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Entries in surly (3)


Busy busy busy

Quick update, it's been a bit full on again. Surprise!

We went to our biannual golf extravaganza with the WCAGS. For the end of October we had three fabulous days of weather, even if one of my rounds was completed by the light of the moon! My golf is improving, but still needs a little work.

It was in Abbotsley, near St Neots in Cambridgeshire. I didn't know there were any hills in Cambridgeshire and I lived there for 28 years, but they did all seem to have been herded to Abbotsley. 

The weather changed just after that, and the route I cycle to work on got a bit muddy and slippery - not helped by some work being done on it. The end result will be fab, but for now it's a mud slide. So I put the tractor tyres back on Clara the Long Haul Trucker. 

Mud tyres

That helped a lot. Slowed me down a little, but the wind's picked up too so speed isn't exactly of the essence, and since I'm bombing down that path in the dark now being sure of my footing (as it were) is more important. 

And then I got these:


That is three copies of my corrected and accepted thesis. I have to send one off to the university, and one is for my supervisor, and I will keep the final one. I had to get them printed and bound, and it ain't cheap, but I think it was worth it. Just the graduation ceremony to go, and 5.5 years after I started the PhD adventure will be completely over. 

It was fun while it lasted...


Return of the Trek

We've been having some lovely cycling weather just recently. Sadly though, after a long and muddy winter, Clara (my Long Haul Trucker) is in serious need of a really good strip down and clean. She chose to make this very clear by almost entirely seizing up. Message received, thank you Clara, but that's going to take a fair bit of time that I'm not sure when I'll have.

So, instead of that, an old friend has been reincarnated once again:


This is a bit of a halfway house of a reincarnation. The important bits work, but there's no way to change front gear, no front mudguard, the handlebars aren't the most comfy...

Tell you what though, riding it is FUN! Even across utterly unsuitable ground full of gravel and potholes. Especially when mountain bike riders come by and comment on how inappropriate your bike is for the surface. Oh yeah.


Winter boots

I know it's not strictly speaking Winter yet, but it's the time of year I start to prepare for the weather ahead. The wind picks up down here on the coast (well, 2 miles back up a hill), which makes the route I'm using for work rather unpleasant. It's a pretty typical road, single carriageway, no pavement or shoulder, not really space for a bike, 60mph speed limit, pretty constant traffic. Not the kind of conditions that work really well with a gusty, 20mph side wind, for example. 

There is a byway that runs along side the road, on the high side. It's a bit rough and ready, a long way from the droveways I used to use, and actually much less defined than the South Downs Way. I think the top half at least is new. This means it's not an easy route to follow, and the rain we've had this summer means that it's muddy as anything too. All of which means that if I want to use it, my bike needs some Winter boots. 

Winter boots

Fortunately, Clara (yes, my bike is called Clara - it's a Surly Long Haul Trucker, which in my head gets mixed up with Long Distance Clara from Pigeon Street in my youth) is built to take big fat tyres. So I've been attempting the off road route this week. I'm struggling a little with skidding - not something I'm particularly used to on-road - and my upper body is getting a good workout. In fact, it's about the only thing that makes me say I'm happier going uphill. Still, it's good practice, and being further from the traffic is definitely a good thing. 

I'm really hoping to keep cycling and running as much as possible over the next few months. I think I can ride Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and get the bus in and run Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Then with parkrun on Saturdays (either running it or running home after it) I get 3 runs in as well. Should keep the fitness levels up pretty high without taking huge chunks of time I hope. It will be interesting to see what going off-road in the dark is like - it could well be that I end up using the 10 mile route home as my 'easy' route rather than the 3.5 mile off-road route. 

And of course, all that is assuming I don't get too many colds. Fingers crossed.