I get 'cross

My journal of cyclocross
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"There are many exercise apps that allow you to keep track of your running, riding, and other activities. Record speed, time, elevation, and location from your phone, and millions of people do this, me included. However, when we look at activity logs, whether they be our own, from our friends, or from a public timeline, the activities only appear individually.
What about all together?"
As you can imagine - people mostly run around parks and the water areas.
Quote from an article in the Huffington Post:

"The gift of dyslexia is not the inability to read or write. It’s the incredible ability to see things from different angles. That is what makes a creative genius. The dyslexic mind approaches problems by visualizing things from all viewpoints. Literally moving their mental POV to whatever angle that helps them ‘see’ the solution.
This ability allows sculptors to ‘see’ what is inside a block of marble. It enables designer to imagine things into reality. It’s this brilliant gift that makes creativity come easily. Their problem solving ability is not a result of their challenge with words. Creative problem solving IS their gift"

I think I'm dyslexic, well, I haven't taken a test though so maybe its just proof reading laziness. I find that I'll read something maybe 2-3 times and see words I've written that are there but when someone else comes to read the words are jumbled forwards and backwards. I often write peoples names down but will write down the wrong letter or add the letter in the wrong order. I always makes mistakes when writing thank-you or birthday cards and there is no turning back once you've messed up a birthday card.
I like to read James Bond book because they are thin but often the spacing between the lines is too narrow and I have to go back and read the page again because I don't understand what is being described. I like to read James Bond because its not really more than 200 pages and that doesn't frighten me so much. A book that is really thick frightens me. 
There are other examples I can't think of right now. Hmm, I think I just might have to take my time alittle bit and slow down. 
Sometimes the day in day out it can get really boring and overly tiring.
This has happened to me with the route I use to commute to and from work. The quickest faster way is to use the Cycle Super Highway, it just so happens it the quickest faster route for everyone else too.

The bus lane is nice and wide and the cyclists aren't really doing too much harm or the cars to be fair. It is mostly the buses. Accelerating past us and then swinging in, edging forward. There feels like there is a real bad feeling vibe coming from bus drivers at the moment trying to damage the other road users.

But all the people, all the time, all the stop, start sprint. It is exhausting and I'm only cycling 6 miles home.

Recently I've started to revel in the rain. It gives me a reason to get on a packed commuter train. Now that is bad isn't it!

Two weeks ago I was waiting for the traffic lights to go green at Lambeth North when I noticed a small sign that said London Cycle Network 3 Stockwell. Instead of turning left and following the masses onto the major artery that connects Kennington with Oval I followed the sign.

These little blue signs are quite tricky to follow, they suddenly disappear or point you down pedestrian alleys, and you wonder if that's the right way.

I tried to work out my route on the fly as I cycled home but didn't really seem get it right and I popped out again at Oval Cricket Ground and had to rejoin the cycling motorway that is the A3.

Back to the drawing board, or computer screen I guess. Trying to work out the route based on the little blue signs is tough.
TFL doesn't help, in fact it doesn't acknowledge they exist and nor does Open Cycle Maps or Google.
Sustrans came to my rescue, you'll need to grab google maps too and on occasion 'street view' the turning because its not always clear. The route I take has a cycle path that cuts through between an estate near Oval, that's what I missed before.

Armed with hurridly written notes, celotaped in an uncouth manner to my stem I set out to ride where literally no-one has ridden before. I was on an urban commuting adventure and I was unsure which neighbourhood I was in as I navigate a warren of Stockwell and Kennington's residential back streets but I pop out at Clapham Common in the right place unscathed.

I stopped for traffic one maybe two times, my speed was perhaps alittle lower as I'm not riding on a wide open drag strip and the route is longer by two miles.
But on the plus side there was no need to haul on the brakes every 50 metres then sprint from a standing start to get clear of all the cycle wobblers.
It is nice to have a change and even though at the end of the day you just want to get home, I would encourage everyone to switch it up, try these little blue routes, you never know what you'll discover.

Here's the skinny on it:
A race that take in a portion of beautiful Pembrey beach before heading into a Pembrey Country Park for 9km of gravel, water, singletrack and sand.

Open to all forms of off road bike including cyclocross and a thing called a 'Fat Bike'

Race was roughly 35km which took me about 2 hours to complete.

Category positionFirst NameLast NameOverall timeLap 1Lap 2Lap 3Fat Bike?Overall Position

I finished third, after the first lap my upper body was screaming. Although I was nice an aero and cutting through the flat windy sand with ease through the lumpy singletrack wood sections of the National Park I really had to pump, push and pull the handlebars to keep momentum while riders on their carbon MTB let the suspension do that for them.

The stingy sharp ascents play in my favour but after a while the mountain bikers really started to catch me and it took alot for me to stay with some of the riders. I think if there was a long steady climb I would have carried more speed but ultimately it was a course that (by a whisper) suited the hardtail mountain bikers.

Great idea and great race and great course.
I'm glad that two months on from CX season with a bit of lack lustre training I managed to get round. It was great for building a base fitness and I hope there are more, maybe Camber Sands in Essex.

I really enjoyed the course even the 'water trap' which due to my size had me carrying my bike over my head through the deepest part.