403 miles in August

I’ve only done 403 miles during August – must try harder in September!  That’s 26hrs 20mins of riding at 15.2mph, climbing 22,714ft and using 20,992kcals of energy.

That brings my total for the year to 4,844 miles, against my primary target of 5,200 miles (see post here from January).  If I average 330 miles per month for the rest of the year then I will hopefully beat my secondary target of last years mileage of 6,157 miles.


Recreating history…

In 1929 cyclists from the National Clarion Cycling Club gathered in Lymm and the following photograph was taken

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Lymm 1929

Today, thanks to Bolton Clarion, a group of us from Bolton, North Cheshire and Stockport met to recreate the photo!

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Lymm 2011

Or if you prefer the colour original – can you spot me?!?

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Lymm 2011

Garmin 800 file transfer tips…

A while ago I posted a Beginners Guide to Routing on the Garmin 705 which was to help people create a bike ride in a site like Bikeroutetoaster or gpsies and then transfer that to their Garmin.  I also posted some first thoughts on the Garmin 800 in this post, and also some more on files in this post.  This following post is a little bit more information on some of the file structures and also the different process to transfer files on the 800 to the 705.

Mapping Sites

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I’m not going to go into detail about transferring a ride from one of the mapping sites, as that is covered in my beginners guide post mentioned above.  The sites I use have the option of transferring the gpx file directly to the device, if you have the Garmin Communicator plugin installed.  However, from time to time you may wish to use the alternate method to save files to your computer and then transfer them manually to the Garmin.  The two screenshots above show how you do this in bikeroutetoaster and gpsies – by selecting the file option.  This will save a gpx file, always called course.gpx regardless of the name you give it, to your downloads folder.  If you are doing more than one, remember to rename the file to something else.

Garmin File Structures

The following screenshots are taken from a Mac, but the structure will be the same on a PC but the windows will look different.  Here’s the root directory

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An interesting difference to the 705 is the documents directory which if you open it will contain a file called START_HERE.html.  If you double-click it you will see the following screen open in your browser

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This screen gives you access to the user manuals that are stored on the device itself.  If you click either of the links it will download the manual to your computer or open the pdf file.  A useful feature that means you always know where the manuals are if you ever want to refer back to them.

Back up at root level if you open the Garmin folder you will see the following

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On the 705 you would copy your downloaded gpx file into the courses folder.  However there are no gpx files in the courses folder on the 800 – they use a new file format called .fit files

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On the 800 do not copy your gpx file into this folder because it will not appear when you turn your 800 on.

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On the 800 you copy your gpx file to the Newfiles folder.  The next time you turn on your 800 it will automatically convert the file into the .fit format and move it into the Courses folder.

Additional Features

If you go back up to the Garmin folder you will see a file called startup.txt.  You can edit this file if you want to display any text when you switch on the 800

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You can see a number of lines in the file.  The important ones are the display line and the message line.  In the example to the left I have set display = 3s which means my message will, surprise surprise, be displayed for 3 seconds.  My message is Garmin 800 – Ade Hughes, North Cheshire Clarion, but you can put whatever you want in this sentence.

A second interesting feature is one I mentioned in my previous post about the 800.

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In the Garmin folder is a sub-folder called Backgrounds.  There is an option to set a background picture (wallpaper) on the device in MENU->Spanner->System->Display->Background, and the device has a number of pre-populated images in there.  These are 160×240 pixel jpg’s and you can make your own.  Here’s one I created from a photo of myself.  You simply save the jpg into the folder and then select it through the device as mentioned above.

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One final thing.  If you look at the side of the box the 800 came in you will see a screenshot that shows a 3D map much like those you get on your car satnav.  If you are wondering how to get your map looking like that then MENU->Spanner->System->Map->Orientation and select Automotive.  You should get 3D map view with that.  If not then in the same option menu set the Automatic Zoom to OFF.

Hope that all helps…

Perm into the Dales

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Last year I rode my first audax – Spring into the Dales.  It was a great day and really got me interested in the whole audax experience.  Unfortunately this year I was unable to ride it because I’d already committed to riding the Wrynose or Bust sportive.  So I was pleased to learn that the ride could be done as a “permanent”  A perm can be ridden at any time, so I entered and received my brevet and route instructions from Chris Crossland, and then simply rode it today on my own.

I dressed for the weather forecast – warmish clothes and expecting rain.  As it was it was really nice, with a brisk breeze, and no rain.

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6432ft of climbing

The route climbs out of Hebden Bridge for several miles and then after a terrific descent takes a few rollercoaster hills before flattening for a while.  I ate at the fantastic Daleman café in Cargrave and then looped back via Keighley before climbing the first big descent and dropping down into Hebden Bridge via the original climb out.

Really enjoyed the ride and another 2.25AAA points towards my total for the year.

Ride stats: 69 miles in 4hrs 53m @ 14.1mph.  6432ft of climbing, average HR 147bpm and 4133kcals energy used


Billy No-Mates!

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The last North Cheshire Clarion club run I went on was on the 5th June.  Since then I’ve been filling my weekends cycling longer audaxes but with August being PBP month there aren’t many on, so I had a spare day today.  I decided I’d do/run the training run so I turned up ready for an 8-45am start.  Unfortunately everybody else was out for the social ride so I had a choice to join that or head off on my own.  I wanted to get some fast miles in after last week so I decided to do my own thing.

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918ft of climbing

The ride itself was pretty good.  As a group I was superbly disciplined, the peloton flashing along the road in all my glory.  A slight breeze didn’t slow me as I took turns on the front  to drive the pace.  Too fast in fact, as I arrived at the café some 30 minutes before it opened, as confirmed by a miserable so-and-so at the front of the garden centre.  Faced with such excellent customer service I reluctantly decided not to wait.

The rest of the ride was unremarkable and I got a pretty good workout overall.

Ride stats: 43.15 miles in 2hrs 15m at 19.1mph average.  918ft of climbing, average HR 159bpm and 2167kcals energy used

Ryedale Rumble

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Not an old lady's leg

On Monday night playing football, my brain wrote a cheque that my body couldn’t cash, and I ended up going over on my ankle.  Several hours later it had swelled up to the size you can see in the photo to the left.  All week I’ve been wearing a brace, resting it and hoping the swelling would go down before today.  And so it did.  Sort of.  So at 5-30am this morning my alarm went off so that I could get over to Ampleforth to ride the Ryedale Rumble.  As Liz got up with me she gave me a supportive “I hate your bike rides” and sent me on my way.

Organisation was first class with plenty of parking and a dead quick and easy sign-on.  I set off at about 10 past 8 and pretty much straight away felt rubbish.  I put it down to me taking about 5 to 10 miles to warm up but frankly it didn’t get any better.

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9064ft of climbing

About 16 miles in we hit the first of 5 big climbs – Boltby Bank, which is in the 100 Climbs book scoring 7/10.  I stuggled up it thinking it was going to be a long and painful day.  As it was my ankle was okay but I think I was subconsciously compensating because I was starting to get pain in other places that I never normally do – the base of my foot, the muscle on the front of my shin and my hip.  The only time my ankle hurt was twisting to unclip my cleats, which had me worried about some of the steeper hills.

So I was already struggling and even the relatively flat bits of the course were full of short, sharp climbs.  The second big climb was, I believe, called Blakey Bank and it was the longest of the bunch but again, I struggled up to the top.  The descent took me across a moor with the most vicious cross-wind I’ve ever ridden in.  I was riding at about a 10˚ lean into it and still getting blown across the road.  It did cross my mind that I’d be riding into that at some point but only fleetingly as I was trying to avoid death.

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Some of the hills were frankly ridiculous – the maximum gradients above are 41%!  And that was too much for me.  At 60 miles I was absolutely shot and then what I thought was Rosedale Chimney loomed into view.  You could see this thing from about a mile away, simply going straight up .  I think the road-makers in Yorkshire basically look at a hill and decide none of this namby-pamby winding up a hill nonsense – I’ll just drive my tarmac machine straight up and straight down.  I walked up the steepest third in the middle after my legs started cramping.  After getting over the 4th big hill, which came in quick succession, I thought that was it for the day.  At 80 miles I flicked my Garmin to the gradient view and I thought it was misbehaving.  There was basically a wall approaching.  Turns out this was Rosedale Chimney, so christ knows what the other one was.  I struggled up the first third which is about 20% gradient, into a very strong headwind, and then it got really steep.  Again, I just wasn’t in the zone today and I had to get off and walk.  I was a bit disappointed but there was no way I was getting up.  When the gradient dropped to about 16% I got back on and completed the hill – but that’s one that I will have to go back to as it can’t be chalked off in the 100 climbs book.  Downhill was also into the headwind and required pedalling – it was just relentless.

The feedstop was a welcome break and with only 20-odd miles to go I was looking forward to the end.  However, the last section was completely exposed and into that headwind.  I was on my own and it was a real struggle – I was on the small ring on the flat at some points.  Mentally my head had gone at this point, I wasn’t enjoying and I just wanted it to end.  I’d been passed and dropped almost continually during the day and Easter, when I blasted round the Spring into the Highlands sportive, seemed a long, long time ago.

Anyway, I limped in and handed in my electronic timing dibber, and was rewarded with a piece of paper with my time and a certificate that said “Silver Award”.  My total time was 8hrs and 5 minutes for 111 miles which meant an average of 14mph.  It also said I was 54th out of 70 finishers*, and the current leader had done it nearly 2 hours quicker than me.  I also got a t-shirt for finishing and some hot food.  Overall I have to say that organisation was excellent but I didn’t enjoy the ride at all.  I’ve spent the summer riding long audaxes at a relatively easy pace with long stops, so trying to do a sportive at quick pace really exposed that.

Ride stats: 111 miles in 7hrs 32m at 14.7mph.  Total climb 9064ft.  Average HR 151bpm, energy used 6648kcals

*I subsequently found out that I finished 61st out of 105 riders

£39,952.60 for @TheBHF

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Got this certificate through the post today.  It seems that the group of 31 riders from London to Brussels raised a total of £39,952.60 for The British Heart Foundation.  I suspect this figure probably doesn’t include gift-aid in which case the total will be even better.  Thanks again to everyone who contributed.