Using the WWW to plan a cycle ride (on a rainy day…)

Another day of 'filthy' weather, to borrow the phrase used by a BBC Breakfast presenter during the week. Today the Hull & East Riding CTC were supposed to have a cycle ride around the Humber. I have a few too many jobs to do – and, of course, the weather is awful. I'm hoping to make it out on a rare midweek ride on Wednesday. After wasting time this morning looking out of the window waiting for a gap in the bad weather to take Blaze for a walk (it didn't come) I saw this image in the front garden (ALERT: bad pun warning). And so to a web of another sort...

garden_spider_web

Rain droplets caught in a web in the garden this morning. Is it just me, or do there seem to be more spiders about these days?

... isn't the world wide web a wonderful thing? Even Boris Johnson reckons it's right up there with the printing press and the bicycle in terms of its importance as an invention. A few minutes and you can put together a short ride of half-remembered roads using online mapping software. I use MapMyRide.com, which sits on top of Google Maps, but there are many other similar sites available. Perhaps some day I will take advantage of the facilities of a cycle GPS and download the .gpx file that is automatically created.

A long time ago, when I worked in an accounts department, we would verify mileage claims using a map pinned to the wall and a piece of string. (I wonder if people still do that?) However did we manage to plan cycle routes in the olden days, and work out the mileage? Okay, with some maps. But it is so easy now to share information online. The following is a cycle loop from Skipton I will suggest to Patrick that we ride this week, weather permitting. (There's also the option of a longer bit that takes in Kettlewell, and the delightful Zarina's tea room – if it's open.)

skipton_loop_map-my-ride

Last Friday I checked this coming Wednesday's weather for North Yorkshire. It was supposed to be 'sunny'. Unfortunately (or fortunately, I suppose) these things are updated regularly. Looks like another airing for the wet weather gear...

bbc_weather_skipton_october_6_2010

8 comments on “Using the WWW to plan a cycle ride (on a rainy day…)”

  1. Garry Lee wrote:

    I find Metcheck.com the best and most detailed weather forecast for cycling. If you haven't tried it, give it a go!
    Wouldn't mind doing the Yorkshire trip. I've been there three times. Love it!

  2. Hilary wrote:

    BBC forecasts seem pretty changeable. Yesterday the forecast for Monday was gloriously sunny but heavy rain on Tuesday. Now the forecast is cloudy for both days. It was forecast to rain all day today but by the time I'd watched the World Road Race champs it had stopped and I was suitably inspired to get a quick ride in. :)

  3. Chris wrote:

    Garry wrote: Wouldn't mind doing the Yorkshire trip.

    The more the merrier as far as I'm concerned! I need an early start (about 9.00am) from Skipton or Ilkley – and be done by about 1.00pm – so that I can get back to pick up Kate from work. According to Metcheck.com the worst of the weather will be reserved for between those times. The BBC just reckons that the weather will be 'unsettled'...

  4. Patrick wrote:

    According to Metcheck, Wednesday is CBS (clear blue sky). Chris's route is now on my Garmin and I'm booked into Skipton Travelodge so I can be ready for 9.00am (early mornings and me absolutely don't mix). It's a family room, so Garry can join me if he wishes! Or Chris (too)? It has three beds.

    October is the spider season. They come in from the cold and always appear in exactly the same place in the house, year after year. Right next to my computer. Very strange.

  5. Chris wrote:

    I'm on the school run so I can't stay over, thank you. The weather isn't putting me off: I've just noticed that on Metcheck.com the prediction has changed and the sun is now poking out from behind a cloud in the late morning rather than there being rain :smile:

  6. Patrick wrote:

    Lovely route Chris.

    Avg Moving Speed: 11.9 mph

    Note! Garmin Connect will be unavailable due to maintenance on Thursday, October 7, from 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM Central Daylight Time (GMT/UTC -5).

  7. Chris wrote:

    Cheers, Patrick. I enjoyed the ride, too. Here's a jolly picture of Thorpe Lane from today:

    thorpe_lane

    I did say it was narrow, didn't I?

  8. Patrick wrote:

    Gosh, he looks fit! And yes you did. Thorpe Lane is a pearl.

    Chris wrote: ... isn't the world wide web a wonderful thing? Even Boris Johnson reckons it's right up there with the printing press and the bicycle in terms of its importance as an invention. A few minutes and you can put together a short ride of half-remembered roads using online mapping software.

    Unfortunately neither the web nor the bicycle (nor Boris) has reduced the amount of cars on British roads. On the way to Skipton in the early morning, Chris was delayed an hour when rain brought traffic to a standstill on the M62, and I lost an hour on the way home because something (I never saw what) brought traffic to a standstill on the M65 near Burnley. So I came off the motorway and got stuck for half an hour trying to get through Burnley then another half hour in a succession of blockages in every town on the way back to Bolton.

    In contrast, the country roads in the Yorkshire Dales were a joy to cycle on, and me and Chris could often cycle side by side with hardly a car going by for miles.

    I'm thankful I don't have to drive to work, or even drive much at all. Transportation in the UK is a mess and there's no sign of a solution. Why does the public not rise up against being forced to sit in traffic jams for hours on end? Obviously it never will. A couple of years ago 'the people' voted against a congestion charge in Manchester!

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