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Thread: Today's Bike Ride

  1. #7861
    Senior Member Marco's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
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    Flat SE Staffordshire
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    After months of avoiding the shortcut through the Shugborough Estate, I finally decided to see how the other half live as the bridle-way passes around 200m in front of the hall. The car park was rammed full, and there were people everywhere, but the main problem was riding on a loose gravel path with 23mm tyres inflated to over 100 psi.

    I can't say that the hall is attractive from the outside, as it's pig ugly, but the estate is enhanced by being surrounded by the River Sow to the west, the River Trent to the east and two branches of the West Coast Mainline - one running to the north and the other to the south.

    After reaching Great Haywood I continued north to Hixon, and then on to Amerton. It was to the north of here that the hedge cutting started (September the 15th ?). It was a single track road and the tractor was on the field side of the hedge to my left, so I crossed the grass in the middle and rode on the right had wheel track.

    Continuing northwards, I reached Dods Leigh, Lower Leigh, and then Upper Leigh before passing under the A50 and then the 1 in 7 descent to the Tean Valley. From here I started the 110m ascent through Lower Tean to the high point on the Hollington Road ridge. I did this climb a couple of months ago and found it tough. I'm pleased to say I found it easier this time so, in the absence of any power meter data as proof, I think I have improved.

    The return route was the same, including the 1 in 7 climb out of the Tean Valley, apart from a detour through Church Leigh. It was all going well, and the sun was warm and the wind light, until I heard a tractor just south of Fradswell and was subsequently stopped by it hedge cutting from the road side. I had to unclip to get around it, and thought it must have been cutting fast to cover a mile - until I met another tractor hedge cutting from the road side. The road was covered in hedge shrapnel and although I thought I'd avoided it all, something stuck to my front wheel and it didn't brush off with my hand.

    I must have spent 10 minutes at the side of the road trying to remove the thorn stump from the middle of my front tyre. As it was 3mm proud of the tyre I had to get it out, as otherwise riding the bike would have driven it through the tyre and into the inner tube. It's amazing what you can do with a car key, and it's probably more amazing how much abuse a Vittoria tyre, (bottom of the range Zaffiro, Graham), will take even when its over 10 years old.

    Amazingly, the front tyre held up and I thought I was ok - until 3 miles later when my rear tyre (Continental Grand Prix original) flattened. For the first time in years I had to use my mobile pump, but it only stayed inflated for 2km. So it took a further two inflations, and a bit of walking, to get back to the car near Milford.

    33.3 miles, 1335ft of ascent, 15-18 degrees C, two trashed tyres (they were old) and an inner-tube to try and repair.
    Last edited by Marco; 15-09-2021 at 07:15 PM.

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