit to Mobile Fun for replacing it despite not being able to find a paper-trail for my purchase.

This time, I was bobbling along a short stretch of cobbles on the towpath when the main mount fell apart.  It turns out that a bolt is moulded into the mount and not enough plastic covers it, so the bolt wobbled its way out of the assembly under repeated … erm .. use.  Yes, use: just normal riding a bike.  So I’m not happy and I’m not sure how I’m going to attach my phone from now on.  I can’t replace the unit now that I know the design is flawed, because the next time my phone parts company with my bike it might not land on a friendly surface.  Shonky far eastern piece of poo (2).  Until I’ve devised and engineered a marvellous new mount contraption, it’s going to have to stay in my pocket and I won’t be able to see how I’m doing on the fly.

Not ideal.

All I can say is: thank goodness it didn’t fail at 38mph on the descent into Todmorden.  Yep, 38mph, my all-time fastest record so far, woop woop!  I am chuffed about that despite the gadget failures.

I have no full  stats since my phone gps tracker did indeed shut down at about 16 miles, but I rode 22.88 miles in total (completed map on this link) and achieved a maximum speed of 38.3 mph.

I didn’t mention my new Daypack at all, did I?  I picked it up from Go Outdoors for £22.50 which was an absolute bargain, in my opinion.  I wore it for the first time on this ride and although I needed to fiddle with it a bit for fit comfort, it was great. Comfy, easy to drink from and felt light on my back.  It’s got a 2 litre bladder plus a bit more storage for gubbins and a nice little drop-your-helmet-here bit for when you’re walking about (which I didn’t, so I don’t know if that bit works well yet).  I’ll review it a bit more when I’ve used it again, perhaps.

With some luck, I’ll get a few miles in tonight but the August150 is looking a long way away for me! 🙁

Norfolk & Fun.

Sorry about the brief hiatus.  I’ve been away and not blogging, on account of living in a field and all that.

Sandringham Sunshine

While the North West enjoyed the weather that it’s famous for (i.e. bobbins), we headed to Norfolk, to camp within the grounds of Sandringham, where the Royal family spend 10 weeks each year and eat their Christmas dinner together.  To sum up the week in one sentence, it was sunny; relaxed; idyllic; woody; tasty; splashy; barbecuey; pretty and fun.

The #August150 Update

As I write, 40 people are featured on the August150 spreadsheet.  8 have already finished, another 3 have done more than two-thirds of the miles and 29 people have logged some miles.  If you want to join in, let me know and I’ll tell you how.  Basically, I need the email address you use for Google, and you’re in!

Personally, my Norfolk week didn’t go well in August 150 terms.  We only got one ride out really, aside from a couple of trips to the shop.  On the day we’d planned a good explore, N1S’s bike inexplicable exploded whilst leaning against a fence.  On closer inspection, it seems I’d pumped the tyre up too hard and an errant spoke was causing a stress point against the rim.  When he’d done a little lap around the site, the warmth and pressure had got up and then the tyre simply went “BANG! PFFFFT!” once the bike was rested.  Grrrr.  One failed repair and a trip to Halfords later, the bike was ok but our time was gone.

We did get a ride along NCN Route 1 later in the week though.  It’s gorgeous.  It got me thinking: We’ve rode along NCN1 now, and I live on NCN66 – that leaves 64 routes.  Too many.  So I might look into which routes I could travel to within a day from mine and try to tick a bunch of those off – what d’you think?  Speaking of canals (I know I wasn’t but NCN66 is along Rochdale Canal a good slug of the way), have you seen LouLouK’s blog about her ride along the Leeds-Liverpool canal?  You should – it’s an inspiration to anyone who thinks they might not be able to get some big riding done.

Holiday Diabetes

Just a brief note here.  In the past, I’ve had some crashing hypos whilst on holiday.  The trouble with Type 1 diabetes is that I tend to dose myself up with the same amount of insulin most days, but on holiday you do loads more exercise by stealth.  By stealth, I mean that you don’t realise.

Then what happens is that you wake up at night with crazily low blood sugars, doing weird things and amusing/terrifying your loved ones.  Well, I’ve found the secret: test more!  By taking my glucose monitor and simply doing the finger prick tests more often, I was able to avoid any silly hypos this holiday.  In fact, my only low was on the last day, when packing up took us way past lunchtime.  A quick Cadbury’s Twirl and I was back on track!  Sorted 🙂  Feel better, go longer, be safer, test more.

That’s all for today, save these few photos of our lovely break.

I’m hoping to get out for a ride with Jon tomorrow evening, so I might make a start on some proper miles at long last – maybe too late for the August 150, but fingers crossed I might just do it!

That’s Another Lovely Evening. #July150 completed.

Just a brief post today, because I’ve not done anything special, except in my own little mind.

Woohoo! I Finished The July150!

I knew I had about 12 miles left to finish the July150 challenge, and that I might not get out on the bike again until Sunday (the 1st of August), so my Tuesday night autopilot loop would have to be half a mile longer than usual.

Also, I still haven’t pulled the slicks off the Fat Boy, so after the bit of rain we’d had I stuck to the roads .  I did my usual route up to Hollingworth Lake and it was dry enough to do a loop o’t’Lake too.  Half way round, I was faced with this view so my aim of keeping the average speed over 12mph was discarded while I took a couple of photos.

I dropped into Littleborough then took the main roads back towards Rochdale and home.  When I arrived, I noticed that I’d only done a shade over 10 miles so I did something that only the July150 can be blamed for: I took the path between Firgrove Playing Fields and set off for a quick loop to Milnrow and back.

The loop was partly along a narrow grassy track, but I thought I’d be ok as the rest of the ride had been nice & grippy.  Not so!  I was like Bambi on ice, sliding all over the place in my granny ring, seemingly covering as much ground sideways as forwards!  I really must get those slicks off.

Arriving home a second time, I’d amassed enough miles to hang up my bike for a few days and grin quietly to myself at covering 150 miles in the month.  This would never have happened without some of you lot spurring me on, so thanks a lot.  I love you all.  But not in that way. 🙂

Are you lot up for an #August150 ?

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