Sunday, 22 November 2015

Lizzie's Cafe

Today there were 9 of us riding, it was like a seen from Lord of the rings, the nazgul descended on the NWAlps and despite it being a little "tacky" it was great fun. Two first timers came along and they seemed to enjoy it! Ian had some puncture issues and had to exit stage left before we reached the cafestop which was a shame (why didn't i get his cake??) and it was great to see Ben back on the trails sporting a strap-on.
the weather played ball for the most part apart from a little drizzle near the end but after the last few days of high winds everyting was calm.
the fat bikes were out in force, 3 in our group and we met another on beacon hill, common as muck these fatties!

If you read my blog often you'll know we eat a lot of cake, it's always featured in our  rides. a lot of pedalling and then a mid ride reward. So you could say I've become a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to baked goods and pastries. I also like to support local businesses but of course if they aren't up to scratch I won't go back and I won't take fellow riders there or recommend them to others.
We first came across Lizzie's cafe at the end of September and you can tell what I think of it when I tell you I and the people I've taken there have probably indulged ourselves there over 20 times since and it's only the middle of November!
It's a little gem and not to be missed. the home made cake is delicious and the portions very generous. infact Lizzie herself said "i serve portions I'd like to receive myself" and i can tell you Lizzie loves cake! The savoury menu is also a must try treat. The cafe is on a farm and the Beef and Ham sandwiches they prepare reflect the quality of the livestock. The highland cattle are cute (as well as tasty!).
There is also a fresh meat shop, icecream and home thrown pottery and art gallery. There really is something for everyone even children as the farm animals can be viewed and there are rabbits and guinea pigs staying there for their holidays.
It's a little gem and if you are in the area it's not to be missed.
you can find Lizzie's farm here Facebook or Liz Monk Pottery Studio
ride 146
14 miles
total 2580
commute 595

Saturday, 21 November 2015

a day of two halves

not the best morning, spent it in an ophthalmic A&E hospital with a family member an seemingly thousands of other people. All patient pathients though and you can't knock the staff for efficiency, courtesy and professionalism given the modest budget and just about adequate equipment the government allows them.
to unwind I ventured out into the rain and the woods, only a short ride but it kind of helped put things into perspective for me, as is usually the case. we've had high winds the last few days and i had to clear a few trails ready for the weekend. looks like cooler temps are on the way, maybe some snow?
ride 145
11 miles
total 2566
commute 595

Sunday, 15 November 2015

lonely winter roads

Due to illness Dan couldn't ride, probably because of riding in the rain last weekend.  it was just me and i couldn't face riding in the mud and the amount of cleaning needed afterwards so i took the road bike out and well, i think I was the only person who ventured out into the high winds and threatening rain. That is apart from hoards of 4x4's who seemed to be driving around in convoys, i think there were a few shooting meets going on. It's kinda nice to ride alone sometimes, infact on the road i probably prefer it. there's no average speed to keep up, you are always on the front doing your turn and if you want to stop you can. I took in the scenery, kept a comfy pace and thoroughly enjoyed it
ride 144
27 miles
total 2555
commute 559

sigh, night

it's that time of year. When if you want to ride after work it has to be in the dark, not my favourite at all, but sometimes stresses of work need a ride to pedal all the frustrations into (in this case) the tarmac. it kinda helps, but work is still there the next day, no matter how hard or far you ride
ride 143
17 miles
total 2528
commute 559

wash out

sometimes riding in the rain is unavoidable. today is one of those days. it takes a lot of will power to actually get out and ride. Standing watching the rain be blown across the back yard from the warmth and dry of the house isn't inspiring. At these times it's good to have a riding buddy as one of you will have a spark of enthusiasm and will cajole or shame the other into getting their arse in gear. So was the case today, Dan didn't call it off and turned up looking bedraggled but smiling so i had no excuse. I also have waterproof kit so that wasn't a valid reason to chicken out either. And you know what, as is often the case, once you leave the house and head into the woods, the motivation returns and you make the best of it, sliding the rear of the bike on the slick leaves, splashing through the puddles and knowing there's a warm drink and a slice of something sweet mid ride to look forward to. having the inclination to leave the warm cafe is another thing altogether though!
ride 142
13 miles
total 2521
commute 559

the benefit of weekday rides

 the benefits of a weekday ride (apart from not being at work of course) is that the trails are completely empty, i don't even remember seeing a dog walker let alone another rider and the cafe was empty too, though thankfully not lacking in goodies!
ride 141
15 miles
total 2508
commute 559

Monday funday

Day off from work today for Dan and I and we took the oportunity to ride over to the Clent hills, we had a snack at the cafe and checked out the new officially sanctioned trails that have been built there. Regretfully I'd say it's really not worth it. It's short, you have to climb over a barrier to access it and it ends in the valley with the only legal way out up a long steep climb. So we reverted to the cheeky route. I guess the addition of this trail is to give riders no excuse if caught on the cheeky stuff as the "you have a dedicated route, keep to that" argument is now a reality. what a shame
ride 140
25 miles
total 2493
commute 559

puncture free!

skinny tyres seem to resist the hedge cutting season a lot better than fat tyres with the added bonus that no one asks about these size tyres when you are out riding!
ride 139
27 miles
total 2468
commute 559

3 punctures and I'm out

 one slow puncture, one immediate flat and a spare tube that wouldn't inflate. So a three mile walk to home. Interestingly the comradeship of cycling that I've always advocated. where if you see a cyclist at the side of the road stationary you normally ask if they are ok and have everything they need seems to be a thing of the past. 11 cyclists passed me on my walk home, not one asked if i needed help. Is this the cycling boom in action? all these new cyclists having no knowledge of the etiquette and bringing there look after number one car driver mentality with them?
ride 138
30 miles
total 2441
commute 541

logging another ride

ride 137
9 miles
total 2411
commute 523