Local cycle loop

One of the things I’ve been looking for since getting my bike is a straight forward loop I can do. Something straight forward that doesn’t involve tricky navigation, getting covered in mud or having to get off and carry my bike over obstacles. Just a nice circular route I can do after work for half an hour or so.

This four mile ride should do it quite nicely. I can optionally extend it by going around the back of the golf course and past the hospital, if I want a longer ride.

Here is a link to the KMZ file: Local Loop 1

And if you want to look at it on Google Maps, click this link.

Created by My Tracks on Android.

Total Distance: 6.39 km (4.0 mi)
Total Time: 22:58
Moving Time: 21:33
Average Speed: 16.75 km/h (10.4 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 17.80 km/h (11.1 mi/h)
Max Speed: 36.00 km/h (22.4 mi/h)
Min Elevation: 70 m (230 ft)
Max Elevation: 119 m (391 ft)
Elevation Gain: 162 m (533 ft)
Max Grade: 6 %
Min Grade: -10 %

Alport Castles

Alport Castles
Alport Castles

Today me and my dad went for a walk in the Peak District, to a part we’ve never been to before. At the bottom of the Snake Pass is Ladybower Reservoir and the Derwent Valley. On the moorlands at the top is a place called Alport Castles, a large craggy area that looks like a quarry but is actually a natural landslip.

The walking was fairly easy (which is good, it’s been a while since I’ve been out walking) and once onto the moorland quite flat and straight forward. Once at Alport Castles we walked back towards the reservoir and down to the road where, conveniently a bus turned up and saved us a long four mile trek.

Exploring my local area by bike

I’ve been out on my bike once again exploring the local area. Whereas most people tend to cycle down the river’s edge, looking at the rubbish-strewn dark trails that lead off into the reclaimed wilderness but continuing, I think “that looks an interesting way” and set off down it. Sometimes it turns into a nice little loop full of local interest, other times it turns into a bit of a crap ride.

Today was the second type of trail. It looked quite promising from Google Maps’ satellite view. My aim was to cycle into town but by going down the river. I now know this is not possible, there’s a railway in the way. I did find where the locals dump their rubbish and old fridges though.

For the morbidly curious, here’s the Google Maps link and you can download the KMZ file Deadend trail.

My Google Earth is now collecting a healthy pattern of red tracks running over the reclaimed land either side of the river. Looking at the area now, you’d never think there used to be a gravel quarry and coal mine. I think I’ll now try and cycle North up the river itself, rather than the canal part. Ultimately I’d like to cycle along the Pennine Trail to Leeds and then the other way to wherever it goes.

I took my previously mentioned Asahi Pentax film camera with me. Hopefully the pictures will come out and look good. I’ve almost stopped looking at the back for a preview image 😉

Here’s the stats for today’s ride

Created by My Tracks on Android.

Total Distance: 7.52 km (4.7 mi)
Total Time: 48:27
Moving Time: 33:32
Average Speed: 9.35 km/h (5.8 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 13.46 km/h (8.4 mi/h)
Max Speed: 27.90 km/h (17.3 mi/h)
Min Elevation: 68 m (222 ft)
Max Elevation: 84 m (274 ft)
Elevation Gain: 135 m (444 ft)
Max Grade: 3 %
Min Grade: -7 %
Recorded: Wed Sep 23 16:56:52 GMT+01:00 2009

Using a T-Mobile G1 with My Tracks is really really good.

Through the nettles and around the rubbish dump

Today’s random bike ride took me around the picturesque Welbeck Landfill, following the overgrown paths along the river. While not the most visually pleasant of rides, it has enough excitement in the form of giant holes in the path and lots and lots of nettles to keep the mind focussed. Popping out in the expensive looking hamlet of Kirkthorpe is always a surprise. I might make this a regular ride, it’s just under 4 miles and takes around half an hour to do. Could be fun in the dark.

Here’s the KML file of the trip: Around the rubbish dump

Alternately, click this to see the Google Maps version.

Here’s some stats

Created by My Tracks on Android.

Total Distance: 6.34 km (3.9 mi)
Total Time: 31:22
Moving Time: 28:31
Average Speed: 12.18 km/h (7.6 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 13.33 km/h (8.3 mi/h)
Max Speed: 29.70 km/h (18.5 mi/h)
Min Elevation: 66 m (215 ft)
Max Elevation: 85 m (278 ft)
Elevation Gain: 134 m (439 ft)
Max Grade: 5 %
Min Grade: -4 %
Recorded: Tue Sep 08 18:30:36 GMT+01:00 2009

A short afternoon’s cycling

I bought a new bike at the weekend, and today was my first chance to ride it. It’s been a while since I last did any cycling I chose a fairly flat and easy route along the Aire & Calder Navigation up to Altofts Lock (click to download KML file). Tracking my route was done with my G1 phone and the excellent My Tracks app from Google. I did try to upload the KML file directly to Google Maps, but it failed so instead I imported it into Google Earth, made a few edits, added a photo and put that up instead.

The route took an hour and was mostly along pleasant river towpaths or tarmac meaning I could keep up a good speed, while having an interesting mix of farmland, overgrown “natural” areas and the remains of the heavy coal mining industry that used to be in this area.

I am pleased with my bike, it is comfortable to ride and the gearing feels efficient – on the flat in the bike’s higest gear I can maintain a steady pace without feeling too much strain on my legs, and in lower gears I can set off quickly without losing grip. My Android phone also performed very well, accurately recording my route, even through the heavily wooded areas with the phone being in my pocket.

Here’s some stats from the journey

Total Distance: 13.13 km (8.2 mi)
Total Time: 56:53
Moving Time: 50:15
Average Speed: 13.87 km/h (8.6 mi/h)
Average Moving Speed: 15.68 km/h (9.7 mi/h)
Max Speed: 34.20 km/h (21.3 mi/h)
Min Elevation: 58 m (190 ft)
Max Elevation: 100 m (328 ft)
Elevation Gain: 157 m (516 ft)
Max Grade: 3 %
Min Grade: -5 %
Recorded: Wed Aug 12 14:47:14 GMT+01:00 2009
Activity type: cycling

Here is the link to the Google Maps version.

On the road to nowhere!

While looking around Google Maps for this area I found a slight mismatch between not only the mapping data and the photograph image, but also between different parts of the photograph imagery. If you’re off down the A1(m) any time soon, watch out around junction 42, it doesn’t seem to exist in this universe just yet. Maybe this is a good reason to buy a large truck.

The A1(m) vanishing into a field
The A1(m) vanishing into a field
Map of the same area
Map of the same area
Let's go off-road!
Let's go off-road!

Am I in Some Strange Parallell Universe?

OK, I’m fairly sure the world is still working properly but…

1. I’ve had a few cans of beer to drink

2. It’s snowing

3. … in October

4. We just heard The Internet is for Porn on Radio 1 (that’s the national, BBC radio station…)

5. I’ve watched HD videos on a screen so large, HD video looks as small as YouTube does on a 19″ monitor.

6. Using Google Earth on my iPod Touch I’ve managed to locate myself exactly using nothing more than WiFi access points. And I crashed an iPhone within two minutes of touching it – despite having owned an iPod Touch for around 2 months with no problems.

Mad 🙂