Posted: August 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

Updated the widgets that I am using on this blog, I have removed categories widget but I have added a Twitter widget, so whenever I update from Twitter you will be able to see the tweets that I make, and they will be cycling and not cycling related.

But for instance today I will be going to a local country park and will be sending tweets with my new Android phone I recently bought, it is an LG GT540, such a great phone, I love it.

Hope I get some more followers this way also, so if you want to follow me please do.


A trip to Hainault Forest

Posted: August 10, 2010 in News

Earlier today, late this morning I thought it would be a good idea to go to Hainault Forest, although the weather was terrible and it was more like night time than day time as the weather was so bad that did not put me off going as to terrible weather was actually part of the plan, before I got my bike I was saying for a while once I get the bike i want to go over a forest and get covered in mud, well today that did happen, I just did not get as covered in mud as I thought I would, not that I wanted to go back and get covered in more mud, but with how I was going around the forest I thought I would be covered in more mud than I was.

Before leaving my place, I got ready, put on knee length cargo trousers and a t shirt, I knew I would be freezing for about 15 minutes and I was, but after that I obviously warmed up from the riding, I also filled my back pack with some fuel for the road including water, with a pinch of salt like always, two banana, an entire pack of fig rolls, yummy, and a Hobnob flapjack, along with a mobile phone and a digital camera, so all the stuff I usually take with me most of the time

So I had everything ready, now all I had to do was leave my place in Dagenham and set off for about an 8 mile ride to Hainault Forest, I am not that good at remembering times or how long it takes me to get to places, but I did ride at a casual riding speed I would say, as I knew I would need loads of energy for a forest, once I entered the country park there was this beautiful house to my left that I am sure anyone would want to stay in for the night, not, it was demolished, after I had taken a photo I started to ride further in the country park, I arrived at some bins where someone was working and asked what would be the best route to take to go in the forest, I got 2 options and decided to go for the route that took me in the forest the fastest as I could not wait, so I took that route and after a short while I was at one of the starting points of the forest.

Once I entered the forest I was confused and thought what way should I go, I decided to go ahead, the ground through most of the forest was as you would expect I guess after it rained last night and the weather today would not have been any help, riding in the forest on that type of ground was tiring, especially when I had to go up hill, but when in a forest what goes up must come down, and so I did at many points, now that was so much fun, as I was blasting down hill I had mud spraying up in my face, not that nice but I was not bothered, but sometimes I did get a headache, from my brakes, squeaky things were so noisy but I guess that is because of the wet weather, my brakes are v brakes incase you are wondering what brakes I have.

but apart from all the headaches, going up hill was tiring and going down hill was fun, so as it would be for most people I guess, at some points in the forest I did come accross paths where there were fallen tree’s so I had to climb over them and lift the bike over once I was over the massive log and at some points I did have to get off and push the bike, but most of the time that was for steep hills that I could not ride up, I could have but my legs may have not been able to take me home once I left the forest.

I did not have to stop many times for fuel, I think I stopped about 3 times while riding in the forest and I also sat down once when I came to a certain part of the forest where I was near a road and a car park, I think I was in epping, so I must have gone further than I ever thought I would, but once there I sat down on a bench and had a banana, half a bottle of water, and almost an entire pack of fig rolls, and about 20 grams of peanuts, some lovely peanuts that I buy from Lidl, 45p for a 250g bag, after eating all of that I had been sitting down for about 10 minutes so I sat down for another minute or 2 and decided it was time to go as I had some stuff to do once back at home.

so I left the bench and took the path that I thought would take me back to the entrance I come in for the forest, most of the journey back was flat and down hill, so that was a bonus and half of the surface type was grass, so I am not sure where I was, but I knew I was still in the forest, as I took a lovely ride down many hills I had a lovely breeze on my face, just what I needed, and at one point I come to some strange stuff, it was like mud but it was the colour of dark sand? once that got in my tyres it did not come out, well half of it did but the rest I had to hose off at home, after a while, not as long as I thought, about 20 minutes possibly I reached the part of the forest where there was road and people, so I am not sure how far out I was when I was sitting on the bench if it only took me 20 minutes to reach the part of the forest where there was road and people, but once on the road I was riding towards the gate that took me out of the forest, this time that house was on my right.

Finally I was out of the country park, now it was time to take a slow ride home as I was tired and worn out and covered in mud, as I was riding home I think more people were looking at me than they usually do, if they do at all usually, I guess they must have thought is that a monster from a swamp with all that mud I had over me and on the bike, well after another 8 mile ride back home I finally got home, tired, worn out and covered in mud, I think my partner was shocked, well she laughed at all the mud that was on my neck, once home the bike went in the back garden, that was not staying indoors with all that mud on it.

After a while of the bike being outside I thought it would be a good time to clean it now, so I gave it a hose down on sprinkler setting on the hose gun to get most the mud off the bike, and had to use the power setting to get all that strange sand coloured mud off the tyres, looks like that mud added some kind of blue colour to the tyres, not sure if it is permanent but hopefully not, but you can not notice it much though.

That has been my adventurous day out today, hope you enjoyed reading, how long did it take you to read everything?

I may upload the photo’s later but what I may do is upload them and put them in a separate blog post, that will be tomorrow if I upload them.

When I left my place I had one bottle of mineral water with an added pinch of salt, I stopped about three times to drink the water, once while in Beam Valley Country Park and Twice while in The Chase.

While in Beam Valley Country Park, I had a banana, and about five fig rolls, fig rolls are high in energy and low in fat, good for people that like to do regular exercise.

While in The Chase, I had a chocolate Hobnob flapjack and another banana, flapjacks also provide you with energy.

Obviously the banana provides you with quick release energy, I am just not too sure what type of energy fig rolls and flapjacks provide, but I think they provide slow release energy, as I get to know and learn more I will be sure to make blog posts about what I learn.

After leaving Beam Valley Country Park, I decided it was time to go to another country park before I went home so I did, I decided to go to The Chase, Once in there I was riding on the gravel paths and come off the gravel paths to ride on the grass and eventually I come to a nice lake where some people were fishing, I decided to sit  down on an edge and put my feet on a massive rock that was in the water and decided it was time for some more fuel, so I got out the one remaining banana I had and a chocolate Hobnob flapjack and my salt water, I sat down for about 10 minutes eating and drinking and watching the ducks in the lake.

Once I got up I decided to ride around the lake slowly and taking many pictures, some of those can be seen here, here, here, here, here and here.

After riding around the lake I was riding towards this building that is open to all the public and is a place to rest, read and look around, when I was in there I just decided to have a quick flick through a RSPB magazine, after putting the magazine down I left the building and decided to exit the park and go home as I was tired, but I am getting better every day, my energy levels are coming back better than expected.

I will go more in detail on the next blog post about what I had to eat as I do not expect all of you to read these two long blog posts to find out about what I was eating and so on

Yesterday I made a ride from where I live to not too far down the road to a local country park, there were beautiful things to see, the scenery was amazing at some places, it was a hot day most of the time while I was out. I explored many parts of the two different country parks that I explored and I am going to try tell you all about my journey yesterday

I left my place at about 10:30 I think and once I had left I was immediately riding towards Beam Valley Country Park, is there multiple parts of this park or do they all link to eachother? as I visited another Beam Valley Country Park the other day too but it was not this one, well once I entered this park there were many hills as you should be able to notice on the link that takes you to Google Maps, further down the path I come to what I think was a restricted part of park, there were these gates, I guess they were to obviously stop the puclic going down there, it would have been nice to see what was through them gates, but I could not so I continued down the path and suddenly the path changed from smooth tarmac to light gravel, the description of the surfaces may not be that good, but I guess you get a rough idea of what I am on about

Further down that path I enter the park and discover beautiful scenery and discover this broken piece of tree, I look around and see a part of park that goes down, I am not sure how to describe it at all, but I went down there and wanted to come back up as when I was down there the ground was extremely soft and it looked like the ground was moss and that was it, and there was a strong smell down there too, the smell reminded me of lavender, but I do not remember seeing any lavender down there.

Once I had returned to the nice part of the park by pushing my bike up the hill I was deciding where to go next as there were paths that went in all different directions but I decided to go in a direction that took me over some smooth tarmac and after about 5 minutes took me on some grass that was an uneven bumpy surface, and as I got nearer to where I was going the path got narrower and both sides of me were all kinds of plants such as stinging nettles and other plants that wanted to have a go at my legs, but my once I reached here my legs were all good, after about one minute I decided to sit on the edge of this, apart from the graffiti and waste, it was lovely just sitting on the edge and watching the water go by, after about 10 minutes of sitting there enjoying watching the water go past, two what I think were Irish travellers and a dog come over, not to talk or cause any trouble, but I thought I would leave where I was and let them stay around there while I went off

Once I left where the water was I decided to ride around that area, deciding where to go next, while standing around I thought I would take a photo, it was not that far from where the water was, that photo can be seen here, after I while I decided to go in a direction that I can not remember too well, but I come to something that I could sit on, I am not sure what it was, but it was raised, built with brick and had a manhole cover on the top of it, so I sat on top of that, I now thought it would be a good time to eat and drink, so I decided to eat a banana, half a pack of Tesco Fig Rolls and had a drink of about a quarter of a bottle of salt water, with only one pinch of salt this time.

After about 5 minutes I decided to continue my journey towards what took me over another bumpy, uneven and narrow grass path, that ended after 5 minutes and I had smooth tarmac for the rest of the way, eventually after about 5 minutes on the smooth tarmac I got to a  gate leading out to New Road, Dagenham, a dual carriageway, I decided to turn back as I did not want to leave the country park the boring way, on my way back, I come to this lovely water feature that had rocks, I thought about crossing, but after about two minutes of deciding I decided that I may cross that path the next time I go there, but not this time.

Now I was riding towards an exit, the paths I took were like many of the paths I had taken before in this park, after 10 minutes of riding I did find an exit, and that is when I left the park, I ended up about a five minute ride from Dagenham East Train Station, But I was not going there, I was going towards another country park, I will tell you about that in part two

I did CS3 yesterday

Posted: August 7, 2010 in News

Yesterday was the day I travelled from Barking to Tower Gateway and from Tower Gateway back to Barking, why did I do it? so I could see what it was like and so I could make a short review of it, I am not that good at reviews but I will try.

I am not sure how long it took me to get there and back from there, but once I got to Tower Gateway I had to ask about 4 different people where the Fenchurch Street Evans Cycles was as I forgot to write down the road name where it was before I come out, one person knew, so that was good but when I finally got to Evans Cycles the shop was tiny, it was cramped, I think they could have done with having about 20% less bikes on the shop floor, I was planning to get an inner tube from there but they only had £4.99 specialized and schwalbe inner tubes and not the £2.99 Continental inner tube that I wanted, but the good thing is they stock it online and the delivery is free, so I may order it online.

Staying connected on CS3 was not too bad, at some points I had to look around and think where does the blue lane continue from, but only had to do that about twice or three times and that was just on the way there, on the way there I stopped at Canning Town Recreation Ground and sat on a bench and decided to eat a banana, some sunflower seeds and half of a bottle of the salt water I had made earlier before going out and that was the only stop I made going to Tower Gateway, once I got to Tower Gateway, I was searching for Evans Cycles for about 25 minutes.

On my way back from Evans Cycles I got lost, I guess my map reading skills were not that good once I was in Fenchurch Street as I did have a local cycling guide, but I did ask about three different people where to go and what direction to take for Tower Gateway and CS3, eventually after about 20 minutes of searching I did find it, so something that would be good is signs that direct you to the nearest Cycle Superhighway once you are within one or two mile of one as on the way to Barking, where I started my CS3 journey I got lost, but I asked one person where to go and used the local cycling guide too.

At the end of the day I must say I had a good day, I had one cyclist overtake me bu that encouraged me to pedal more and seeing other people in front on bikes also encouraged me to pedal more to catch up to them, and some I did catch up to, but soon after that they turned off, hopefully I did not upset them, the only bad points of the day were getting lost, but signs would help, please install some signs Boris, also another thing, people standing and walking in CS3, I wonder if the same people that walk in CS3 would walk in the middle of a road with not many cars too, hopefully over time these people will learn the blue paint is for bikes.

I have made a poll about signs, signs that should direct cyclists to the nearest Cycle Superhighway, should they be installed? Will they be installed? Hopefully, and hopefully this poll gets loads of votes.

6th of the 8th

Posted: August 6, 2010 in News

6th of the 8th being the 6th of August, Today I have started my day off by writing loads of blog posts this morning and eating some cereal, along with some orange juice recently.

My plan today is to find the start of CS3, CS3 is a Barclays Cycle Superhighway, the good thing for me is that I have some local cycle guides that were free, I ordered them from here and each guide provides with a massive fold out map covering a certain area depending on what guide you ordered, there is fourteen different guides, I have about half of that, as I will not need maps for other locations, well not yet, and if I decide I want more guides I think I can just order more so that is good

Once I find the start of CS3 I will try to stay on the entire route, hopefully I do not get lost but I have my cycle guides if I do get lost, Once I reach the end of CS3 I should be at Tower Gateway, once there I will go to Fenchurch Street as there is an Evans Cycles there and I may buy some new stuff for my new bike, something I may buy is an inner tube, I am not sure what else I will buy, but the main thing is I am getting out for the day and getting more and more used to cycling again, hopefully soon my muscle burn and neck and shoulder ache should disappear.

But now rather than writing blog posts I should be getting ready and prepared to go out cycling while it is still nice, sunny and warm outside, but I will update again soon, possibly later today or tomorrow.