Spring cycling at its best

A rare photo of me in action

After a busy weekend of attending sporting events, I was grateful to my wife for letting me duck out of a family event to get on the bike on Sunday afternoon. What a glorious afternoon it was too. Whilst it was still a bit chilly – the arm warmers stayed on – it was nice and sunny the whole way round. It was good to feel the heat from the sun after even as mild a winter such as the one just gone.

Matt was up for another training ride and Nick managed to find some time to join us which was good as we haven’t been out that much recently. We weren’t planning anything large – just 20 miles or thereabouts. We sauntered up to East Clandon on the back roads and somehow persuaded Matt that it would be a good time to introduce him to Staple Lane (part of the 2012 Olympic Road Race route). He didn’t seem convinced beforehand, definitely didn’t seem convinced half way up but got to the top on his first ever attempt which I rate as a victory. Nick waited at the top for us to take some action shots.

The views from the top are fantastic. You can see most of London including the Dartford Crossing on a clear day. Sadly the construction site that is Woking is beginning to become a blot on the landscape as tower blocks go higher and higher around the station.

We dropped down the other side of the Downs and made our way back via Chilworth and Guildford with a coffee stop at the cafe in Shalford. Not the longest of rides but certainly a very pleasant one. I think Matt is proving to be a natural cyclist and I don’t see him having too many problems on the upcoming Paris ride.

I must remember to book the bike in for a service though – there’s way too much clicking and creaking coming from the bottom bracket area. It’s been like that on and off since it was replaced last Spring (needless to say it hadn’t been doing it before the new one) and I’m getting a bit tired of it. My ageing bones make enough noise going up hills without the bike joining the chorus in sympathy.

Friday’s Photo (15-03-2019)

Crocknorth Road, Surrey Hills

I think I mentioned in my introduction that one of my other loves is photography. I regularly stop as I’m cycling around to capture images that I caught out of the corner of my eye. To be fair, I have a better ‘eye’ than I my photography skills can live up to! I see things that appeal but often fail to capture them with a camera.

All of my photography is done with an iPhone – currently an 8. I do mess around with the pictures in Instagram or Snapseed to enhance them but it still amazes me how capable a camera can be implanted into a phone. It particularly suits my skill level – I could carry around an eye wateringly expensive DSLR with all the kit and still struggle to take a decent shot.

I think the key to photography (for me) is the basic essence of the picture and the composition. Is the picture conveying what you wanted it to? The picture above is a good example. I’ve often thought about taking a photo here as I like the ‘path’ your eyes take between the dark tree tunnel at the top down to the railway bridge at the bottom. The trees provide a perfect frame for the bridge which is the focus. In this case, managing to capture a local cyclist pushing his way up the climb (far too easily if you ask me) was a bonus.

Anyway, inspired by seeing Foto Friday post today by @pedalWORKS, I intend to regularly put up some photos that I’ve taken on this blog – I’m always happy to hear constructive criticism and tips for improvement. Hope you enjoy them.