Kettlewell to Ilkley

Yesterday I made it up to Kettlewell, which is the furthest I’ve ridden for a long while. I had an operation on my hip this May, which went reasonably well. I still have a few persistent niggles, so it is a bit start and stop. But, yesterday was an enjoyable ride.

On a good September afternoon, with a light tailwind pushing you along – the run from Kettlewell, Grassington, Burnsall, Ilkley, Menston is one of the great joys of cycling. A few short hills, long winding fast descents. If you have the power to get up the little drags, you can really fly home as the amazing scenery wizzes by. Some of the run from Burnsall look different to the last time I was up here as trees have been chopped down on one side and have grown on the other.

It wasn’t all plain sailing, my Shimano Dura-Ace battery started to die on the way out. I don’t think I’ve charged it up all year. The problem with not cycling very much is you get out of the habit. I don’t think I’ve changed the chain for two years… But it seems to keep moving.

Anyway, Shimano’s designers did a great job of cutting off power to front shifter but still leaving you the rear shifter for a while. So I could go home on the 39. But, even so, I thought I should be conservative with gear changes, in case the rear one packed up too. It made me try harder up steep drags before trying to get it back in the 11 sprocket for the descents. After Ilkley, I met a guy plodding along quite fast, and when I caught him he stuck to my wheel – so you get an incentive to try and show off and cycle fast and faster. It was great fun going down Burley bypass in 39*11. We said goodbye at the end of the bypass, then I cycled very slowly up the little drag to Menston, starting to pay for the afternoon’s excitement, but it was worth it for the buzz of flying back.

I uploaded my ride to Strava, but my Garmin 130 is starting to fail. To get it to start I have to hard reset and delete all rides. But, now the GPS is failing too so I couldn’t see any segments – just a straight line. It’s a shame because the Garmin 130 was a good little machine. But, I never seem to have the best of luck with Garmins – they always seem to start failing a few weeks after the 12-month warranty ends. I’ve been in tortuous conversation with Garmin help. They take about two days to respond, and then end up often repeating the advice of two days ago – it inches forward very slowly; I think they want you to give up and just buy another.

[An hour after publication, Garmin offered to replace the Garmin 130! So it might be worth the wait]

Anyway, the inability to look at meaningless strava segments paled into comparison of being on the bicycle.

4 thoughts on “Kettlewell to Ilkley”

  1. I got fed up with Garmin too. I have had an couple of units, and both in the end would not upload without lots of plugging and unplugging and reconnecting.

    Last year I bought a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt and boy is that thing nice to use. The battery lasts forever. It gets a GPS fix in a very short time, and it pairs with my phone, or can use WiFi, so the ride is uploaded before I’m even back in the house. Unlike the garmin it is happy with the different cadence and speed sensors, power meters and heart rate monitors I use on different setups. On the Garmin I had to manually switch bikes. The Elemnt just figures it out. Get one you won’t regret it.

    Love reading your posts. I grew up in Leeds and used to ride out into the hills and dales in my youth. Now I live in the USA (near Boston MA), and miss that scenery and the hills.


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