Category Archives: Cycling

IMG_8523Having my All city space horse for over a year now and only really using it for my 4 minute ride to work and a trip to Bath I new the bike deserved more than that, it was built to see more. A conversation with a friend Andy Torbet inspiring me to write a little more and do a little more, I quickly serviced the Spacehorse packed one of my Orblet panniers with a few essentials and headed out the house through the mist and onwards to Kemble.

Kemble, Why Kemble, because Emily my partner works there. Having clocked the distance on google maps at about 35 miles and a 3.5hour ride on the bike. I knew I could do it even though I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing.

Needing to be back in work for 5pm (Blocclimbing.co.uk) I check out the train times and stations at various points along the way incase I did not make it or didn’t have the beans/time to ride back. With a few small trains on the way and a train station actually in Kemble that went onto swindon and then onto Temple Meads Bristol, it was all lining up.

Leaving the house

As a self confessed totally amatuer with my longest ride being around 40 minutes I had know idea what to wear so I went with a strange mix. Lycra running shorts under jeans, a climber t-shirt and then a high vis runners T ontop.

Over that because it was cold a small down jacket and my winter gloves. I packed my panniers with water proofs one drink(I dont have a drinks bottle holder) and a snack.

I knew I would probably pass lots of cyclist in lycra and shining gear but I figured if i’m getting hot i’m riding too fast and if my getting wet…well I shouldn’t be getting wet so i’ll put all my waterproofs on and ride even slower. This is suppose to be fun not a hardcore training day out.

On a bike resting on the way to KembleThe ride

The ride was great, easy(enough) dry, travelled through some beautiful villages really got out into the ‘sticks’. Only slightly dampened by the ride through out of Bristol, which is of course a necessity and the final stretch into Costwold Business park along a very busy “A” road, oh and puncture but really that just added to the fun.

Within 30 minutes

Puncture within 30 minutesThe first 30 minutes found me lost twice and with the first puncture in 5 years, that sounds about right for the first trip out on a bike!

Fixing that easy enough with a bit of patience and time had me running slightly behind what I had hoped and having to pick up the pace a little, it did not really matter but I was keen to surprise Emily for lunch.

A Lesson learned: Take 2 spares, for now I was scared to entire 2 other hours I was going to get another puncture.

A few from the journey

Still love the Trains

Being a stranger also to the trains, I had secretly wish to myself I would have to get the train back home, after a perfect lunch stop and a meeting a very surprised Emily I was indeed out of time.

The trains for all I hear people complain about them were perfect for me.

Trainline home from a nice days ridingI rode 2 minutes to Kemble humble train station and just walked onto the train. With some help of the locals and the conductor, buying the ticket on the train, which I had no idea you could do and placing my bike in the front carriage we were off to Swindon all to easy.

With some more great help from the train line staff explaining exactly where I had to go as the time for my swap was incredibly short I rush out of the swindon onto the train heading for Bristol, in perfect time for a bite to eat and to head to work.

Lessons Learned

In no particular order:

  • Get padded Lycra shorts
  • Where padded Lycra shorts!
  • Get a thin wind proof jacket (It was not cold but the speed of the wind made me wear my downy, which was to hot)
  • Angle the seat slightly more up I was slipping down to often.
  • Take at least 2 spare inner tubes.
  • Have list of town names either written on my hand or gloves of somewhere else easily visible to save me checking my phone to often

The Map of the ride

For those that are keen for a nice ride to a solid few hours passing through some beautiful villages I have attached the map below.

 

After a off the cuff of the meeting with Andy Torbet yesterday at Bloc I certainly left feeling psyched again for a bit more writing and a few adventures.

We were covering all subjects although most were relating to self-publicizing and how make the most of yourself and adventures no matter how big or small.

Steve Winslow Riding through lockingtonThe takeaway, if I had to choose one, was to get out and do something, anything really, write about it and take a few snaps. Previously I have thought less of small ideas and trips, either not bothered with them or not written them up. Andy was right though, they may not be the biggest and most riskiest story, but a they are still a story. Its easy to forget, especially, when you are surrounded by outdoor and outgoing people that the majority of people would never dream, let alone actually get up on a Friday morning, do a hour of chores then head out on a 3.5hr bike ride to meet their partners for a surprise lunch… which is, as you might have guessed, what I have been doing today.

Without question it was a great and memorable day out, full of mistakes, near misses and punctures.

Second phase fun

Trainline home from a nice days ridingSat here on the train ride back from Kemble to Temple meads (also testing out the wordpress app for ios) I have a real sense of relaxation, you may think that should pride or achievement, but for me its just relaxation, getting out having a blast, stopping where I want and solving a few issues, then when its over  jumping on a train headed home in time for work is just too simple not to enjoy and come away feeling tired but fresh.

 

So cheers Andy for the inspiration and for getting me up and out the house on a foggy morning (lets plan some something big over a beer).

 

Details of the Ride (Bristol – Kemble)

A write up of the ride will follow very soon for those that are keen to repeat or to get a simple idea going. Keep an eye out for updates on FB, Twitter and G+