Monday, 12 November 2012

Ice and Grit

It's been a quiet few weeks since the clocks went back, I suppose it's the start of the annual depression :-) 

The bearings and cones finally arrived for my wheels so everything now feels a bit smoother. I need to get hubs/rims, etc ordered so I can build my summer wheels but I'm still waiting for replacement gear and brake cables to arrive which is my next job. The current set have been on the bike since new - about 6000Km and are towards the end of their servicable life.

The weather plays a large part in what you can do at this time of year - it's usually either clear and cold or warm and damp. Last Sunday was a case in point as there were patches of ice on untreated roads so the club ride ended up on main roads (or at least well used B-roads). By the time we got back to Broughton, most of the group headed back to Skipton which left three of us to head down to Colne for a longer loop. Unfortunately for me, the other two were fast and it was a hard fifteen miles or so until I broke off and headed home.

This Sunday was clear but not as cold as the previous week and eleven of us set off up Wharfedale from Skipton. No point in going too quick at this time of year as you chill quicker than you generate heat, even with three layers on, so it was a steady 13mph or so up the dale. The climb out of Halton Gill is one of the steadier in the Dales - certainly it's no Park Rash or Fleet Moss - and after a break at the top for the two minute silence at 11am we dropped down to the cafe stop in Settle. Some needed to get back early so there were only seven left for the  back half of the ride through Rathmel and Wigglesworth to Gargrave which was somewhat quicker than the ride out. Then it was just the climb back home and give the bike a thorough clean: the bottom bracket had been clicking all day and it was filthy with road grime even though I've only done 500Km since fitting it. One of the downsides to winter riding I suppose.

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