Muddiest Ride Ever

This morning I went on my first ride of the year along Drake’s Trail. Suffice to say, after the amount of wind and rain we have had recently, it was extremely wet and muddy so I got completely covered in mud! My clothes and bike were lagged, but it was still a very enjoyable ride.

I didn’t try and make any good times, as my main aim was to cycle to Plym Bridge to see how full and fast the River Plym was running (stats below).

I was a bit disappointed when I did get there as it didn’t look too much different than usual, but I still took a few photographs and a video (see below) and stopped for a drink and a couple of biscuits.

Further along the trail, just before I got to Plympton Park and Ride, I bumped into a load of deer on the trail.  Unfortunately, before I could get my camera out, they had run off and the one that was left behind jumped over the nearest hedge.  Bit of a shame really!  It then started to pour down with rain so I had to take the nearest shelter!

Once it had stopped, I started to make my way back up along the trail, on my way home.  I stopped on a few occasions to take some more photographs, especially at a waterfall which I have now christened ‘Drake’s Trail Lagoon’ (see below) where I was keeping my eye out for a Dipper that I didn’t see unfortunately, but hit the proverbial brick wall when I made it back to Bickleigh, so had to walk a part of the way to get some energy back!

For the first time ever, when I arrived home, I had to wipe my bike down before taking it through the house and into the shed as it was dripping with wet mud and was absolutely minging!  So was I actually though! haha

I had a great time cycling though, and will be trying to do it again next month where I will attempt to cycle to Clearbrook and back for the very first time!  So come back soon and see how I have gotten on! 😉

Cycling on Drake’s Trail

A few weeks ago I went for my first cycle on Drake’s Trail which runs from Plymouth all the way to Tavistock, which is a distance of about 21 miles. You have to be pretty fit to do the full distance and back, but I bet it is really good especially on a nice day!

My first cycle started from Bickleigh, across the Viaduct, through a very dark tunnel (see video below) and then almost on to Clearbrook.  I wasn’t exactly sure where I stopped and turned around, but I am sure I must have been almost at Clearbrook.  The path I took was slightly uphill and towards the end I was on a rough path as I chose to carry on along it instead of turning off on to a road to finish the trip to Clearbrook.  Cycling back to the access point at Bickleigh was a lot easier as it was all down hill and I was going pretty fast, only really stopping to film myself cycle through the tunnel (see below)!  So I made it back pretty quick although it was a struggle getting home as that was all up hill until the last half a mile when I could free-wheel again!

For my first cycle, I had a great time and the weather was perfect.  I stopped several times to take some photographs, which you can see below, as the views in certain parts of the trail were great.  I recorded my cycle on Strava and the whole trip was just under 10 miles, so a good exercise as well!

Here is the first part of my trip to Bickleigh Viaduct.

Here is the rest of my cycle.

Here are some photographs that I took between Bickleigh and Clearbrook, from the trail.

Here is the video of me cycling through the darkest tunnel I think I have ever been in!!

My second cycle along Drake’s Trail was after work, so I wasn’t at my fittest! This time I cycled from work down to Plym Bridge and then on to the cycle path. I wasn’t sure where I was going down there and had to follow some other cyclists to get on to the trail, but I found it in the end! It was all uphill from there all the way to Bickleigh, and took longer than I thought it would. Half the reason for that though, is because I stopped off to take a look at a breeding pair of Peregrine Falcons along the way at Cann Quarry.  The National Trust have a hut and some telescopes pointing at the nest, so I took a look and was amazed to see the female parent and two chicks.  It was a great watch and I had to tear myself away from it in the end to continue my journey to Bickleigh.  I would recommend stopping off there and taking a look – here is the link to the website about the Plym Peregrines.  And here is my write up of it on my Birding Blog.

The rest of the journey was pretty steady but I wasn’t going too fast as I was trying to take in the wonderful surroundings.  I didn’t take my camera with me so didn’t take any photographs, so I will have to do that on my next cycle along this part of Drake’s Trail.  Once I did get to the access point at Bickleigh, I was pretty shattered, and did a bit more walking for the rest of the way than I would have liked! 😉

Here is my cycle from Plym Bridge to Bickleigh.

Next time I go out for a cycle along the track, I would like to go from Bickleigh and then down to Plym Bridge and back, and hopefully I will be doing this soonish!

Cycling and Jogging

For my birthday last year, Kelly bought me a Mountain Bike as I have been on about wanting a bike for a while now, so that I could ride into work and back and get fit at the same time. It was a big surprise to find I had a bike for my birthday as they are quite expensive, but Kelly (as always) found a bargain on the Internet!

Here is my bike!

My Mountain Bike

My Mountain Bike

Since my birthday, I have ridden into work on several occasions and feel that is has helped me get a lot fitter than I was! I record my rides using the Strava App so I know how well I am doing (you can find this on the homepage of my site!). I had a few issues with the bike to begin with as I was struggling to know when to change gears but I am getting the hang of it now. I still can’t change gears properly though and did have to take the bike into Halfords to have them checked, but im just not sure whether there is an issue or it is just me not changing gears correctly. I would rather not take it back to Halfords though, as it cost money and they were useless!!! All in all though, I am enjoying using my bike but just need some nice weather now!!

As well as cycling, I am still jogging home from work – usually once a month. The last time I jogged home was in March, and I got a personal best!! I was really pleased with this as I felt that I was going really slow and I also had a pain behind one of my knees, so it came as a huge surprise to find out that I was about 30 seconds faster than my previous PB, and broke the 34 minute barrier as well! My actual time was 34 minutes and 43 seconds which was great! It was also freezing cold so not ideal conditions, so hopefully after another month or so’s cycling, I may be fitter to go even faster!