Ride no 8

ride 7

A windy one. It felt like the wind was in my face most of the ride regardless of the direction I was going. There was also a strong cross wind across the front which slowed me down considerably and made me fed up quickly. But in the end a nice trip to Shoeburyness and back taking in the train depots of both c2c and Greater Anglia (it is all rock an roll here).

As the weather warms it is nice to see more people on the front enjoying an evening stroll or jog. It is a shame some other cyclists seem to think they own the cycle lane along the front (nearly collided with one going the wrong way). Fairly sure I got lapped twice by one cyclist who obviously has a much better bike than me…

Beer, beer, beer, beer.

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Today my brother and I finally got round to brewing our first batch of beer; something we’ve been meaning to do for about 9 months.

We cheated slightly in buying a kit with a malt extract provided (the gloopy treacle like substance in the photo). The kit was very handy but did assume we’d know  certain things eg know what a hydrometer looks like and how to take a specific gravity reading.

Ultimately we have created some murky water which in just over two weeks should be drinkable ale or something that will be useful in cleaning the patio.

If successful my brother’s new utility room may become a micro-brewery.

Ride no 7

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Almost didn’t go out for this one but then got off my backside and went exploring. Rode to the bottom of the High Street and picked up a local cycle route, 53 I believe. This starts at the top of Pier Hill and runs west along the hilltop. It makes use of quiet back roads and is, in most places, clearly marked on the road (although it is quite worn in places). Unfortunately, the little blue road signs aren’t always easy to spot and so at some junctions I missed the appropriate road to continue following. The route seems to become route 56 (I think) at some point which comes from another part of town and takes one to the A13 near The Cricketers.

The council provide a handy map of the borough with each road graded for ease of cycling etc. What is missing is a map of the actual routes (such as the one I used tonight); so instead I am only discovering them by chance.

To finish off I retraced by steps a bit, criss crossed the High Street (walking my bike each time since, believe it or not, it is illegal to ride a bike there) and rode down Pier Hill – this has a cycle lane opposing the direction of car traffic. Quite helpfully at the bottom of this rather steep hill the cycle lane makes a sharp turn to the left which, at the speed you reach going down the hill, is almost unnavigable if you don’t know it is there. Then had a nice cruise along the front before heading up to Royal Artillery Way which is a gradual but challenging hill, for me anyway.

Just before Pier Hill saw this lovely view of the Pier. Photo doesn’t really do it justice.16563240022_e77a95621c_o

Lenten Fast

And so Lent approaches once more. I try to give up something each year.

In the past it was alcohol but I don’t drink as much as once I did and so I wouldn’t miss it and the daily lattes are a thing of the past due to an office move.

This year I have decided to give up LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter – all of which I will miss. This I feel will give some empathy with JC and his 40 days in the wilderness…

I will continue to blog and since this automatically updates to other sites it may appear I have been there but it isn’t really me, it’s just Skynet.

Bike ride no 6

ride 10 2

Back to the cycling. Weather seems to be milder and hills not as much trouble as they used to be. Perhaps Southend has become flatter.

Tried out some minor roads and found quite a nice route to the A127 which joins up with the cycle lanes there, avoiding the bits where you’re meant to cycle in the road. Cycled past a few schools and the hospital and there are some nice set ups for cyclists along this route.

Really noticed the fact that Southend has a valley running through it. Uphill from the Front, then down to the Prittle, then up again.

Another 46 of these and Karen owes me a pint.

Good evening dancing ladies…

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No bike ride this week (was ill last week and still not feeling 100%) so I thought I’d bore you with the stove.

I have successfully had it running since Sat 24th, generally only needing to tend it in the morning and evening. However, ’twas quite low at times so I now revive it once home and run it a bit hotter and then charge it up before bed.

This has really helped – the morning revive is a lot easier and quicker and the kitchen is toasty warm at 6am. And subsequently the night time revive generates the lovely dancing ladies in the picture (the blue flames).

It does seem there is a virtuous circle to this! One can really feel the benefit of the stove in the house now it is running well.