Wednesday, 1 September 2010

August round-up

So we are now into the last third of the year, and it's time to take stock of progress over another month. It's been a month for milestones, but more of that shortly. First I must follow tradition and review progress against goals.

  • In terms of miles covered things are looking a bit better. I started the month about 130 miles behind plan, and I ended it about 30 miles behind. At the rate I'm going I should be back on track in the next week or so. That will leave an average of 73 miles a week to cover for the rest of the year if I am going to meet my annual goal. It should be emminently do-able. 
  • I've also visited a few more churches on my list, and only need to reach four more to take the total to 50. Again, that should be emminently do-able. 
  • My Eddington number isn't rising as fast as I would like, but it is well on the way to the goal of 50 for this year, and reaching that shouldn't be a problem. I am steadily racking up rides of more than 60 miles, and I ought to be able to manage another 5 this year to reach the planned total of 30.
We should probably skate over the fact that I'm still more than 8 inches short of the ideal height for my weight, and move onto the milestones.

  • Milestone number one is a real one, between Colnbrook and Heathrow. I've been unsuccessfully trying to find this one on several recent outings. It turns out that I was looking in completely the wrong place, on the wrong road, about half a mile away from where I should have been looking. Not the most effective approach. Now that I've got myself sorted, I've completed the list of all the remaining milestones on this stretch of the Bath Road. 
  • Milestone number two is just that the new bike and I have now covered more than 2,000 miles together since the beginning of March.
  • Milestone number three is getting around my Winter Hill loop for the first time in less than 45 minutes.
  • But the best milestone of all is that I've had an apology from a beeper in a hatchback. He followed normal practice, coming up behind me, and sounding the horn to try and make me jump. I looked round and gave the stare that is meant to say "do grow up you silly child", but to be realistic probably just makes me look like a silly old fool. He continued past me, parked a few hundred yards up the road, got out, and as I rode past he shouted an apology. Granted, it was on behalf of his passenger (who he blamed for hitting the horn). And maybe it was some complicated wind-up that I don't get. But it still felt like a breakthrough.


Ed Sailland said...

'Milestone number three is getting around my Winter Hill loop for the first time in less than 45 minutes.'

Au contraire, mon frère:

'Saturday, 9 May 2009

'I just raced Walter again round the Winter Hill loop, and I did [it] in 44 minutes, beating him roundly. It's not quite my fastest time, but it is pretty close.'

Of course, memory is the first thing to go, so I can't fault you there. It could happen to any of us. And while I'm kibitzing -- idle curiosity, now -- just how far is it round the Winter Hill loop?

gom1 said...

Oops - something has gone wrong with the record / or the memory, and now I'm just going to have to do it faster next time.

However, I'm always glad to discover that someone is dropping in, and I'm hugely impressed that anyone is keeping close tabs on my progress. Many thanks for the comment.

Winter Hill loop is 10.16 miles - not very impressive to do that in 44 minutes, I know. My excuse is that it is quite hilly, with a lot of junctions. But the real reason is that I ride too slowly.

Ed said...

I've been 'dropping in' for years, as it happens, old son, though I'm not really 'keeping close tabs on [your] progress'. Your occasional mentions of the Winter Hill loop simply lodged in my mind, perhaps because I have a not-too-dissimilar loop of my own, which I also ride to gauge my progress (or lack thereof).

I must say I envy you. I live (and ride) in the hills of New York's northern borderland, where mapped cycleways are unknown, a 20-year-old doublewide trailer is a historic structure, and the roadside wildflowers compete with piles of garbage for the traveller's eye. (Carrier bags stuffed with soiled disposable diapers and plastic bottles filled with snuff-gummers' drool are the dominant elements in our highway beautification scheme at present, though with the return of students to the local colleges I expect that broken beer bottles will soon top the league tables.)

In any event, I wouldn't fret too much about riding slowly. The slower you go, the more you see. And judging from your photos, there's a great deal to be seen in your corner of the green and pleasant land. When I ride fast -- on the rare days when I have a following wind, that is -- it's largely to avoid seeing the squalor around me. (In fact, I've christened my own short loop the 'Squalor Holler Circuit'. It's an apt tag.)