Monday, 23 March 2009

A Spring Evening at Lymington Pier

Just a few shots taken yesterday evening in and around Lymington Pier station on the
Brockenhurst to Lymington Heritage line. A very pleasant evening with lots of signs of the
advent of spring. A short trip well worth the effort of boarding a train.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

No Punctures Today!

Today's ride was completed on my own. Gareth Morns had said that he might accompany me but late yesterday afternoon he sent me a text to say that he was unable to make it. He had probably heard about my new found 'Puncture Jonah' status. My route today was my usual 35 mile circuit across on the Sandbanks ferry-out to Corfe-on to Swanage and back to the ferry and then home. The ride felt good today. Even though there was a head wind for a good part of the time I managed to power along keeping my average speed well up. I was up and over the hills (including the 'Hill of Death' ) with the minimum of fuss and effort and for the first time this year I felt that all my training efforts were getting somewhere. Time for the route today was 2 hours dead which is my best time so far this year. Considering the wind today not a bad time even though I do say so myself. Oh- and there were no punctures either.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Not Again !!

After yesterdays ride with JD and his subsequent puncture I was looking forward to a trouble free run out with Jason Boynton- Lee today. We set off from Brockenhurst at about midday and headed towards Lymington. After a brief stop at the ferry port we then set off towards New Milton. A few miles from Lymington Jason pulled over on to the grassy verge. Yes you've guessed it- he had a PUNCTURE !! I must be honest and admit that I couldn't stop laughing. Some would call it divine retribution-or what goes around comes around. After all it was Jason who wrote the poem about JD . Jason in turn now thinks that I am some sort of puncture Jonah. He reckons that when it gets out I'll be lucky to find anyone who's prepared to run the risk of going out cycling with me. Have a look at the pictures showing Jason repairing his puncture and I bet that you won't be able to stifle a chuckle either. Now I should finish laughing by about Thursday and plan a short ride then - anyone fancy a ride?

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Only JD could achieve this!!

A few weeks ago I said that as soon as I could get all the Revolutionaries together for a picture I would publish it on this blog. Unfortunately due to conflicting shift patterns I have still not managed the photo. In the meantime you will have to make do with a picture now and then of a Revolutionary on his own. Todays picture shows JD out on todays ride around the Purbecks. Those of you who follow this blog on a regular basis will remember the poem about JD changing the tyres on his bike. Well after all that effort fitting Schwalbe Marathon's in order to take advantage of their high puncture resistance what did JD get on todays ride (the first decent ride he has done since fitting them). A PUNCTURE !!! That's right a puncture. Only JD could achieve this with a virtually puncture proof tyre on it's first proper run out. What a sad sight he makes sitting in the shelter on Swanage sea front mending the said puncture. I haven't laughed so loud, for so long, for ages.........

Saturday, 7 March 2009

The Topeak 'Flashstand Slim'.

Last week I mentioned the centre stand that I had just fitted to my Revolution Tourer. This week I would like to show you another stand that I have recently acquired-this time for my Felt Z-series road bike. I really like this bit of kit. When it is folded up it is not much larger than a cereal bar and doesn't weigh much more than one either. It is designed to slip easily into the rear pocket of your cycling jersey when not in use and it is supplied with it's own 'velvet like' bag as shown in the photograph. The blurb on the packaging tells you all:-'This pocket-sized wonder slips easily over the crank arm to hold bikes upright on most flat surfaces. Fits 700c road bikes with Shimano Dura-Ace, Ultegra or 105 crank-arm'. The stand is really well finished with a highly polished surface that is total bike bling !! A really classy well made item that solves the problem of what to do with your bike when you take a break when out on a ride. I hate having to lean my road bike up against a wall or laying it down on the ground where it could get damaged. With the Flash Stand these problems should be a thing of the past.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Early Morning Ride

After yesterday's ferry ride, today started with an early morning ride on my touring bike (the revolution). Just my regular training circuit consisting of Studland-Corfe-Swanage-Studland & home. About 35 miles in total with a good mix of terrain. The ride gave me the chance to test out my recently fitted Double Leg Central Stand that you can see in the photograph. The great thing about this stand is that even with the bike loaded with panniers the bike should remain upright as the load is evenly balanced between both legs-well that's the theory. The One Leg Side Stand that I have on the Dahon is OK on an unloaded bike but the moment you have any load on board the bike just falls over - not what you want on a tourer like the Revolution Country Traveller.

A Trip on the New Ferry.

Today Jason Boynton-Lee phoned me and suggested a trip over to the Isle of Wight on one of the brand new ferries that Wight Link are now using between Lymington and Yarmouth. He told me that for this weekend only foot passengers could travel free, so it seemed a good idea to test out the new ships.Currently there are two new ships being used on the crossing-Wight Sky and Wight Light. We travelled on Wight Sky. They are certainly larger than the old ones that the company were using and they feel almost like a cross channel ferry when you are in the passenger accommodation areas. The facilities on board are a marked improvement over the old ships. However it's not all good! Foot passengers had to board and disembark at Lymington by way of the bow-the same way the cars get on board. I understand that there is a problem at Lymington in regard to passengers entering and leaving the ship by the side doors as you used to do with the old ships. It seems that as these ships are bigger the doors are in the wrong place for the existing pier height. As if that wasn't enough of a problem vehicles are having difficulty when entering and leaving the ship. Again because of the larger size of these ships the angle between the drop bow and the slipway is such that a lot of vehicles run a real risk of bottoming out. I spent a very interesting ten minutes watching various vehicles leaving the ship and holding my breath (as no doubt the drivers were) as they inched their way across. Sports cars, coaches,family saloons even a Land Rover Discovery all seemed to have a problem. I would love to see a car pulling a caravan try it!! I would hope that Wight Link are working on a solution to all this because I can see that it will cause no end of trouble when the busy holiday season starts. Once all the teething problems are ironed out I am sure that these new ships will prove to be a big improvement to the service, but I still feel that you cannot beat the old paddle steamers I used to travel from the island on as a youngster.So much more fun................!!