Friday 11 July 2014

Saracen RC 200 (No 2) and other adventures

Started this week by completing my 99th audax event to date! This event was the 'Saracen RC 200 (No 2)' permanent event organised by Sean Barker. This was a great event and a few of my thoughts are presented below.

The ride started (and finished) in Bournville. I parked my car next to the Christadelphian meeting room (where I have attended numerous services) and then used the ATM at the Tesco garage opposite for my start control proof. Less than 10k into the ride and I was following my commute route from work, heading home, speeding down Watery Lane in the Kings Norton area. The weather was just perfect for a bike ride and I had a feeling this was going to be a great day out. Suddenly, at the 30k, the GPX took me off road for about 2k. This off road track was awful for a carbon road bike but would have suited a MTB just fine. Just why this was included as part of the route, I don't know!
Audax - off-road style
Following this brief off-road section, a busy main road had to be crossed. After the crossing, the route went back to being really quite wonderful. Lovely roads and great weather took me to the first control   in Moreton-in-Marsh. I used the ATM for POP purposes and ate some home-made sarnies under George and the Dragon!
A good place to eat one's sarnies
George and the Dragon
From Moreton-in-Marsh, I made my way to Towcester, the next control. The route passed through Banbury, passing the cock horse at Banbury Cross. I also passed a wonderful wooden carving before reaching my control stop at Mc Donald's.
Suitably fuelled and the journey continued. Much of the route was undulating in nature. No real serious hills and hence no AAA points awarded but sure enough, the odd climb would get me out of a puff. The picture below demonstrates the hilliness profile of the ride. The next and penultimate control was Warwick Services. I think I went to North Services instead of South.
Hilliness profile of Saracen RC 200 (No 2) Audax
The last stage essentially returned back to the start in Bournville. The route went through Henley and passed a house my buddy Ron had told me about. This house had 2 bicycles chained to it's outside wall.
This must be what folk do where their garage's can no longer cater for additional bikes. My mother has her bike attached to the garden fence. I now know what I'm going to do with any retired bikes!

The last few k's of the audax once again took me onto my commute route and eventually back to the start. This was a very enjoyable  212k audax with over 2,000 metres of climbing which took me just over 10 hours to complete. Preferred this ride to the No 1 perm, though do not expect I'll ride either again for some time. A GPX track log of complete route is presented below.
Saracen RC 200 (No 2) Audax GPX Track Log
The remainder of my adventures were made up of work and back commutes. The tyres I fitted a short while back have been fine and remained puncture free. Hope I am not tempting the puncture pixie here!

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