Monday 17 December 2012

Stroud 5 Valleys 50k Audax (Dec 2012)

December saw me complete the Stroud 5 Valleys 50k Audax Perm. This is a ride that I have rode on several occasions now. Each ride is not without incident.

On the way to the start I saw a dead deer on the road. Although kinda seasonal was still very sad. Rudolph must take better care!

Started at the usual Leisure Centre in Stroud and didn't stop until I reached the first 'proper' control in Haresfield. There were 2 information controls before this point but the information required was already in my head from previous jaunts. These first few hills were cycled up slowly and cycled slowly down too because although not icy, was very very wet. The new neo-guard fitted to the front of the forks worked really well and prevented any water splashing up into my face. Totally rated!
Reached the Painswick control with no real bother. Once at the control though, a Londis Shop, had to wait ages for the shop keeper to serve me. Said shop keeper looked very witch like with her aged face, wart like features and her black and silvery hair. She saw me waiting to be served but continued to talk over the phone (probably discussing spells) for an age. Just as I was about to give up waiting she served me but there was no 'sorry for keeping you waiting'.

Was happy to leave the Witch of Painswick and cycle the hardest part of my journey (in my opinion at least) to Bisley. I shot past one particular right turn and had to back track (was this the witch's doing?). Am pleased I conquered the long steep hill to reach control. The Post Office had ink this time around so my brevet card got stamped!

Left Bisley and flew down the descent to Toadsmoor Valley (sounds witch-like don't you think?). Just after turning left I saw an elderly woman who had fallen on the ground but luckily an ambulance was approaching. I think this made me miss my turn. New hills were cycled and I reached Minchinhampton all the same. It was at this control I saw a geezer on a penny-farthing!
The stretch to Nympsfield was quite dull. I often find this stretch quite boring as it's just a slow up hill climb with little in the way of scenery. At least the skies were blue as opposed to their usual grey on this occasion.

The final section always makes up for the section before. A super zoomy descent back into Stroud. No menace cows blocking the road this time either - bonus! Cycled  a total of 59k this time around, 9k was added due to mishap. I think this was my quickest time round in about 4 hours (though admittedly, I didn't stop for lunch).

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