Wednesday 8 May 2013

Cheltenham Olde Folks 200

Started the week by cycling a new-to-me audax event. This event was the 'Cheltenham Olde Folks 200'. As the name suggests, this was a 200k event that (officially) started in Cheltenham.

I actually started the event from the Evesham control, as this was nearer to my domicile. The ride passed through Tewkesbury, Cheltenham, Thornbury, Stonehouse, Hartpury, Upton-upon-Severn and Worcester before finishing at Evesham. A representation of my route is presented below:
On the whole, I didn't particularly rate this event. I felt it was a trifle boring and had too much in the way of busy, motorised roads. I didn't like the fact that a long stretch of the same road was cycled in both directions. I guess it it was a good ride in that it was fast and few (if any) hills were encountered.

Below are a few random thoughts I have remembered about each stage. It has taken much head scratching to recall these musings. I guess that's to be expected on a not-so-great ride.

Evesham: Good start in great weather. Hottest day this year to date. It was here that I proposed to my wife all those years ago. 

Tewkesbury: Have started so many 'Black Sheep' events from here. Made use of some cycle lanes.

Cheltenham: Got lost around here, which I so often do in Cheltenham for some reason. Found it difficult to find a suitable control.

Stonehouse: Pretty area. 

Thornbury: So near Bristol. Made me think of SJ's brother as he lives nearby. Sure I caught a glimpse of one of the Severn Bridges - gutted did not cross same. Purchased rolls from Aldi and a banana from fruit shop for lunch. Cycled a long stretch of A38 which was busy. The A38 has cycle lanes, of sorts, in that painted lines are present on the road. Even so, the A38 is quite menace. Think bike!
Hartpury: Nice roads to here. Pretty. Used Post Office for POP purposes.

Upton-upon-Severn: Funny place name I thought. More of the same (A38) to get here. Very pretty once at control. Took a well deserved stop sat next to river.

Worcester: Thought of SJ again, as she used to live here. Thought of SJ's family as they live here still. Passed Dan's bike shop. Still very hot, purchased an ice cream for POP.

Evesham: Yay, the arrivee. Cycled a total of 211k. This was a fast audax - completed in 9 hours and 50 mins.

Got sunburnt big time during this ride. Didn't use sun-block. Had a nice stew once I had gotten home, cheers SJ :)

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