Gin clear…

Out at early O’clock again, only this time it was very clear, cold and frosty. So much so I was sliding around a bit on the side roads out to my route.

My knees were relatively ok, but I did feel a tad hungry yesterday, which is a first on this regime.

Dawn over Clent…

I caught the sun starting rise over the Clent Hills and thought it was worth a stop to photograph it.

Again, Bernard the Buzzard has stopped following me down Hossil Lane and he appears to wait for me in the big field at the end of the Lane. I did try stopping to photograph the blighter but he is still a bit camera shy!

Sign post…

The sign post gives you an idea of the locations on the back end of my route, very quiet country lanes to get me to the carnage of the main A456 by the Shell petrol station at Hagley.

I hop over the Worcester road by the petrol station, then ride through the Shell station to the main A456 and cross there into the cut out to my estate. This seems the least risky option in getting home! Although the slippyness of the side road roads were nearly as dodgy as the rush hour traffic on the A456!


Grey damp day…

This morning was probably the darkest it’s been since I set out on this latest weight loss thing. I left my house at 0740hrs and it was still pitch black and raining.

Crossing over the A456 I narrowly avoided death after a 4×4 nearly took me out by making a last minute turn at high speed up my side road after not bothering to indicate. Luckily I was a bit more aware than he was.

It’s pretty much all uphill until you get to Holy Cross and I’m finding I’m getting there quite untroubled now, which means I’m getting fitter. Progress is nice!

Hossil Lane
Me at Hossil Lane

Bernard the Buzzard was conspicuous by his absence today, normally he follows me all the way down Hossil Lane, but as I got to the end of the Lane to ride over the big field he put in an appearance and watched me pedal off from his perch in an Oak tree.

My knees were behaving today after a bad Sunday/Monday. I’m guessing that standing around of a Sunday morning watching Dan play his Rugby can’t be doing them any good.

Finally, apologies for the sameness of the photos, it’s a bit difficult to vary them and when you have as little creative skill as me it’s even harder!

Pedal out with Dan…

Before we get into the pedal, a weight update. I actually dropped 1 Ib over the Christmas period. I didn’t specifically miss stuff out, but I didn’t drink beer at home and I really cut down on bread. That and going out pedalling seemed to do the trick! Happy days!

Onto today’s pedal, as my knees seemed to be cooperating today, I thought we’d go a bit further afield, with a trip out to Turbine Cottage. It’s a route I’ve pedalled before, but I know Dan hasn’t. Obviously we started on ground he knew, but at the junction of the Roman Road, we carried on towards Stourbridge and a trip up towards a trail I thought would be relatively quiet. Wrong! Halfway up it a large group of MTBers were pedalling down, as it was a single track and we were in the minority, we pulled in to the hedgerow to let them pass, after about a dozen “Morning mate” and “Cheers pal!” we were back on our way.

At the end of this trail is a left turn towards Whittington and a bumpy but wide downhill to a country lane which connects us to the bridleway that leads to Turbine Cottage. After dodging a few Dogs and Dog walkers the bridleway was solitary bliss again.

It seems that Turbine Cottage has had a change of ownership, the few times I’ve pedalled past, there has been total silence. No cars or activity of any kind. But today, there were cars parked outside and a few Dogs kicking off in the garden. Normally I stop here for a drink break, but the canine commotion persuaded me and Dan to carry on to the top of the hill and stop there.

The view from the top.
Me and Dan!

Then it was bridleway blast all the way back to Hagley after one seriously tough Granny Ring slog up one particular trail. If I switch on my competitive Dad mode, I am glad to say I pedalled the slog without stopping but Dan didn’t! HA! One nil to age and experience over youth and enthusiasm! Competitive Dad mode off…

Dan really enjoyed the downhill with the steps added into the trail and was yahooing down the trail for all he was worth, it’s great to see. I’ve actually caught him watching MTB videos on Youtube, has the MTB bug bitten I wonder?

Back in Hagley we stopped off at the shop for Dan to get a snack as he was running on empty.

My Cannondale parked up

Dan’s Kona parked up.

After he’d scoffed his munchies, it was a swift street pedal home. A great morning out, with Dan suffering a slight case of trail pox.

Trail Pox

Have a good weekend folks!

Relatively pain free day…

Yesterday was a disaster in terms of the arthritis in my knees. I woke up after a bad night’s sleep because of the pain, stood up by my bed and promptly fell flat on my face as the pain properly hit.

It was a huge effort to stumble to the bathroom for my daily ablute and with that I realised that there wouldn’t be a pedal. Which gripped me to be honest as the weather looked ideal for cycling.

It was then a case of parking my arse on the sofa, necking the pain killers and getting to know a few Netflix series. I’m not a good binge TV watcher, so I also had a good Kindle and music day. Most importantly my food intake was totally weight loss friendly!

But this morning, the arthritis seemed to be behaving itself as I was only in minor pain, so I jumped on my bike as quickly as I could before it changed its mind!

A really good frosty morning’s pedal ensued around my usual route. The lubing of the bike also worked as my bike was creak free. I’m still being followed round by the local Buzzard, but he still won’t let me photograph him!

Hossil Lane towards Belbroughton

Hossil Lane towards Holy Cross.

Hmm, looking at that photo above of yours truly I can see the ever present feeling of the arthritis. That’s not my normal grin.

Have a good day folks!

Normal service is resumed…

It’s Monday the 7th of January and the kids have gone back to school today, everyone is back at work and the Christmas decorations are down. Life is back to normal.

With that in mind it’s back to pedalling my solitary routes without trying to chase Dan down and we’re back to our normal “non luxury” grub. Oh the traffic was a disaster on the A456 this morning. I’m glad I only cross it and not pedal on it.

I had the usual Buzzard for company down Hossil Lane, but he still won’t allow me to photograph him!

Usual photo spot…
Cannondale and fence…

On the way back through the Hamlet of Broome, my bike developed an annoying squeak. I gave the bike a once over and couldn’t see anything obvious, so I just gave it a good old lubing when I got back. As the actress said to the Vicar…

On the arthritis front, my knees seem to be cooperating today. Which is nice.

A “Challenge!”

As was our arrangement me and Dan went out on our usual “every other day” pedal. This time we went South West over towards Blakedown on the bridleway where my wife usually walks the dogs. This meant a bit of dodging the traffic on the A456 initially.

The only issue today was the arthritis in my knees which was, in the vernacular of the modern work place a “challenge”, but in normal English, was really painful and a problem. I nearly didn’t pedal, but that would have disappointed my son, so I gritted my teeth and just got on with it.

I look in pain…

In the photo above, even I can see I look in a bit of trouble. To be truthful, I was…

Dan loving it!

Dan on the other hand was on good form. I was really struggling to keep up! His Kona only increasing his ability!

Dan being watched….

We were out for an hour and a half, of very knee unfriendly activity, but Dan didn’t care! And neither should he!

I’ll be throwing some painkillers down my neck shortly and resting up for the rest of the day. Netflix might be getting a bashing!

New Year’s Day…

A very Happy New Year Gentle reader. I hope 2019 is just what you want it to be!

To start the year off with a bang, me and Dan were out early doors for a quick blast around Belbroughton. He is really used to his new Kona now and I have found myself struggling to keep up with him. Although his youthful enthusiasm results in him blowing up quite quickly. I appear to have the edge in stamina at the moment!

Dan and his Kona

I have fitted some Crud guards and lights on to his bike as well as upgraded his tyres with a tread pattern more suitable for our winter trails. I also have bled his brakes.

Me and the Dan!
My Cannondale taking a break!

We finally got around to cleaning the bikes the day after Boxing Day, as you can see from the photo above, my bike is relatively mud free!

Chasing Dan down!

We had a good ride out, and are now settling down for a peaceful day. On the arthritis front, I have been suffering over the holiday, being especially bad the day after Boxing Day where I was struggling to walk at all. But as usual, the pain goes away and I can get about to a fashion again.

Be cool folks!