Saturday, 4 August 2012

Better Wood Sandpiper pics & some healthy competition

Well, I say better, but still not that great! The light was bad (slightly backlit bird for most of the pics; I had to put the camera in full manual mode and play around with ISO and exposure compensation settings until the result looked mildly representative of the bird) and the distance of the bird from me was significantly greater than desired. Stunning birds though! Both were still present by early evening (3rd August). Here's a couple of pics:

Now onto something that's not wildlife related. I think the majority of the readers of my blog also read Gavin Haig's blog, and his recent cycling-orientated posts have inspired me to start using Strava to see how I compare to other cyclists in the area. I thought I'd start out by trying the Seaton-Axmouth segment, where you need to ride as fast as possible from the bridge at the mouth of the Axe, to Coronation Corner. The wind today was easterly so it was blowing from the right. I don't think this was too detrimental to my time, although no wind would have been preferable (or a southerly but that would be cheating in my eyes). I headed out after work to give the sprint a go. Here's the result (first ever attempt at a sprint this long):

5th out of 76, not bad! The interesting bit of info for you here is that not only was this done in heavy clothing (I wasn't embarrassing myself with figure-hugging lycra), but I was riding a MOUNTAIN BIKE. I rode home and swapped over to my road bike (cheap and heavy, Carrera Virtuoso) and achieved this:

3rd. This included having to slow down whilst a car pulled over in front of me. Pretty sure getting to the top of the leaderboard is within reach fairly comfortably :). Sprinting I can do. Hill climb segments?? Hmm, no thank you!

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