2023 - Our Rides in Words, Photos, Maps and Videos

10,000 km Cycled YTD :)

The weather did not quite want to agree with its forecast on the Saturday Oct 21, 2023 morning! A warm and dry day was promised but when I started the actual ride on my Vado SL around 10 a.m, it was cold (like 10 C or 50 F) with occasional drizzle!

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When I was blowing a kiss to @Brix at 12:31 p.m., it was cold. The next six minutes saw the total weather change to sunny, warm, dry and almost windless!

Jerzy arrived soon, and we both rode southwards. As I was pedalling my e-bike in the symbolic 35/35% SL ECO assistance before, now I rode totally unassisted! My consistent workouts have started bringing the fruit. As we were riding gravel, I yelled 'Now let us have some proper gravel workout!' and I spun the cranks, to spurt forward at high speed! Only I was saying it to an innocent stranger rider who I was taking over :D I said 'Sorry man, it was not to you!' :D (It later turned out Jerzy was saying something to that man too, as my friend thought that was me!) :D

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It is off-season now, and the only open cycling bar we met en route was the Full (like in the "full suspension MTB") in Gassy. Jerzy took a cup of coffee, and I was fighting to reorganise my pannier contents... to get access to my nutrients (more on that later). My pannier was now full of winter clothes!

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Traditionally, we took the Gassy ferry to get to the right bank of the Vistula. See how sandy the "Queen of Polish Rivers" is!

As we got past the Southern Bridge again, we said good-byes with Jerzy as my friend felt it was getting cold again, and he did not want to risk catching pneumonia. I stopped at a Shell service station. Shell is the only petrol station network in Poland to offer the notorious Carolina Reaper hot chili sause to their hot-dogs. As I learned how spicy Carolina was on one of my earlier trips, I asked the man serving the hot-dog for 'a lot of ketchup with a symbolic amount of Carolina' to which he laughed and said 'Symbolic? Like, two spoons?' :D Oh, it hurt again, haha! However, capsaicin did me good: I felt hot and eager to ride more!

I turned the low assistance on only after 30 km of unassisted ride. I was losing my motivation but thought to myself 'So you have already ridden for 10,000 km this year, why to make a really long ride? Oh, don't be a sissy! It's going to be pouring tomorrow! Ride on!' and I rode on all the way North.

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17:11. At the Żerań MUP-bridge (which is parallel to the Vistula).

A word on proper nutrition and hydration. No doubt your legs hurt on a long, lowly assisted ride. An energy bar (or two) with a lot of drink will make miracles! The wind had completely relented, and I was riding at night, surprised with the recovered strength of my legs! Now, everything around disappeared in dense fog... My pannier got completely covered with condensation! As I reached home at 20:00, I was glad to complete that important ride safely!

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The ride I am so proud of!

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My performance Year-To-Date.


I did a little calculation of the assistance used for the ride:
  • 30 km unassisted. 18 Wh of the battery used for the lighting and the system operation
  • 86 km ridden assisted with 196 Wh of the battery. 2.27 Wh/km means a very low assistance. My 100 W of leg power were assisted with 63 W of the motor power, and the maximum motor assistance was capped at 72 W mechanical. Maximum estimated range 126 km on the main SL battery!!!
 
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It has been on my mind, watching long rides like yours and YouTubers doing 100km rides over mountain tracks.
My bike is all power, but 30 miles and its empty.
The diminishing returns from increasing battery power and the resultant weight.

I need a low power superlight ebike that forces me to dig into my legs and I've sort of started building it.
 
10,000 km Cycled YTD :)

The weather did not quite want to agree with its forecast on the Saturday Oct 21, 2023 morning! A warm and dry day was promised but when I started the actual ride on my Vado SL around 10 a.m, it was cold (like 10 C or 50 F) with occasional drizzle!

View attachment 165143
When I was blowing a kiss to @Brix at 12:31 p.m., it was cold. The next six minutes saw the total weather change to sunny, warm, dry and almost windless!

Jerzy arrived soon, and we both rode southwards. As I was pedalling my e-bike in the symbolic 35/35% SL ECO assistance before, now I rode totally unassisted! My consistent workouts have started bringing the fruit. As we were riding gravel, I yelled 'Now let us have some proper gravel workout!' and I spun the cranks, to spurt forward at high speed! Only I was saying it to an innocent stranger rider who I was taking over :D I said 'Sorry man, it was not to you!' :D (It later turned out Jerzy was saying something to that man too, as my friend thought that was me!) :D

View attachment 165151
It is off-season now, and the only open cycling bar we met en route was the Full (like in the "full suspension MTB") in Gassy. Jerzy took a cup of coffee, and I was fighting to reorganise my pannier contents... to get access to my nutrients (more on that later). My pannier was now full of winter clothes!

View attachment 165152
Traditionally, we took the Gassy ferry to get to the right bank of the Vistula. See how sandy the "Queen of Polish Rivers" is!

As we got past the Southern Bridge again, we said good-byes with Jerzy as my friend felt it was getting cold again, and he did not want to risk catching pneumonia. I stopped at a Shell service station. Shell is the only petrol station network in Poland to offer the notorious Carolina Reaper hot chili sause to their hot-dogs. As I learned how spicy Carolina was on one of my earlier trips, I asked the man serving the hot-dog for 'a lot of ketchup with a symbolic amount of Carolina' to which he laughed and said 'Symbolic? Like, two spoons?' :D Oh, it hurt again, haha! However, capsaicin did me good: I felt hot and eager to ride more!

I turned the low assistance on only after 30 km of unassisted ride. I was losing my motivation but thought to myself 'So you have already ridden for 10,000 km this year, why to make a really long ride? Oh, don't be a sissy! It's going to be pouring tomorrow! Ride on!' and I rode on all the way North.

View attachment 165153
17:11. At the Żerań MUP-bridge (which is parallel to the Vistula).

A word on proper nutrition and hydration. No doubt your legs hurt on a long, lowly assisted ride. An energy bar (or two) with a lot of drink will make miracles! The wind had completely relented, and I was riding at night, surprised with the recovered strength of my legs! Now, everything around disappeared in dense fog... My pannier got completely covered with condensation! As I reached home at 20:00, I was glad to complete that important ride safely!

View attachment 165154
The ride I am so proud of!

View attachment 165155
My performance Year-To-Date.


I did a little calculation of the assistance used for the ride:
  • 30 km unassisted. 18 Wh of the battery used for the lighting and the system operation
  • 86 km ridden assisted with 196 Wh of the battery. 2.27 Wh/km means a very low assistance. My 100 W of leg power were assisted with 63 W of the motor power, and the maximum motor assistance was capped at 72 W mechanical. Maximum estimated range 126 km on the main SL battery!!!
Congrats on hitting the 10k mark--I'll be doing well to hit the 2k mark this year LOL.
 
With snow set to fly on Monday, I hit a trio of local trails yesterday with little thought of the inevitable. It was a crisp fall day, overcast and a touch on the cool side…perfect conditions for a ride and that’s all that mattered.

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Started out riding this skinny at Garden Heights.

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The single along the Bench trail was more active than what I’m accustomed to but perhaps others were anxious to get one last ride in over the weekend.

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In contrast, I was left alone to ride the rooty single at the Pines right to the very end of the trail.

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A fallen tree partially blocked the trail as I made my way along the Heritage Ranch Loop. If it wasn’t for the limbs and branches, it would have been a clean pass.

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I might have been better off in Grizzly country. 🫣

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A brief pause to take in the view above the banks of the local tributary.

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My ride along the Heritage Loop culminated where it began, at the Ranch.
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I might have been better off in Grizzly country. 🫣
These Sasquatch signs are hilarious!

In contrast, I was left alone to ride the rooty single at the Pines right to the very end of the trail.
It has been a long time since I could ride tree-roots on a full suspension e-MTB. How does it feel? Tell me about your impressions!
 
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After almost a week of insane weather I finally managed to get out and it was a glorious day, this was my first Sunday ride for almost a month so that made me very happy!:D I was fully expecting floods but only came across one which really surprised me! I used the stairs, I was thinking about going for it until I saw a car go through it...it was over a foot deep! I was hoping to get a 75 mile ride done today to reach 5000 for the year but due to time constraints I only managed just under 65!

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Technically it wasn't actually a flood as its a ford but its normally much lower than this! Anyway back to the ride, it started with a frost so I brought out my heated gloves for the first time and I was glad I did as I can use my phone for photos without taking them off! I used the main A73 from home all the way down to Lanark, a road I normally only use on a Sunday as its a crazy road on a week day! Just before arriving in Lanark I grabbed my first photos, you can see how nice a day it was!

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I passed through Lanark and stopped at Lanark Loch for more photos and it was nice to see quite a few swans this time, they have been missing a lot of this year!

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I continued on the A73 down to Hyndford and stayed on it all the way to Symington, its such a great road to ride on a Sunday!

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I stopped here for a snack and the cows decided they wanted their share...they were at the fence within seconds!😂

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A few miles later I was passing the parking lot for the Tinto Hills hike, I'm sure the hikers enjoyed it today with the blue skies and light winds!

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Soon the Pentland Hills also came into view and they were looking incedible also!

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I passed through Symington and enjoyed the descent through the village, then passed over the River Clyde which was looking surpisingly low after the monsoon rain recently!

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I was now nearing Biggar where I would turn north to Elsrickle, the nice views just continued all the way!

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This is looking north just before Elsrickle!

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Lovely views to the south also!

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I really love this view of the Pentland Hills!

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After these photos I got to enjoy the huge descent into Elsrickle, well its a descent followed by a big climb and I hit 40.8mph on this one! I didn't actually go through the village though as I turned northwest towards Newbigging, enjoying one of my favourite roads which is the A721! Its very twisty, especially at this part which is a fast descent even though it looks almost flat here...this is also followed by a lovely long straight descent!

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After Newbigging I had the big climb up to Carnwath but I turned off the main road at Kaimend and joined the quiet back road to Auchengray, which is another amazing road with big climbs and fast descents and I don't think I stopped smiling all the way to Auchengray!:D At the bottom of the road I had a choice of directions and decided to turn north up through Braehead, another big climb followed by a cracking descent!

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From Braehead I enjoyed the big descent down to Wilsontown, which is quickly followed by a big climb but I turned off before the steep part and took the back road to Forth which is where I crossed the deep ford! The climb after the ford is also pretty steep and at the end of the road I went straight through the junction to take on another big climb up through Climpy! The good thing about this climb is the big descents back down to the A71, where I turned west towards Shotts and continued through the town to take the awesome descent down to Allanton! From there I stayed on the back roads to Hareshaw and joined the main road to Newhouse and finally on to the A73 again and it was a straight road back home from here!

It was so good to get out again and having such nice weather was a real bonus at this time of year, we actually have an ice warning for tomorrow morning but it looks like we might get milder weather for the rest of the week!

Congrats on reaching 10,000km Stefan, amazing effort!👍 @Stefan Mikes I don't think I will reach that milestone this year unless the weather is good to me, that will be a no then!😂 I have a good chance of beating last years 5807 miles though!
 

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These Sasquatch signs are hilarious!


It has been a long time since I could ride tree-roots on a full suspension e-MTB. How does it feel? Tell me about your impressions!
As a lighter rider I run 150psi/55psi on rear/front respectively on most of the local trails with rebound damping on the higher end. If I feel like I’m losing traction or sensing a bit of chatter I’ll dial it back a couple of notches. If it feels like it’s packing then up. I have the damping where I feel that it suits more my style of riding and the rooty terrain that is generally common on the trails here.

Speaking of which, I hit the singles again today with a buddy of mine. It was 0 C when we departed and I decided that it was time to break out the extra layers. An insulated jacket, balaclava and warmer gloves for added warmth completed my ensemble.

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Got away without having to pay for stumpage fees. ;)

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