During the week, a group of 4 super hero's assembled to complete the Yatmon 150k audax experience. The super hero's included Doo (the author), 'Rocket' Ron, 'Lots of points' Lou and Mark Weaver 'the Diva'. Sadly 2 further super hero's were unable to complete said mission - Dave 'the Meekon' was assigned elsewhere and Mark Rigby (codename Black sheep) was responsible for stamping control passes and finding a suitable pub for celebratory purposes.
Doo awoke quite early that morning feeling a little rough. He tried to keep his whinging and whining to a minimum. First mission was to collect Ron and then head for a pre-breakfast. Ron had no kitchen and Doo had no milk, eggs, bread or cereal. After a fuel up at Maccy D's, the Rocket and Doo felt ready for adventure and headed for the next stop - destination Black Sheep HQ.
At Black sheep HQ, most of the super hero's assembled together and made ready their machines. Indeed, this is where Mr Weaver 'the Diva' met captain Black Sheep for the first time. We learnt that Black sheep had already released Lou and after issuing and/or stamping our control passes, we followed. Lou took on the role as 'control carrot' and it was a sub-mission to catch this 'carrot' before breakfast. I guess the others took on the role as 'donkeys'.
It was a nice day for a mission. Wintry it was but not too cold and not too wet. Doo and Ron had taken precautions and were layered up for a freezing day. Top layers were soon removed at the first control in Mitcheldean. This control and subsequent controls up until Monmouth proved interesting in that the control staff would give us coded messages (from the carrot) to break. We deciphered that the carrot was about 30 minutes ahead of us at this control.
I left the control just moments before Ron and Mr Weaver as I wanted to take photographic evidence of the red, yellow and orange leaves I saw at Mitcheldean on an earlier mission. Most of the leaves had now fallen. Still, some colour was left (which made me think momentarily about the Meekon) and was worthy of a picture.
|Tree's the colour of Meekon|
|Ron and Mark (W) just past Mitcheldean|
Up and over Yat Rock required probably the most energy during the mission. Ron and Mr Weaver didn't trust my 'once over the summit, it's down hill all the way to Monmouth' comments - and rightly so. A few little climbs here and a pull there was required before we reached the 5 Acres garage. Message deciphered - we had to reach next control before breakfast would be all eaten up.
Not too far into the next stage and we found the descent that I had been bigging up. The road was a little damp but we flew down it all the same. Down, down, down into Monmouth. We lost Ron who rocketed over the lights but were soon re-united once they had turned green. Ron had to wait for me - I knew where the control was. At control, we knew we had caught the carrot because her machine was parked outside. The Monmouth control was a Wetherspoons ('spoons') pub which was just awesome. We caught up with Lou inside (if truth be known, she waited) whilst we munched over breakfast.
As a group of 4 we left Monmouth and headed for Grosmont. We passed the infamous Rockfield recording studios where the likes of Led Zepellin et al had recorded material. Surprised Mark Weaver our Diva wasn't so interested. At about the half way point we had ideas of sacrificing the diva at the Stone Circle. Lucky for Mr Weaver, we had a taste for cake and could hear the next control beckoning us. Sure enough, we had plenty of cake at the control in Grosmont. The super hero's all felt good for their continued support at this cafe but sadly it is not likely to stop the demise of said shop.
Much Marcle was the next control. Lots of activity occurred before and after control but Doo couldn't quite remember the order it occurred in so has been presented here in a jumbled tale. First off, the organiser 'Stevie P' had the group take their machines where they had not ought too...
|No entry, really?|
The last stage wasn't too bad. Only pot holes and the disappearing light were the real challenge. We cycled in our group all the way back to the arrivee with no real menace. Once at the arrivee we felt great that mission was accomplished. Captain Black sheep had secured a table and much drinking, eating and merriment followed. The control passes were stamped for a final time and the super hero's await patiently for validation.
Earlier in the week, I cycled my TTT 20 route. Total distance for the week was 182k. Remain hopeful that I will complete 12,000k before the year is out.