Archive for the ‘40 km and more’ Category

Nobody believed that yesterday it’s going to be a hot day – the temperature reached 33,3 degrees. And I knew I need to get a tan for the rest part of my body, because during the unconference Cycling for Libraries I managed to tan only partly and in six days I’m going to wear a beautiful dress for my friends’ wedding. So I went for a risk and went out for a cycling.

I left home shortly before half past one and returned back shortly before six. The cycling time was three hours and thirteen minutes, and I managed a distance of 50 km. The average speed was 15,5 km per hour, but the maximums speed was 34,6 km per hour.

I didn’t know where to cycle, I just knew I needed to find a cycle route without lot of shadows. And since I didn’t want to cycle on busy roads, I cycled downstreams along the River Derwent. I passed by Alvaston Park and the turn to Elvaston Castle, till I reached the bridge to Borrowash. Here I thought I will cycle to Long Eaton once more. But suddenly I noticed a road sign to Sandiacre, and remembered there is a really nice canal path I could cycle along. So I took the Nottingham Road (B5010) to Sandiacre.

Erewash Canal and Trent & Mersey Canal

Sandiacre is situated 11 km west of Nottingham and 14,5 km east of Derby. I have visited it once during one of my cycling days. So I was sure, I will like it.

Sandiacre

Indeed, it was a really good day for cycling – it was sunny and a light wind accompanied me. Before continuing along Erewash Canal, I had an ice-cream break. 🙂 And I noticed a rowan-tree full with orange berries. Is it autumn already? 😀

Rowan-tree

I cycled from Sandiacre Lock towards Trent Lock where Erewash Canal meets Trent & Mersey Canal. I cycled along the National Cycle Network No. 67, by the way. And here it was the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station. Finally I managed to get to it really close!

Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station

I continued to cycle along Trent & Mersey Canal. But soon the canal path ended. So I need to find a solution. I knew that the canal path continues. So I decided to follow a couple of cyclists who apparently knew where they’re cycling and I felt they also like to cycle along the cycle path. Eventually, after taking some busy roads and loosing my cyclists, I managed to get back to Trent & Mersey Canal. I knew this part of canal path from my previous journeys, so I cycled towards Swarkestone Lock. I felt really hungry and both water bottles were empty, so after reaching Swarkestone Lock I cycled back to Derby along National Cycle Network No. 6.

It was a nice adventure and also a possibility to discover new cycling sites. Now I hope my skin won’t hurt too much after this active sunbathing on my bicycle.

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In the previous post I didn’t mention I have a magical ability. During my ride to Aston and Weston I was in a cross-road and took a wrong turn. I stopped and right in that moment the wind blew my hat back to the cross-road showing I need to go straight. Yes, I can talk with the wind and maybe I’m a little enchantress. Beware of me! 😀

Trent & Mersey Canal

Today I went in the same direction as yesterday (I used the National Cycle Network No. 6 again), but instead of having the turn to Aston and Weston I stayed on the right side of Trent & Mersey Canal and continued along the canal. The system of canal is really great – I was enchanted by a view how narrow-boats were travelling up and down the canal by using the canal locks. I asked the owners of Eleanor Rose how many times a day are they using the canal locks. And they said, there are days they need to use them even 20 times a day.

The canal lock: Eleanor Rose is going up

I had a really nice and relaxing day – I cycled along the canal and I thought I will reach Long Eaton, but unfortunately the path was closed just after I reached the Derwent Mouth Lock in Shardlow (a village in Derbyshire) where the Trent & Mersey Canal leaves the River Trent. The path was really narrow and wild actually. I also noticed that all the bridges crossing the canal had sequential numbers. I can proudly announce I reached the bridge No. 1. And once again I saw the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station. Just 8 km and I would reach those magical chimneys.

Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station

I returned to Derby via London Road, and actually that is the road I’m taking every time I need to get from East Midlands Airport to Derby. I don’t like to cycle on such an active roads, so I used a chance to get away from it – I took a turn towards Elvaston Castle. I’m truly glad I did it. It’s always nice to be there by the lake and listen to the birds’ songs.

Elvaston Castle

After a break and a nice conversation with one of my Cycling for Libraries friends I continued along the River Derwent towards Derby. My day was fulfilled. In total I cycled for three hours and fourteen minutes and managed a distance of 44,3 km. My average speed was 13,6 km per hour and maximum – 26,8 km per hour. And once again I was at home only after 10 p.m.

This time I managed to cycle without a map because I cycled out of the borders of my map. 😀

Yesterday I re-found my connection with Apollo Fever. We had a beautiful ride to Weston-on-Trent and Aston-on-Trent. Actually it is one of the intermediate level cycle routes offered by Cycle Derby which I found in Derby City Library.

Weston is a small rural village situated on the Trent and Mersey Canal. It contains a few buildings of historical interest and a couple of pubs.

Aston is a historical village dating back to at least 1086, which is its earliest recorded entry in the documentary book. It is a thriving village with good amenities including post office, shop, two pubs, two churches, school and sport ground.

I started my ride from the Riverside Gardens at the rear of the Council House and went down the River Derwent keeping the river to my left. I followed the cycle path until I reached Alvaston Park and turned right at the sign for National Cycle Network No. 6 to Swakerstone (a village and civil parish in Derbyshire). And I followed the cycle route.

Just a beautiful day: canal path, poppies and me

Here I realized how easy it was to follow our leader (the pathfinder Mace) without thinking which turn you should choose. I’m glad I managed to read the map, even though I needed to stop several times. I crossed several bridges, took a mixture of off-road routes along National Cycle Network paths and some quite roads.  The ride was mainly flat, but there were short sections of steep hilliness.

I had a short break at the Moorbridge Riding Stables (a riding school in Swarkestone) where I did some calls to all of my friends I miss so much. Yes, I called you, you, you and even you.. 🙂

Moorbridge Riding Stables

The weather was amazingly good and warm. So when I returned back to the cross-road where I needed to decide to take my way back to Derby or prolong my adventure, I decided to do the second option. So I turned onto National Cycle Network No. 66 and cycled to Mickleover (a suburb of Derby) via Sinfin (a southern suburb of Derby, but historically it was a separate village) and Littleover (a suburb of Derby), where I visited my exile Latvian friends who were hungry for stories of Cycling for Libraries. Tomorrow I’m going to have a coffee morning at their place, so will be busy and having a good time.

The cross-road: National Cycle Network No. 66 and 6

Oh, by the way I visited Mickleover Library and it is situated on a really interesting road – Holly End Road.

Mickleover Library

In total I cycled for three hours and twenty-three minutes and managed a distance of 47,8 km. My average speed was 14,1 km per hour and maximum – 29,1 km per hour. Not to confuse you – I started my adventure shortly after 2 p.m. and I returned home only after 10 p.m.

P.S. I wonder will I ever stop dreaming of Cycling for Libraries.
P.S.S. What are your plans for Midsummer?