Sunday 30 March 2014

Cheltenham Severn Bridge High Loop and other short adventures

The days go slow but the weeks years go fast. Monday marked a whole 2 years as a married man! Within those 2 years I was also blessed with a lovely daughter and landed a new job. 2 Years ago, who would have thought?
A card from my sister Jane
Started this week off with a run around the Studley triangle. Initially felt like the right thing to do after not running at all last week. My run was pretty pants though. The weather was wet and drizzly, I forgot to set my Garmin and I didn't seem to be running so good. Even though it's not a major disaster, I can't express how annoying it is when one's Garmin isn't recording as it should! I think that was why my run was more menace than fun - once I realised my Garmin wasn't recording I had that 'paralysis of will' feeling.

Tuesday night was spent with Aid and Ron. We cycled a mostly urban style type of ride on our different MTB's. Aid had a hard-tailed 29er, Ron a full-susser and I used my single-speed (hard-tail). It just went to show, pretty much any bike could be used to have some fun!

No further adventure until Saturday. Saturday's adventure was awesome and worth the wait. I cycled the Cheltenham Severn Bridge High Loop 200k audax for the first time. This was an event organised by Steve Poulton.

As the name suggested, the Cheltenham Severn Bridge High Loop 200 started in Cheltenham. My start was real early, not much after 7 a.m.! The day looked promising from the start, however, it was a wee bit chilly first thing. Soon warmed up though as there was a bit of a climb leaving Cheltenham heading for Dowdeswell. First stop came at the 13k mark for info control purposes. I had to name the Church in Withington.
Such a beautiful church in Withingtom
Remember the name for info purposes!
Leaving Withington, nice roads (a roman Road) took me all the way to Cirencester. I passed a lovely building that I remembered cyclist past on the Poor Student perm. So nice in fact, have included a photo from said perm (as I was too lazy to take a pic on this occasion).
Wonder when I'll pass these arches again?!
Wonder if those arches were from the Roman era? I had followed a Roman Road and signs for an amphitheatre were passed after all! My journey continued in ever increasing temperatures and took me to my next stop in Minety. 
So hot here in Minety
 At this stop it was just so hot that I peeled off a number of my layers. Searched my pockets for food and ate a very tasty cereal bar. Oh, and answered another info control question - stated the postfix number.
Postbox number for possible future reference
Am sure this day was probably the hottest thus far this year. No complaints from me, made my cycling a more pleasurable experience. This particular route was nice too as it took me to places I had never cycled before. The next stop was a real pretty village called Castle Combe, would love to visit here again and take my wife and daughter.
Castle Combe
From Castle Combe, I made my way to Chepstow. A lot of my headspace was filled with my 'Bristol days' as signs for Thornbury were followed for stretches. (Thornbury was near to where I stayed when I lodged in Bristol, studying a degree in Biomedical sciences). The best part of this section was the fact that I crossed the Severn Bridge which I just love. I didn't take a photo (again) but took a picture to prove I had reached Wales.
Had reached the 'big' country
Chepstow was my lunch stop. I had the audax staple diet of beans and egg on toast. Bacon and sausage were naughty additions. Suitably fuelled, I headed off to Monmouth. The route to Monmouth included some wonderful descents. In all, the route contained about 2,000 metres of climbing (no AAA points though) so it was nice to speed down some lengthy descents. The hilliness profile of route is presented below.
Hilliness profile of Cheltenham Severn Bridge High Loop 200
Had a free cup of tea at Monmouth Waitrose. Never expected that. SJ had given me a Waitrose card but little did I expect it to get me 'free tea' with no purchase of anything else. Bonus! Maybe we should give homeless guys Waitrose cards?!

A little off-roading took me to Symonds Yat as I followed the Peregrine cycle path from Monmouth. Being such a nice day, this path was chock-a-block with walkers, dogs, kids and other cyclists. Such menace! Real road then took me to Ross where I was glad to stop for another cup of tea.
Selfie, all the rage apparently
Another short stretch of just 14k took me to Newent. As nice as this route was, I felt it had a few too many controls (11 in all). The next control was Staunton but nothing was open (then I realised that it could be used as an info control). The info question wanted to know how far away Pendock was. Pendock was 3 miles away, but Cheltenham, the arrivee was still a trek away. The final stretch to Cheltenham was a bit of a push as I was battling against a head-wind. Once I reached Cheltenham, it took me a little while to find my car. Ha! A great adventure was had and 221k's were cycled. My 2 AUK points for March's RRtY purposes bagged! The GPX track of my route is presented below.
Cheltenham Severn Bridge High Loop 200
Final adventure of the week was a lap of the BG SR 1 route. On this occasion, I took Lin with me. Ha, I renamed the route 'Killing Lin Softly'.

Cycled 297k this week (and ran 5.1k)
Cycled a total of 1,893k this year (and ran 85.2k)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Happy New Year 2022

Happy New Year folks. I wonder what's in store for 2022,  - something crazy, something new? It's a shame Covid is still here and I&#...