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Chasewater 2007-02-25 Sunday

Posted by hoipoloi in Rides.
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I did a rather stupid thing on today’s ride, I forgot to take a drink with me (or money to buy one en-route). This sort of thing happens as you get older, I may forget the bike next time and collapse onto the tarmac once I realise.

After taking a rather circular tour through Fishley I made my way towards the A5 along Lime Lane. Just before the canal bridge I spotted these two inconsiderate drivers who thought it would be OK to use the whole of the footpath to park on.


I turned right at the Turf Island and past Brownhills. I decided to take a look at what they’ve done to Chasewater since the toll road cut through it. It appears the railway had the most upheaval. The old sign is still there though.


I carried on up the A5 until the canal at Anglesey bridge. It rained from here ’till the Black Cock Bridge 😦 I took Green Lane towards Shelfield but suffered a puncture in the rear tyre. Fortunately I could see the offending piece of glass and was able to repair the tube without taking the wheel out. It took about four minutes all together.


I’ve been looking at some Continental tyres but they cost nearly as much as a car tyre, and also these Cross Town Reflects. If anyone has recommendations I’d be glad to hear them.

Apart from the rain for a couple of miles, it was an enjoyable 13.5 mile ride bringing the monthly total to 83 miles (that’s very nearly 100 miles a month, which is very nearly 1,200 miles a year). That’s like a tenth of the average car mileage. Good grief.


Coot, Rabid dog and Mile Marker that wasn’t. 2007-02-20 Tuesday

Posted by hoipoloi in Rides.
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On my leisurely 5.5 mile ride this morning I decided to go through Pelsall on the Sustrans Route 5 (and then the canal) towards Brownhills. I spotted a couple of newish mile markers that are actually distance posts marked in metres ( why? I ask myself, and fail to get an answer. Perhaps it’s an UE thing?).

Distance Post

While I took the picture, a swan (which was nearer a metre tall than a yard) tried it’s hardest to frighten me off. I cursed it mildly and moved on.

I found a quiet spot on the stretch of canal between Pelsall Road and Silver Street and stopped to try and record a Coot that was particularly noisy. The link lower down is to an MP3 of 2.5MB in size and nearly 3 minutes in length. You will hear some unidentified birdsong firstly (I’m no expert) which is interupted by an aeroplane. The aeroplane dies away just in time to hear the Coot. You can’t miss it, it sounds like one of those old bike trumpets with the bulb that you squeeze (The girlie ones, not the macho ones that boys had).

For some reason I didn’t take a picture of the coot. Here’s a stock one so you can see what they’re like:


Try not to jump when you hear the rabid dog. It was about 100 yards (yards not metres 🙂 ) in front of it’s ‘owners‘ and after fouling the towpath decided to bark, snarl and bare it’s teeth at me. When you hear the bark, the dog is the other side of the bike to me. I am about to push the dog, by using the bike as a shield, into the canal when the owners call it back to them.

Download the MP3

Bad news comes in threes 2007-02-17 Saturday

Posted by hoipoloi in Hardware.
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Or so they say.

Following the cycle computer retiring, my son’s sidestand broke and I get a puncture 😦

That must be the first puncture I’ve had that was caused by a thorn. And dammed difficult to get out of the tyre as well. If it was a roadside repair I’d have struggled to get the offending thorn out without the aid of some small pliers. My Swiss Army Champ will live in my bar bag from now on.

Garmin Edge 205 (not my picture)

On a brighter front, the Garmin Edge 205 arrived the day after ordering it. The many features are a little daunting at first but I think they will become familiar the more it gets used. I’ve done two small runs with it so far and downloaded the details to the ‘Training Center’ software on the PC. The only complaint so far is the low level of detail on the software map. The Garmin C320 that I use in the car has a much higher level of detail (as does the extra France map I bought). It’s a shame they can’t be used for both Garmin products. After all, I have paid for them and have a licence to use them.

Snow joke 2007-02-15 Thursday

Posted by hoipoloi in Hardware.
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It’s no joke riding a bike in the snow, especially when there are hidden ridges of ice under the freshly fallen white stuff. The extra weight carried on the bike (and my extra weight, which is exactly the reason I’m on the bike in the first place) did nothing to aid grip of the back wheel. Wheel spin was frequent and one reason was the semi-slick tyres that are fitted to the Muddy Fox. I wasn’t going to change them for a set of knobbly jobs so I just reduced the pressure slightly and this seemed to help.

Now we have a more suitable weather window it was nice to go out and then arrive back with the same moisture content in my clothing. I managed to get through a few more podcasts from the Bike Show as well.

One annoying thing happened this week, my cycle computer has died. It wasn’t dropped, or subjected to water ingress. It simply showed a garbled display when I turned it on today (a new battery failed to cure the problem).

Atech 13

My choices are between two replacements, A £14.99 job from Maplin or the Garmin Edge 205 (cheapest so far is £128 at an Amazon store). Obviously the Garmin is preferable, I just have to try and get authorisation from the domestic authorities.

This month (and we are only half way through it) sees the highest recorded mileage (per month) since records began in September 2004. 44.8 miles

I know, some people do that before dinner in one day. But hey, I’m chuffed 🙂