Saturday, 16 January 2010

Audax awareness and Scotty's first TROAD

Is only 3 weeks till my first audax event! Got an email today detailing the route and providing useful information. The good news is that there are 3 'controls', otherwise known as 'cafe or tea room stops'! Woo hoo! On the downside, it is 123k on poor tired legs. But on the plus side again, there is free food on completion of the event! The route looks pretty awesome and is divided into 3 stages (hence the 3 controls). These stages are Hartlebury to Upton, Upton to Evesham, and Evesham to Hartlebury. I remember Ron telling me all about 'audax etiquette' and our subsequent mudguard purchases. Wise old Ron, the email itself stated 'in wet conditions, as a courtesy to other riders and cafe owners, the use of mudguards is strongly recommended'. With the audax in mind and without further ado I took Scotty out for her first 'TROAD' run today with Ron and Jon (Scotty wont be doing the audax, that'll be my road bike). To be fair, this was a 'TROAD variation' route. We took a variation mostly because everywhere was incredibly flooded and patches of ice were common-place. I wouldn't be able to do a solo TROAD yet as I am still quite unfamiliar with the route. Ron, who is familiar with the route, nearly missed a turning, which incidently was called 'blind lane'. The first part of the route took us from Studley and into Ullenhall (mostly following the start to the 'deer' route), where after just 5 miles Ron punctured. I attempted to help out by inflating the damaged tube but ended up pulling the tube valve off in my pump - was a good job a puncture hole was actually present! Once back on the move again we kept weaving into and out of places that were familair and unfamailiar with me. Part of this variation route took us onto road that I cycled yesterday, on the way home from the bike shop (which is also my way into work). Am pretty convinced we skirted around Beoley and Kings Norton and somehow managed to come out into Alvechurch. From Alvechurch we headed to the Forge Mill in Redditch where we followed the Millers trail to Arrow Valley lake. This trail was awesome. It was covered in a layer of slushy ice and passed over several small bridges. Some of the trail was not visible as the river has burst it's banks and was covering the ground before us. From Arrow Valley lake we followed the cycle path all the way back to Studley over much slushy ice again. Ron and Jon were definately 'back-sliding'!

Cycled a distance of 25 miles at an average speed of 11.2 mph and a max of 33.2 mph.

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