Saturday 9 March 2019

Avoiding the wind

It is still windy!  I led the short route today, as people were a little nervous riding in the wind.  We are lucky in Chester; our lanes twist and turn, and we have plenty of hedges giving shelter - just watch out for those gateways!

A very colourful gathering

With a short ride around very familiar lanes, there is little to report.  No baby cows yet, but daffodils adorn the verge and that's about it!  I added a small hill via Dunham on an otherwise straightforward route, short up and lovely down.

One funny moment, not captured on film as I was coming down said hill; a horsebox had set off up the lane, and three or four horses ran along to the gate (we presume it had just left) as if to say "hey! where are you going/ what about us?!"  Cute.

Despite the wind, the sun came out in time for our arrival at Manley Mere, which was the most beautiful blue I have ever seen.  When I asked inside, I was told it has been treated to block out light and prevent weed growth in the mere.  They have a lot of open water swimming here, as well as watersports, so they have started to do this now.  That explains the colour.  But it does look lovely!

Arriving first, we treated ourselves to cake and comfy seats around the open fire.  Which was very warm!

...I always like the throne chair, as I call it!

We waited for what seemed like a long time before the other two groups arrived.  The cafe had set aside plenty of seats for us, it is not too busy this time of year.

I may need to photoshop out that cone on the right!
After a quick catch up with the other groups, I led my group back around the back of Barrow, to pick up the Greenway via Stamford Bridge.
Great Barrow Church - St Bartholomew's
Both groups this morning had to re-route, as the Guilden
Sutton road was closed for re-surfacing; however, by the time we came through it was re-opened, although rough and surprisingly busy!

Finally up the Greenway, Mary stopped to hide a geocache for her friend to find, she was very excited about it!

Whilst the others were waiting, Helen had noted her wheel appeared to be rubbing.  Bike upside down, we spun the wheel and looked for what was causing this, but the mudguards, brake blocks and frame did not appear to be to blame, so we carried on.  I was not sure if it was a spoke, as she said she had heard a noise, but not been on anything too lumpy.  She called to the bike shop, and later reported that it was indeed a broken spoke, near the hub.

24 riders, 16 miles for the slow and steady group.

Friday 8 March 2019

What waterproof?

On our last Sunday ride it rained.  All day.

Now, I do not mind the rain, it is a thing we have and there is no getting away from it.  But I realised this day that my trustee Altura waterproof was no longer (waterproof, that is!), and within an hour of being home I had placed an order on a well known online shop (with whom I still had some vouchers).  I ordered a DHB pink one, size 16 (I am a 14) as I thought I would allow a bit of space.

Wednesday 6th March.

My new top arrives!  Brill! Just in time for our Wednesday evening ride.

However, although long in the sleeve ( I have quite short arms), it was so tight, with only one small short sleeved top underneath, that it will not do as a waterproof for winter rides, as I would be cold.  Who wears one short sleeved top and a waterproof in the winter?

So, back on the pc to order a larger size.  No, they do not go larger than a 16.  Great.

Online chat suggested the Altura Nightvision, in purple.  I love purple, and this had a lot of reflective panels, so should show up a treat on a dark winter night.  But the measurement sizing guide suggested I should be an 18.  Can I point out at this point that my yellow no-longer-waterproof is an Altura Nightvision size 12?  Just thought I would mention that.  Fits fine also.

So, back went the DHB, and along came the Altura.
Better fit, super long sleeves now, but should be OK with a top or three for winter rides.

I will also point out, these are supposed to be a woman's fit.  To fit a Woman.  I would expect like me.  With hips, for example.

Excited to wear it for the first time on our next Ladies ride.

But, despite the description saying "impressive breathability battles to fend off sweat" I noted that I was wet inside the jacket.  It was not a particularly cold day, I had a short sleeved top and winter top and we had been cycling quite slowly, as I led the slower group.  We had ridden 16 miles at a steady average of 10 mph.  Not fast, and not enough to work up a sweat.

Back went the purple Altura.

Our trusty local bike shop had no alternatives. I continued with my yellow top, as it was (slightly) better that nothing.

In the end I got an Altura nightvision again, but now size 16.  does the job, although sadly no longer has the zipped vents in the sides, which was useful.  When will cycle clothing manufacturers actually look at the size and shape of British women?