Archive for the ‘20 to 39 km’ Category

June in Riga

Posted: July 14, 2012 in 20 to 39 km, Up to 19 km
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I was in Riga and I cycled! Two lovely things to do. I don’t have my own bike there, so I borrowed one from my friend. It was a challenging thing to do because his bike was pretty large as it was purchased for a 1.90 m tall man. And I’m only 1.60 m tall. Can you feel the difference? ūüėÄ Nevertheless, it was an unusual experience. But at least I felt safe cause I cycled with my friend who was leading and supporting me all the way.

First we cycled from MeŇĺciems¬†(G) to Berń£i¬†(B). It was raining so we got us raincoats. And here we go – two ladies with yellow raincoats. As it was also windy, we looked like two big balloons on bicycles. Next point was ńĆiekurkalns (C),¬†then Teika (D), followed by a ride through the Biń∑ernieki forest (E). Eventually, we ended at the Biń∑ernieki race track where contestants¬†trained for the¬†Eastern European Drift Championship 2nd stage. That day we cycled about three hours and accomplished a distance of 26 km. Pretty good for a rainy city ride!

As the next day was sunny, we decided to have a second ride to Berń£i. This time we cycled only¬†15 km.¬†We enjoyed the sunny day in a garden. And also mosquito did so.

Altogether I spent three lovely weeks in Latvia. I met my friends and family. Enjoyed being home and also celebrated Midsummer.

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According to my blog, the last day I cycled was October 16. It’s quite a long time, huh. So I decided to kick myself out of my cozy nest and have a ride. It was March 21, when I decided to visit my Latvian friends in Mickleover. The morning was coldish and I knew that all the way to Mickleover I will have to cycle uphill. That was quite a big challenge, especially because of the fact it was my first day of cycling. My bike computer didn’t work, because the computer wire was¬†damaged. And it is only natural that you can’t expect a miracle, if you lend your bicycle for someone else. It took me a little more than usual to reach Mickleover. I cycled cautiously (AKA slowly) and also uphill wasn’t a piece of cake. At least the way back was easy and fast enough. Altogether I cycled a little more than¬†10 km.

Photo: Martin Fisch (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The next week I had a visitor, my friend Ella. She really¬†likes shopping and that is of a great value, because in a very magical way she always manages to find something also for me. I got really nice¬†shoes, a dress and some nice cardigans for the summer time.¬†So the first day we did a shopping marathon until all our money was gone. As the result it was crystal clear that on March 28 we’re going to cycle. The weather was really great – warm and sunny. So I took Ella to the Elvaston Castle. We cycled a little more than 20 km. It was her first cycling day, so I really admire her endurance and avanturistic spirit.

Ella's visit to Elvaston Castle

These two days of cycling are my first steps to a bigger goal. I have made a decision – this season I’m going to cycle to Loughborough¬†(40 km in one way). I almost did it the previous time (in August), but I run out of water and got confused in finding the right way. So this year I’m going to prepare better: 1) I will prepare a proper map (it wasn’t really reasonable to try to find the way just like that; however, it was a¬†spontaneous¬†ride without knowing I’m going to cycle a long distance, so eventually it was a great adventure); and 2) I will take plenty of water and food with me. But first, I need to practice on a little shorter cycle routes. ūüôā

Yesterday I was amazingly¬†happy! First, I cycled along the¬†Trent &¬†Mersey Canal, and, secondly, I finally reached a power station. Well, it was not the¬†Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station, but the¬†Willington Power Station¬†(coordinates: 52¬į 51′ 21.6″ N 1¬į 32′ 26.6″ W).

Willington Power Station: the remaining huge cooling towers known as the Five Brothers

The coal-fired¬†power¬†stations were built on a site off Twyford Road, between¬†Willington¬†and¬†Findern¬†(villages in south¬†Derbyshire). The¬†Power¬†Station¬†was, in fact, two almost entirely independent generating stations situated on the same site.¬†With separate management and staff, the few facilities they shared amounted to the coal and water supply. The two stations were designated Willington ‚ÄúA‚ÄĚ and Willington ‚ÄúB‚ÄĚ. The Trent valley, with its obvious water supply and proximity to the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire coal fields, was an ideal choice. An extensive, although already clogged, railway system was also on hand to move the coal from pit head to¬†power¬†station.

It was built in the 1950s and closed in the 1990s (Willington ‚ÄúA‚ÄĚ was closed in 1995, but¬†Willington ‚ÄúB‚ÄĚ – in 1999). Nowadays five imposing cooling towers, known as the Five Brothers, continue to dominate the skyline of the local area. They are 300 feet high and have a 218 feet diameter at the base.

I don’t know why, but the industry like railway system, old power stations or airfields fill me with enthusiasm. I remember a strategy game “Shortline¬†Railroad”. I could play it all day long.

Shortline Railroad

Shortline is a real-time railroad management game that is easy to learn, fun to play, and quite addictive. The point of the game is to build rail lines, complete with signals and switches, and run trains over these lines. The problem is, you only control the signals and switches, not the trains themselves, and you must keep these trains from bumping into each other.

Enough of memories, will tell you about my ride! ūüėČ

I started my ride from Normanton Road. How I hate cycling there! It is the most busiest and dangerous road for cycling ever. Well, it was the only way to reach the St. Chad’s Street. My aim was to reach Findern. So I cycled along St. Chad’s Street, Carlton Road, Valley Road, Brooklands Drive, Willson Road and Moorway Lane. And finally I took a straight cycle path towards Findern.¬†I assume I passed by a house where Latvians could be living. That is so nice to pick up a name of “Rńęga” for their house.

"Rńęga 28"

I also crossed a bridge which was not a bridge really, but a construction of pipes.

Construction of pipes

And also I managed to catch a feeling of Midsummer. I saw white dropworts, violet bird’s tares and jasmines.

Dropworts

This time I had a chance to cycle along a different part of Trent & Mersey Canal: from Stenson Lock (it is claimed to be the deepest on the canal) to Swarkestone Lock. I returned to Derby the same way I got to Swarkestone during the ride to Aston and Weston. That means I cycled along the National Cycle Network No. 6 until I reached the River Derwent.

I cycled for one hour and forty-eight minutes and managed a distance of 26,4 km (average speed: 14,5 km per hour, maximum speed: 32,2 km per hour).