Tag Archives: July150

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 ?

The Lads Took Me Over The Edge

What A Lovely Way To Spend A Saturday.

On Saturday, Joby and Chris rode up to mine and we went on a ride up Blackstone Edge.  I’ve only ever ridden up there twice before in my life, in 2000 and 2001, on both occasions for charity.  I remember it flooring me the first time, and the 2nd time I had to walk halfway up the damn hill.

Basically, Blackstone Edge is a 3.5 mile ascent from 150m to 390m – and for me on my Focus Fat Boy, it’s bloody hard work.  It was a gorgeous day though, dry and not too hot, so with the encouragement of the lads (and the sight of them disappearing up into the distance) I just kept the granny ring turning all the way up.  I was well chuffed with myself 🙂

Hard Work Done.

We stopped at The White House for lunch.  I had a steak & onion butty, Chris went for chilli and Joby had the biggest sausage you’ve ever seen in your life.  And a cumberland with chips 😉

Following the 3.5 mile climb was a 7.5 mile descent into Hebden Bridge.  Basically, it goes like this:


After finally hitting my 30mph target last week, I hit 33.4mph cruising down lovely wide, smooth, quiet roads collecting flies on my exposed teeth.  I just couldn’t stop grinning.  It’s worth the climb, I can tell you.  The views up there are stunning.

The cuppa stop about 5 miles from home at Gordon Rigg’s in Walsden was probably the nicest tea ever.  I needed that!

I’m chuffed to have, in one ride, got the highest and the fastest since I rekindled my love of cycling.

Thanks Gents!

I had a cracking day.  It’s not lost on me that I only cycled 28.6 miles whilst Joby and Chris rode from their houses to mine before the ride, then home afterwards.  I would say chapeua to them, but Le Tour’s finished now, so:

Hat, lads.

Thanks for a cracking day’s riding 🙂

Soggy Sunset Cycling

Tuesday night is riding night.  I have taught myself that this must be so despite the best efforts of Mother(fecker) Nature.  I got my jacket and tights on and donned helmet and gloves with the words of Clive Chapman ringing in my ears:

  • “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes.”
  • “You only get wet once”

Littleborough Roadie Practise Loop

The slicks are still on, and I’ve got a road loop planned for Saturday with Joby and Chris.  I therefore opted to stick to the roads, especially as it was pouring down, and have a little uphill stint in the night’s ride.  I won’t talk too much about it, but here’s the route I took.  Just click it to see it a bit bigger:

Littleborough Road Loop

Last Night’s Road Loop

Two things are worth mentioning:


As practise for Saturday’s loop, which you can check if you click this link, I rode the first part of the climb to Blackstone Edge.  I only went as far as The Moorcock pub – and no I didn’t pop in for a pint:  had I not been a drowned rat I would’ve been tempted.

I was happy to have worked my way about 40% of the distance up the hill, but I know I have much steeper gradients to contend with at the weekend.  Also, the fact that my heart was trying to escape through the top of my head when I rested in the pub car park can’t be a good thing!  Ah well, no more rides until weekend, so fingers crossed… 😉

I Slew The 30mph Ghost!

My usual downhill from t’Lake only mustered 26mph last night through the puddles, so I didn’t hold out much hope of besting my PB speed on the Fat Boy.  But, I was wrong.  The longer descent from the Moorcock back into Littleborough gave me a 30.7 mph top speed.  Wooohoooo!  I did it!! 🙂

Now what? I suppose I have no choice but to top 35 mph on Saturday.  It never stops, does it??

Roll on Saturday!

Hard Work. Wet. Fell Over. Damn you #July150

I’m all in favour of being motivated, but jeeees!

Tuesday Night Is Hollingworth Lake Loop Night.  The weather looked a bit ropey, but I crossed my fingers, made a (delicious I must say) quick pasta tea and lined myself up for an hour’s ride out.

By the time bike o’clock came, it was raining a bit.  “Ah well, never mind”, I thought as I pulled on an extra layer and my buff.  I set off. The rain got a bit harder. The wind got a bit blusterier (that’s a word, really).

By the time I got the t’Lake I was knackered.  I resolved to do one lap instead of my usual two before heading home.  Halfway round the Lake I checked my phone in a sheltered spot, to make sure my new tracker software was working…

User Error 1.

When I started the new tracker software, I hit the standby button on my phone.  Don’t do this kids.  Use the “backlight off” button on the software instead.  Balls!

I did it right, after losing about 5 miles of tracking, and set off again from under the shelter of the big trees.  It was very windy by now, and pretty rainy too.  Ah well, I was nice and warm and this was dong me good.  Wasn’t it?

User Error 2.

I thought it wise to double-check the tracking software.  There’s a little bench opposite the Wine Press pub so I rode the bike down a couple of steps to get under the shelter of some more lovely big trees.

And fell off! Mossy paving slabs and rain do not mix well with MTB slicks.  Before I knew what had happened, I was rubbing my knee and elbow, whilst the Fat Boy lounged somewhere off to my left.  Balls! Again!

Time To Go Home.

From there, I was relived to be heading homewards to be honest.  I’m glad I put a few miles in but I’m crossing my fingers that the next time I go out, the weather’s a bit kinder and that I’m a bit less of a numpty with the tech. 🙁

I’ll review the new software in a bit more detail when I’ve tested it properly.  Initial feelings are positive, I think.

The route’s on MapMyRide if you fancy a gander. Sorry there are no photos, since the weather was pants and my touchscreen phone wasn’t happy so I kept it in my pocket as much as possible.

No Hills To Hebden Bridge #July150 Ride

The weather was lovely on Saturday and I was on my fortnightly commitment-free Saturday, so I sat down and tried to map a ride I could take instead of my autopilot Hollingworth Lake loop.  I chose a 27 mile run along the canal to Hebden Bridge then back over Blackstone Edge, a route that would involve a 4 mile steep(ish) climb and a big descent designed to lay the ghost of not hitting 30mph yet.  I opted to leave the slicks on from last week’s Blackpool run, because (a) on roads they’d be nice and fast, and (b) I couldn’t be bothered fettling in such nice weather.

As it happens, I totally ignored the climb and took the soft option!

Cracking Canalside Capers

I headed northeast along the Rochdale Canal, until a signpost showed a diversion off for National Cycle Network Route 66, which led me up a steep little hill through the woods just outside Todmorden. As it happens, this landed me by the railway station so I dropped down back into the town centre from there and couldn’t find the canalside without turning back a couple of hundred yards.

So, I took the road from Tod to Hebden Bridge, only a little bit lost 😉  The undulations were a nice short workout, and unbeknownst to me, I hit 29.2 mph on the second descent.  Bloody 29.2 mph! 🙁 If I’d have known, I’d have booted it a little more just to hit the fabled 30 mph.  Meh. Never mind.

At the park in Hebden Bridge, I looked at my watch and decided it was time for a drink, a rest, an ice cream and a turn back homewards.

Meeting Point Rest Stop, Littleborough

I have to recommend this little place to you.  I think two ladies have put together a cracking little rest stop here.  It’s basically a portakabin by the road & canalside, with a bunch of picnic tables outside.  It’s a very welcoming little place and I believe you should support it if you’re ever in the area.  I really hope they do well.  I had my second ice cream of the day there.  I didn’t need one, but I couldn’t cycle past without stopping to say hello and ask their opening times.  I’ll take Number One Son there in future, for sure.

It’s right here.  You should go. Tell ’em Phill sent you 🙂

The route’s on MapMyRide too, if you click the linky.

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