Sunday 23 August 2015

Wot no Cross

This week I mostly dumped my kicks and brought out the SPD's. That should make sense to my duathlon and triathlon buddies and maybe even to those who are pure runners or cyclists. What I'm saying is, I mostly used my bike this week but managed to run a little.

On Monday, I took my road bike out for a short spin - under 20k. I didn't want to run on my poor pins after the huge distance they ran over the weekend. And I didn't want to do nothing. So, I figured a quick spin on the road bike would be great. Wanted to make sure all was working fine before my planned long distance cycle on Wednesday. All was working fine and that was fine with me!

Tuesday was a regular run commute to work. I covered 10k as I (mostly) ran the no.5 bike route into work. I had to stop to take the cute photo below. Pretty awesome, eh?!

On Wednesday I completed my 111th audax to date. This was a 200k (plus) audax event that I had created myself, known as a ‘DIY perm’. I entitled this event as ‘Wot no Cross’, simply because I stole some controls from the Banbury Cross audax but never took this adventure near Banbury Cross itself. For ease, I started off from my abode in Studley. I had checked the weather forecast and it promised no rain – bonus. With a smile on my face and a happy heart, I collected my first POP from HSBC bank and off I went. Straightway I diverted from my planned route and chose to cycle up to Astwood Bank and then head to Broadway – by so doing, I avoided a busy main road but added about 10k. Nice cycling from Astwood Bank and into Bidford. The road was closed to traffic but I was able to get through on a bike. Lots of roads were closed today but my bike was able to get through every time. Pleased my route never took me up Saintbury or Fish Hill to reach the control in Broadway.
My 'Wot no Cross' audax route, 221k
Cleeve Hill soon followed the Broadway control, but no worries here. After not cycling a hill for so long, I figured I would struggle but this was a breeze. Once at the summit, I reached speeds of 70kph as I flew down and made my way intoCheltenham. From Cheltenham my route was quite ‘different’ and roads were left for a spell as I cycled cycle lanes through park grounds and the like. My post event memory is quite awful and I can’t remember whether I stopped in Cirencester or Cricklade for some tasty grub. I remember what I ate though and delicious it was!
Some of my route from Cheltenham to Cricklade was just ridiculous. My route followed some serious off-road style bridleway that just wasn’t rideable on my skinny 23mm tyres. My buddy Ron had ridden this route I created a few weeks back. He commented it would be good on a horse but said track was rideable on a bike! Pah! If he wasn’t cycling PBP we would be having words right now! I know Ron deviated from my planned route to get from Cricklade to Witney and I did too. Am not sure which route Ron followed but my route was pretty awesome.

From Cricklade, I followed my planned route across cycle paths following an old rail line. This was beautiful and it felt great to be on a bike. However, the roads would have been much faster and would be my choice on a re-run. In fact, I would use all the same controls but ride a completely alternate route if I were to cycle this event again. Once I reached Witney, I realised the weather folk had lied and sure enough I was very wet as the heavens opened big time. I took refuge in McDonald’s for a while but the rain was not going to relent. After queuing for ages, the McD’s folk informed they had no milk-shakes. Grr! I settled for burger and then headed home.
Would not have viewed these sights if I had stuck to the road ...
I did not have any controls except the finish to reach on leaving Witney. I didn’t follow my planned route, I just typed my address into my Garmin as I wanted the quickest route home, which was about 70k away. Wet return home. This event was hillier than I remembered creating it – maybe because I followed a different route. Below is a representation of the hilliness of the route I followed. To be fair, it was quite a nice cycle home and would have been great if the weather was right. Just as I reached my village I saw Rachel and Nigel (from my fellowship) running in the rain. Once home, I headed straight for the bath and was real pleased I managed to complete a 200k (220) event after a relatively long break from cycling long distance.
Hilliness profile of Wot no Cross audax
Following day, Ron completed his PBP experience! So too did my buddy Gary! Well done lads! Chapau! I rested this day as I felt a tad whacked. Wonder how the lads were feeling?
Ron doing the PBP thang ...
Friday was a chaotic day. I decided I would cycle to work using my single-speed road bike. I didn't get too far before I realised I had forgotten my bag. I returned home, having cycled about 21k. I decided to take the car and get the train into work. Grr!

Saturday was a funny kind of day. Sadly, I had to work. Instead of running to work, I took a short run from work and reluctantly back to work. I ran about 6k.
Work run, 6.4k
Finished my week with a swim. First swim in ages and an open water swim to boot! I swam at Ragley Lake which had been closed for a number of weeks. I found this swim hard, had the usual cramp and my technique was disturbing. Still, I swam 3 x 400m which was better than nowt. Better yet, all 3 triathlon disciplines were tackled this week.
3 x 400m OW swim

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