Gunners Maiden Voyage

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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Gunners Maiden Voyage

Postby Gunner » 1 Aug 2008, 4:42pm

Today was the maiden voyage with the bikes. This morning we rode 4 miles as a 'shake down' ride making sure we knew how to operate the gears and get our cleats into the pedals properly and get used to it, blimey its light as a feather. Sadly Mrs G, had to go to work this afternoon so I went alone on the afternoon jolly.

In the afternoon I rode to work on a dummy run to check timings etc, leaving enough time to shower and get changed etc. It wasn't fast - I left home at 1.08pm arriving at work at 1.58pm just over 11 miles. I have two large hills which got the better of me :oops:

I returned home on another route, but the wind really slowed me down. It was hard work but really good fun. I stopped a few times and ate my fruit letting the world whizz by me at the usual pace of 100mph we are forced to live with.

The Computer shows 26 miles ridden today, backside and legs ache but I'm sure that will improve. I feel revitalised and feel that I have achieved something today.

I got pins and needles in my hands probably due to vibration :?: I was wearing mittens.

Space on the handlebar is a premium, the bell and front reflector are coming off. The bell will go in the bin and I have some reflective silver tape which I will place on the front of the bike somewhere. When I cycled before I had drop bars which gave many variations for my hands, maybe I have just got to get used to the straight bar arrangement.

I saw a few cyclists out on the road but surprisngly they just managed to acknowledge me, I assumed we would all nod at each other (all Motorcyclists do this) maybe he was concentrating or something :?:

All in all, a good first day on the bike, and I can't wait until the next ride out, Yeeeee Haaaaaa

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Postby Si » 1 Aug 2008, 4:57pm

Hey, good on you - glad you enjoyed!

Have you got bar ends fitted - these will offer more hand positions on a flat bar and ease the hand aches!

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Re Maiden Voyage

Postby Gunner » 1 Aug 2008, 5:43pm

Hi Si

No I haven't but they may be option for me, I will give it a while, I'm sure Specialized do them and there will be other good brands to choice from :lol:

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Postby ferrit worrier » 1 Aug 2008, 6:29pm

Hi Gunner

50 min to do 11 mls I would say that is quite respectable for a maiden voyage. Better than my first attempt 28mins for 5.25 and no serious hills.
Well done, keep going you'll get those timings down,

Percussive maintainance, if it don't fit, hit it with the hammer.

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Re Maiden Voyage

Postby Gunner » 1 Aug 2008, 7:26pm

Ferrit Worrier

Thanks, the journey home via a different route was not so quick, the wind was a nighmare. Like you say with experience it should come down, the bike is excellent, its the rider letting it down at the moment :roll:

They are building a new relief road which will knock out one of the hills so when they finish it that will help.

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Gunners Maiden Voyage

Postby Gunner » 9 Aug 2008, 11:17am

Reflection on this weeks riding :lol:

This is the first week of using the bike. I decided to cycle on alternate days 1, To get my backside used to it again :oops: , 2, Not to wear my self out to early and over do it :oops: ( I am waiting for a heart op hopefully in Nov for an electrical fault) I am working reduced hours at the moment but the cycling has made a huge difference to my well being :lol:

My route from Hinckley to Leicester is via the A47, then onto an unclassified road (Sheer Bliss) to the B581 through Stoney Stanton joining the B4114 into Enderby. This route is 10.45 miles.

On my return journey home, I change the route by riding along the B4114 to the B4669 then riding through Sapcote back home. This is 11.65 miles.

Last night was my first ride home in darkness, the front light is a Cat-Eye Power-Opti Cube which is an excellent piece of kit :lol:

I work shifts of six days on, then four off, this last set of six days I have clocked up 92 miles. The bike is performing well and I am getting used to it and the way she handles.

The first day I had to stop on the way to work and on the way home, admittedly there was some strong head winds to hamper me but I have got stronger each day and not stopped at all since. I feel I have got stronger day by day. When in top gear and no head wind it rides a dream, easier that walking.

I am not obsessed with times but I must admit I do keep an eye quite a bit on the computer dashboard as regards to speed and trip time etc.

All in all a good week with the bike, thanks again to everyone who gave me advice on which bike, clothing and kit to purchase. I had to get the whole lot but your help, it enabled me to go into my LBS with a structured shopping list.

We have joined the CTC and made contact with our County group to hopefully meet cyclists locally. My Specialized Sirrus is a faithful friend already.

We are planning a camping trip locally next week then a week away with the bikes at the end of Aug possibly to Belgium or France. (We will go where the weather is best!)

Thanks again to everyone for your excellent advice and help with setting me up.

Gunner :wink:

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Gunner Maiden Voyage

Postby Gunner » 19 Aug 2008, 12:06am

Today was a milestone - I have clocked up 200 miles on the bike most of which has been completed commuting to work. The bike and kit is working well. My numb bum has cured now with the bike being really comfy, we are getting on well together :lol:

Got soaked today but it was quite refreshing cycling in the rain - its the wind thats a pain - why does always change direction and act as a head wind :?:

We have a few days off later this week so will take the bikes for a longer extended ride out of the County. I have taken delivery of a few maps of the National Cycle Network so hopefully we can work out a nice circular route :wink:

I have joined sustrans and offered my services as a ranger if they need me within the county, seems the right thing to do to help others too.

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Postby Manx Cat » 19 Aug 2008, 8:54am

Well done gunner, I agree with Ferrit W. I thought your speed was very good. Mine was nothing like this when I first got out there. (nearer 9mph).

Dont be too concerned about the hills.... THey DO get easier as your commute becomes more daily and your level of fitness improves.

I started commuting last Sept and it wasnt until March in the new year that I was able to cycle the entire route.

Now, I cycle them and think nothing of them, other than the fact they still slow me.


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Gunner Journeys

Postby Gunner » 19 Aug 2008, 10:27am

Manx Cat

Thanks for that, the hills are in my favour on my way to work and against me coming home :oops: I must say though I am loving it and enjoy the hills and the work out it gives me. We have cancelled our gym membership (saving £55 a month :lol: )

I feel I am getting stronger with each ride. I have tweaked my route slightly its 11.5 each way which takes me 55 mins coming home slightly longer than my time getting to work.

We enjoyed your article on the Hadrians Wall ride, we like the sound of that very much :lol: We may venture up there next week basing ourselves in Whitehaven and cycling the first part of the route up to Siloth and back. The Coastal road looks great, I like the look of the roads around Cockermouth down to the surrounding lakes for the second days ride too.

We are building ourselves up slowly but I can say a 50 mile ride each day is within our grasp already.

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Postby bikely-challenged » 19 Aug 2008, 5:28pm

Thanks for sharing this. Very interesting and encouraging for an unfit rookie to read.

All the best with your future touring plans.
DISCLAIMER: The above constitutes my personal opinion only on any given subject. Other opinions are available.

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Postby ericonabike » 26 Aug 2008, 4:41pm

Good stuff - I live in Kirby Muxloe and commute to Enderby via various scenic routes, so am aware the way you're travelling ain't exactly flat! Eleven miles over country roads each way is a goodly distance - well done.

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Gunners Travels

Postby Gunner » 3 Sep 2008, 9:45pm

Just a brief update on our trip up to The Lakes last week, We were inspired by Manx Cat and her adventures in the same area which gave us the idea. (Thanks Mary :lol: )

We based ourselves in Whitehaven. Having purchased the official sustrans maps and C2C guide we were able to plan the route and detours easily.

We stayed at the Mansion B&B in Woodhouse Rd. (on top of the Hill about 2 miles out of town) We cycled along the marked path from the causeway in Whitehaven to the B5292 at Low Lorton where we de-toured off the route and cycled into Cockermouth for a lovely cup of coffee at the Marmaris Cafe in the High Street. Cockermouth was by far the prettist town in the area we visited.

We then rejoined the C2C route from Cockermouth back to Workington picking up the Hadrian Cycle Way (72) back to Whitehaven. This was 44 miles in stunning scenery with some good hills to play with. We achieved this easily and had a great time. We took many pics. We found a great pub to eat in called the Vagabond just off the causeway in Whitehaven.

This was just a flying visit but proved to be a good 'taster' for us.

We planned to ride circular route around St Bee's of just 17 miles but alas had to get back to Leicester.

Mon/Tue/Wed this week we rode around the County following National Cycle Paths and Local Cycle paths through stunning scenery on our own door step. The bikes were dropped off today for their first free service at our LBS.

We are off to Crete tomorrow for a weeks sunshine :lol: but rest assured we have packed many cycling guides and maps so we will be planning our next trip away :wink:

Our motorbikes are having a well earned rest this year!!

We have decided to cycle the Devon Coast to Coast first, then the C2C once we have trained more. Our main goal being the LEJOG, having ridden 44 miles easily in very hilly conditions our prep is going well, but we don't want to run before we can walk!!

Having seen the beauty of the National Cycle Network we have volunteered to become local 'Rangers' to help keep our routes open and clearly signed for fellow cyclists coming through our region.

ericonabike - respect - we have read your LEJOG threads one day we will follow your example - liked your link to just we will have to meet at the half way house for a few sherberts.

Cycling really has changed our lives - for the better :lol:

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Re: Gunners Travels

Postby Mick F » 3 Sep 2008, 9:49pm

Gunner wrote:Cycling really has changed our lives - for the better :lol:

You and me, both!
Loads of others too!!!

So glad you had a good time.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Postby Tony » 6 Sep 2008, 1:12am

If you find space on the bars at a premium, look for a "space grip" or similar. Lots of different makes; they are a T-shaped device that fastens in the space of one light/bell/reflector and gives you extra mounting choices for lights, etc.