With enough time having elapsed since our last outing for my legs to recover and, more importantly, for the dog’s feet to have a rest, yesterday the pair of us ventured out again for another ride in the forest.
Once more I parked the car up the road from the Oak Quarry council tip. This time I set three apps going on my phone (Endomondo, Viewranger and adding Strava for the first time) and made sure that I had set the GoPro camera to record video rather than still photos.
We headed up into the woods, arcing past the entrance to Worcester Lodge, following much the same route as last week. Then, having skirted the edges of the lodges, we headed right back down towards the fire road that runs from the back of the aforementioned rubbish tip. Crossing said fire road we carried onto another unofficial MTB route until meeting back with the fire road once more.
At this point my companion was eager to shoot down across the fire road and down the side of the hill. However, with conditions muddier than last week due to rain over the past few days, and because I was trying to take it a bit easier for her sake, as well as mine, we travelled along the fire road for a bit until we took a less gravity-inducing descent that eventually brought us out near the bottom of the various downhill paths at the back of the Pedalabikeaway complex.
There we stopped to take on water and catch our breath a little, before heading gradually uphill until reaching an early section of the Verderers’ Trail. The sun was now out, which was welcome after the somewhat overcast journey thus far.
We then laboured our way along some sections of the Verderers’ Trail – well, I laboured, the dog ran quickly trying to catch the riders up ahead and having to keep coming back to find out where I was and exactly why I was taking so long!!
Having missed out a sizeable chunk of the Verderers’ by taking a shortcut and taking another water break for the dog, we rejoined the trail until we got to near the fire road that heads up to Edge End. As the next section of the trail is quite stony I decided to head towards Edge End briefly, before turning back into the forest on a lesser-used and increasingly muddy path. It meant that we would both be in need of a bath by the time we got home but at least it was easier going on the dog’s feet!
We slowly worked our way from there towards Broadwell again, keeping off the fire roads and rocky paths as much as possible and arrived back at the car a little over an hour after we’d set off, with me suddenly and inexplicably suffering with a massive sneezing fit!
One thing I realised, reviewing the GoPro footage later, was that the chest harness that I have been using tends to show more of the view immediately in front of the bike and not as much of the more distant view as I would have liked.
The camera was as angled upwards as possible, so maybe I just don’t sit tall enough when riding? I think next time I will use the handlebar mount that I have instead and see what results I get from that.
I mentioned last week the differing data I had got from the two apps that I used then. So how did they, and the latest addition Strava, fare on this outing? Well, as you can see there is practically no difference in terms of the maps produced by all of the apps.
It’s in the actual numbers that the differences become apparent once more. Looking simply at distance and duration, Endomondo gave 6.60 miles travelled in 67 minutes. By comparison, ViewRanger claimed 6.32 miles in 67 minutes. Much closer to each other than on the previous ride, oddly enough.
Strava stated a distance of 10.6km which equates to 6.58 miles (I must figure out how to change the app to show miles!) and a moving time of 59 minutes. It’s perfectly reasonable to assume that we stopped for 7 or 8 minutes during the journey for water etc., but then it shows an elapsed time of 87 minutes, 20 minutes more than the other two apps! Which is accurate? I have no idea how to judge that really, maybe take an average of the three readings and settle for that? Hmm. Never mind, it’s the experience rather than the numbers that count and though we didn’t travel as far today (deliberately) it was still a blast – though I got the distinct impression that the dog would have liked to do much more!…