Sunday 26 February 2017

Pink stinks and 2017 Snowdrop

Started the week by taking Pinky for a test run (cycle) to Little Martin and back. Felt great to be back on a single-speed machine. Pinky performed ok, the chain/tensioner resonates a little and when a lot of pressure is applied to the pedals (e.g on steep sections) the chain appears to slip and makes a terrible crunching sound. Not sure if the chain will be better once bedded in a little or maybe I should avoid real steep sections? Pinky was created to be a commute bike so no major issue if steep sections compromise the smooth running of the chain. Maybe I won't use this bike for the pending Snowdrop Audax.
Also started (and finished) the week with a run too. This first run was a xc affair across the fields of Studley. My final run was a lap of the Studley Triangle.

Cycled a lot (relatively speaking) this week. Much of my cycling was indoors. Decided to play with different app's just for fun and because my Sufferfest subscription had expired. Zwift looked good but it didn't work well at all. Zwift did not appear to like my sensors - it recorded my heart rate just fine but said I was cycling double the speed I actually was which just got annoying. Bkool looked cool but didn't work so cool either. Bkool recognised my sensors but the running graphics were jumpy and slow. My best cycling session took place watching Breeders, Warpaint and Avril Lavigne (shh) videos on You Tube. Ha!

My favourite adventure of the week was cycling the 2017 edition of The Snowdrop Audax. This was the 7th time I had completed this event. This was also the first audax event I ever entered. Below are a few shots from previous years.
Snowdrop 2010
Snowdrop 2012
Snowdrop 2013
Snowdrop 2014
Snowdrop 2015 (Turned up too late for group start photo)
Snowdrop 2016
This year saw fewer of my friends compared to previous years. A lot of folk bailed - most with half decent excuses. Jane Mitchums excuse was a poor one though, he said he had mud in his eye or something like that.
Snowdrop 2017
Essentially, we started as a group of 5. Pretty fast start, but as usual, the peloton soon spread out. Weather was relatively perfect during the first stage (and only slight rain thereafter). Phil encountered menace as he hit a pot hole resulting in a puncture. I got the blame for not shouting a warning.. On a brighter note, it allowed me to take a photo of some snowdrops whilst puncture was fixed!
Can you spot the snowdrops?
Nice cup of tea in the first control in Upton. Shame Mark Rigby had done himself a mischief so couldn't stamp our brevet cards. After munching on some of my home-made pink marble cake, we were off.

Stage 2 was super fast and zoomy. It only seemed like 10 minutes before we reached Evesham. Our group of 5 had become a 2.5 (Phil caught us as we stopped, so we soon became a 3). Ron and I had stopped to take a selfie as proof of passage. The usual control in Evesham, Raphaels cafe had burned down. Such a shame, that cafe held a lot of memories for me - SJ, kids, parents and siblings had met me there on previous years.
Selfie at Abbey Road
We found an alternate cafe in Evesham and stopped for soup and tea. Phil and Ron had soup a lovely pink in colour. Pink seemed a theme on this ride. We had already eaten some of my pink cake and now pink soup. I very nearly cycled my new pink bike too. My soup was a filthy pea colour. Fuelled up and off we went.
Pink soup
As we cycled the final stage, our group of 3 became 2. Ron and I just pressed on rather than wait at the hill tops. Not lots of hills, but the Lenches were pretty hilly and that Pig Hill is always a bit of a pig. Before we cycled the penultimate climb we passed a combine harvester - so what you might say, but this one was pink! Ha, pink stinks and so did we by the time we finished this wonderful event!

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