Sunday, 6 June 2010

• Cycle Route - 27.5 miles

"Today we shook the dust off our touring bikes and set off for our first leisure ride of the year. After a nervous beginning, we headed out Northeast from Cambridge on a familiar route. Passing through the villages of Bottisham, Swaffham Bulbeck, Swaffham Prior we reached Reach where we frequently turn for home. Feeling unusually full of energy, this time we pressed on for the next village - Burwell. After a pause for a comfort break we re-traced our steps as far as Bottisham. As it was now starting to rain, we returned to Cambridge via Fen Ditton: 27.5 miles in 2.5 hours." --Steve

I wasn't sure how far we'd go, as usually our inaugural ride of the year is characterised by false starts (forgot something), numerous stops (instigated by me) to adjust my bicycle (the pedals, the handlebars, the saddle). The weather didn't look brilliant, either as it was overcast. But off we went.

I'd brought along my new toy - my iPhone - enhanced by an App I just bought called Cyclemeter which would engage the GPS function of my phone and feedback ride data. Not having an easy way to record and analyse our rides last year was frustrating as we were discovering new routes that I wanted to post on my blog. This programme promised a lot - in fact, all I really wanted from a GPS device - and, amazingly, it delivered!  Cyclemeter records (and stores) your time, location, distance, elevation, and speed. The program lets you organise your rides by route and you can view your ride data on a Google map, on graphs and in a calendar. Cyclemeter even allows you to keep track of your progress by announcing distance, time, speed, elevation, climb, and more - at user defined time or distance intervals. You can even race against yourself!  Oh, and, of course it comes complete with all the usual social connections so you can share details of your rides, including maps and graphs, via Twitter and Facebook.  Here's the hoopiest bit -

"Use Facebook, Twitter, and email to share Google Maps of your rides, automatically updated every 5 minutes. Hear replies from family, coaches, and friends spoken using text-to-speech technology. Have emails automatically sent as you ride to keep family and friends notified of your progress and location."

Clearly, it's jam-packed with features.  All this, for less than the price of a Roast Beef sandwich from Marks and Spencer!

It was nice to be back on the bike and in the countryside. I felt more fit than I usually do on the first long-ish ride of the year - I hope this bodes well for the rest of the Summer!


On the return leg of the ride, I spotted some poppies by the roadside and stopped for a photograph.


Further along, on Coldham's Common, we were delayed at one of the gates by a rather large group of grazing cattle. At first it seemed that neither the cattle nor we knew exactly what the etiquette was in such situations - the cows were completely blocking the bridge but we were blocking their progress to the field they were headed for. We backed up a bit and they took their sweet time filing across. A few stopped to stare at me and one of them even licked my leg!

About five minutes after arriving home, the heavens opened up and a thunderstorm ensued. We only just avoided a soaking!

No comments:

Post a Comment