A record of my cycling trips in Britain and abroad


Wicklow Wramble

I went out for a short spin yesterday with a pal from work, heading out for a Sunday morning ride (not the Sunday morning call) from Dundrum to the Wicklow hills. The forecast was for clear skies, but a light drizzle was in order instead, and I was glad we’d committed to heading out otherwise I might have been tempted to stay in till the rain cleared (although my bike might have thanked me if I had, as it’s rather in need of a good clean and oil at the minute - one of the drawbacks of commuting being that I don’t keep it as clean as I’d like).

We did a nice little loop in about 2 hours, through Eniskerry, climbing up to the Jonny Fox pub, and then heading deeper into the hills along Pine Forest Road. I could see why it got its name!

A nice loop, and one I’m looking forward to doing again. (Apparently there’s also a steeper way up the hill - we may have to tackle that next time…)


Welsh Wanderings

From a little while ago, in a country not very far away…

Just a brief writeup of a lovely little ride I had in Snowdonia. Despite the location, this ride isn’t as hilly as you may expect; although it certainly isn’t flat. The route, which was similar to the one shown, took us down the west side of the Conwy valley. I say down, as we travelled south, but really it should be up. We started pretty much at sea level, and ended up… higher. Actually, I didn’t know how much higher until I checked on a map, just now; and it turns out that Betws y Coed is only about 50 m or so above sea level. And I suppose as we started in the town centre in Conwy rather than on the seafront, and as it’s a hilly town, we were possibly at 20 m to start with. Anyway, it felt like we were going up. Significantly so, and I suppose we just descended a fair bit too! It was a crisp, clear autumn day, with not at all as much wind as forecast, and the snow on the peaks gave an impressive backdrop to the scenery. The conditions were almost perfect, and the ride reminded me I really like Wales; perhaps after all I can feel my ancestors’ blood running in my veins!


Feeling Peaky

But Peaky in a good way - in the Peak District! Two rides last weekend: one really nice ride on Saturday, around Hathersage and up through Edale, with Mam Tor as the biggest climb. It was lovely weather for it, if anything verging on too hot. Some good route planning saw us on very quiet roads for the majority of the way, with only a mile or two on busier roads. There were a fair number of other cyclists about, and also lots of climbers up on Stannage Edge taking advantage of the sunshine and the long summer days.[Read More…]


Flash in the Fens

Wet and Windy in the Fens!

Flash in the Fens is a sportive held, as you might have guessed, in the fenland country, starting and finishing in Peterborough. Being all down south, and in the middle of June, you’d expect the main weather hazards to be heatstroke and sunburn. Not at all! The weather was wet, and windy. We had a nice day the day before though - it was sunny and warm, and we did the parkrun in the morning (finally I was back down to sub 20 minutes, I have no idea what’s happened to my running these days). The start slot was 7 to 8am - fairly early, but we were aiming for 112 miles, so we didn’t want to be too late starting.

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Haydon Hundred

Which I misheard as ‘the Hadrian Hundred’ when I first heard about it - crossing as it does the line of Hadrian’s Wall. However, it’s actually named after the town of Haydon Bridge, whence it starts. The event is a locally-organised sportive. I was vaguely familiar with the general area, and was keen to do it when it was suggested: from what I knew of the area, it promised to be a ride that would be both challenging and scenic. In neither respect did it disappoint!

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