Sunday, 1 December 2019

Doing not a lot......

Over this past week until today we seem to have had wall to wall rain and strong winds.....

 The campsite that we are staying on is towards the top of high ground overlooking the river Tamar and across to Cornwall.
 Any strong winds coming in from the south west can hammer across towards us and on a couple of occasions over this past week I have had to lower our pop top roof both for safety and also to make it a bit quieter for us to allow us to get a good nights sleep.

 The constant bad weather has really restricted our activities...
 We really have been doing not a lot.
 No cycling and no walking on the moor that is unless you wanted to end up completely soaked.

 Even the best wet weather gear that you can buy wouldn't have been able to keep you dry over this past week...

 Then today arrived...

 What a lovely day we have had....
Yes it has been cold but it was dry and the sun was out and it does really brighten everything up including our mood. 
 The cold I can live with much better than I can the rain.....
 Mind you having said that looking at the national weather forecasts we always seem to have some of the warmest or should I say less cold weather down here in the southwest than the rest of the country...

 The forecasts are telling me that we should be able to enjoy some more settled weather over this coming week so walking and cycling should be back on the agenda.
  Below are some images of our campsite..the lane outside the site and this evening's sunset looking over towards Cornwall.... 





Sunday, 24 November 2019

The Old Bike.....



Whenever I see an old bike I can't help but wonder on what sort of life that it might have had.

 At one time the bike in the image above would have been brand spanking new...probably sitting in a bike shop somewhere just waiting for someone to come along and purchase it.

 It would be just waiting for someone to give it some life.... after all a bike is nothing until it is ridden.
 The paintwork would have been gleaming and the chrome would have been sparkling and all shiny and new. 
The rubber handle bar grips..the saddle and the tyres would have had that brand new bike smell.

 Looking at the bike with it's rod brake levers that would probably have been sometime about the 1950s. So this old bike could have had 60+ years of being ridden along the roads....
 That could be many many miles of someone enjoying the pleasure of turning those pedals... and sitting on that saddle and listening to those wheels swooshing along the road....

 Now it is being used as an advertising feature outside a shop in the town of Chepstow.....
 However with just a little bit of TLC this bike could be restored to a serviceable and rideable condition....
 It could still have a good few years of use left in it.

 It might not be as quick and smooth as a modern bike and it might not stop as quickly with its old style braking system but it could still do what it was originally intended to do and give someone the pleasure of riding a bike.

 I have to admit that I can never understand why a lot of people feel the need to change their bikes every few years when the lifespan of a cared for bike can be many years....

 My own bikes are all about ten years old now and each one is still able to give me hours of riding pleasure....

 Maybe at some point in the future my bikes could be sitting out front of a shop somewhere being used as an advertising feature and someone else will be wondering what sort of life they have had....how many miles they have done and where they have been...  

Sunday, 17 November 2019

A Change of Perspective.....

I have been visiting Tavistock for over twenty years on a fairly regular basis indeed these coming months will be the fifth year that Anne and I have chosen to spend our winter here.

With all these long term visits I thought that I had got to know the area pretty well but the other day I had a bit of a surprise.

For the past few weeks there have been road works in Tavistock and this has resulted in long queues getting in and out of the town.

 Anne and I had decided to go into the town to do a little shopping  and Anne decided that we would go to an alternative car park than the normal one that we park in.
 This would mean a slightly different route that would avoid getting caught up in the traffic jam.

 The car park was on the other side of the river to our usual car park and provided us with a nice Riverside walk up towards Abbey bridge.....

 I had never approached the bridge from this side of the river before and as we drew closer I suddenly saw the bridge from a totally different perspective. 

From our normal parking place the bridge never seemed to look particularly attractive but by crossing the river I saw it in a whole new light.

 What a difference a change of perspective makes....

A new perspective- Abbey Bridge

A new perspective- Abbey Bridge



Sunday, 10 November 2019

Ultra Tough Bike Cover......

Sometimes I come across an item of kit for cycling or camping that I think is really useful and well made and worth sharing information about it on this blog the BTR outdoors bike cover is one such item . 




When we first started fulltiming I would keep my bike in the awning but having lost two awnings to bad Dartmoor storms in previous winters I decided last winter not to bother putting an awning up and I kept my bike in my car.
 It kept the bike nice and dry but I have to admit it was a bit of a faff every time I wanted to ride the  bike. 

This year I was determined to keep the bike outside. My plan was to keep it on the turbo so I could warm up on the bike or have a training session with the least amount of hassle. The problem was finding something to keep the bike in or under that would be tough enough to withstand the strong winds and bad weather that you can get here on Dartmoor.

 Luckily Paul who has a caravan on site pitched opposite us is also a cyclist and he showed me the BTR Cycle cover that he has been using for the past couple of years.... It is made from a really heavyweight material that is waterproof with all the seams fully sealed with waterproof tape.
 Paul assured me that it gave his bike full protection in all weathers and he fully recommended it.

 Whilst we were staying in Dorset I ordered one from Amazon. Since we have been back here in Devon we have had gale force winds and torrential rain on two occasions and I must say that the protection offered by the cover is really impressive.

 So many covers are made from flimsy material and struggle to fully cover the bike but this one is different with thick and hard-wearing material and full coverage of the bike and turbo. In fact it would cover two bikes with ease if you so wished...


The cover cost me £29.95 which I think is really good value for money... I would certainly recommend this bike cover for anyone who needs to keep a bike outdoors...just put a couple of bungees around the cover to ensure that it is fully secure and do up the clips back and front which are fitted to the cover and your bike will be fully protected.

I have no connection financial or otherwise with either the manufacturer or supplier of the BTR Outdoors Cycle Cover and I'm only sharing this information as a very satisfied customer. 

Finally don't forget to check out the latest image at my 'Aura of Past Shadows' blog. My plan is to update the image every Friday and then update Purpletraveller on a Sunday.... 
 There is a link in the sidebar to the blog....

  

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Back in Devon...

We are now back in Devon... 
In actual fact we have been here for two weeks.
 Since we have been back the weather has been very mixed although the predominant weather seems to have been rain and gale force winds.
Tavistock Town Hall

Anne heading for the Pannier Market.




The day that we left Moreton it was a nice dry day with very light winds making it a perfect towing day for the journey down here. 
We are back on the same winter seasonal pitch as we were last winter as you can see in the photo above..

 The first few days following our arrival here turned out to be settled weather which was good for setting up.

 Anne was reunited with her little Peugeot 107 which we had left at her son's house when we headed off in the spring.
 It needed a good clean but that wasn't a problem with the fair weather during those first few days.  I even managed to get the caravan washed and polished ready for the winter weather.

 It was a good job that I did those cleaning jobs when I did because the following day the bad weather moved in and has been with us ever since...

We have already visited Tavistock Pannier Market and been back to some of our favourite shops and pubs in the town. 

We will be back in Dorset again in December as I have to have another MRI scan and it will also be nice to see my daughter and family in the Christmas season although we will be back here again for Christmas itself.

Talking about MRI's and hospital appointments.... I seem to have got away with things again as my cardiologist is still allowing me to continue to ride my bike although I do have strict heart rate limits to work within..

 I have to admit that over the past three months I have not ridden the bike as often as I would have liked mainly due to the sketchy weather.
 I need to get back to some level of fitness so I will be using my turbo trainer a fair bit in order to target the areas of my cycling fitness that I think that I need to concentrate on.
 It is also easier to train on the turbo and still manage to train within my heart rate zones which until I get back to fitness is pretty important for me as I am under strict instructions not to exceed my safe zones....

  One thing that I have now started to do again is to post monochrome images on my 'Aura of Past Shadows'  photography blog.

 It is over six years since I last posted images on a regular basis on the blog.
 I think that I stopped posting due to the planning for our full time touring and just never restarted.  I thought that now would be a good time to start posting again.

 During the winter season when we are not travelling I tend to spend more time on my monochrome photography anyway and it will be nice to share some of my images and thoughts on the blog again.

There is a link from this blog to the 'Aura of Past Shadows' in the sidebar.





Sunday, 6 October 2019

Our Last Stop.....

We have now been at Moreton, our last stop on this year's tour, for a week.
 Before we left Verwood my friend Peter and his wife brought their caravan over to the site for a flying 24hr visit.
 It was nice to see them and luckily we had a dry spell that coincided perfectly with their stay.... 
The image above is of their cherry red Freedom caravan with Eva the Eriba in the background. 

Unfortunately that dry spell has not transferred across here to Moreton as since we have been here it has rained every day up to today.

 I actually managed to get out on the Tifosi for a ride this morning which was the first ride since I swapped the bikes over... 

This past week I've been really busy with lots of medical goings on...
 I have had a DNA/ gene test as well as genetic counselling in respect of my heart condition...
 I have had a treadmill stress test...which was stopped halfway through because my blood pressure shot up to 200/110.

 I have also managed to fit in my annual cancer check so I am now waiting for the result of that which always makes me feel a bit apprehensive..

 Also a ECG was completed following the treadmill stress test..
 I also have another appointment with my cardiac consultant tomorrow  due to my blood pressure'malfunction' during the treadmill test and also following on from the ECG results...

I am very concerned about this appointment as there is always the possibility that I could be told that I shouldn't ride a bike anymore and that today's ride on the Tifosi was my last bike ride ..... 





Saturday, 21 September 2019

Changeover time.....

Well since we have been here  I have managed to get out on the bike every other day... 
The weather has been really nice with some very sunny days and quite warm making for some ideal cycling weather.

I cycled around the Wimborne area quite a lot and last Sunday I had a stunning ride out to Salisbury and back.... 

We have our awning up on site which has proved useful in the evenings as they are now drawing in and the awning allows us to sit outside of the caravan quite late into the evening and yet still remain warm. 

The forecast for tomorrow and the coming week is not looking good with rain and strong winds being promised. 

With that in mind I decided today that it would be a good time to changeover my bikes. 
This morning I went over to my daughter's and packed the Felt away in its padded bag and zipped the wheels up in their wheel bags... 

I recovered the Tifosi from the depths of my bike shed and have it now standing in the awning all nice and clean and prepared for the winter ahead.... 

At least with  mudguards fitted on the Tifosi wet roads don't cause dirt and streaky lines up the back of my cycling kit which is what I would get if I rode the Felt in wet conditions . 

Only one more week left at this location before we move on to Moreton and the last three weeks of our 2019 summer touring season. 
 It will then be back to Devon....


The Awning in use again.

Short break in Cranborne on ride from Salisbury.

Wimborne Minster..