Sunday 7 May 2017

Sick as a badger / Wandering Wolf

This last week I felt mostly sick. Major cold, head ache, sore throat. A usual case of the dreaded man flu.

Almost no training took place as illness took over my poor body. Was not able to complete a single commute to work and back. Not one run was ran. The dirty great lake of Ragley was not swam in despite me having sorted out my wetsuit ready for same.

At the end of the week, I decided to play badminton with my wife. I figured I would sweat this man flu out. It didn't work. Neither did I, I lost 4:1. Yes, the wife gave me a thrashing!

Weekend came and against the advice of some, I went out and tackled a 200k permanent audax with my buddies Ron, Jamie and Andy. This was the 'Wandering Wolves - Shropshire Union' audax organised by John Hamilton.
The ride started in Codsall. So we all met there. We all looked dodgy donned in cycling gear hanging outside Coop, but we had to start somewhere. So we started there.
Our start was a grizzly one. Grey clouds overhead and riding in misty drizzle. Spirits were high though and the roads were great. We cycled along country lanes that were largely traffic free - bonus! Was nice to see so many Blue-bells were still out and all the greenery looked really green. We appeared to cycle through many tunnels and pass numerous churches on route which made the whole experience very nice visually. Shortly before our first control (I think) was passed a hotel with the 'old' CTC sign on it. Why they changed the name, I don't know... First stop was in Market Dray ton where we feasted on a rather splendid breakfast consisting of 3 rashes of bacon, 2 sausages, (mushrooms), tomato, 3 hash browns, toast and butter. Delicious.
Jamie's bike (before audax adventure)
Jamie was taking his new steed for a spin - a rather delightful Day One 20. Andy was using his relatively new adventure bike. Ron and I were riding our Specailized steeds. I'd quite like an adventure bike. I quite like the look of that Genesis. Oh, wonders - the Genesis branded as an 'adventure road bike'. Well...
Second stage took us to Chester. Amazed at how evenly spaced the controls were throughout. My Garmin was bang on 50k for the first control and 100k for the second - how cool was that?! The stop at this second control was next to a large river and we stopped at Moorings for fuel. This was a bad idea - the scones were rock hard (like rock cakes) and the thick Schmoo shakes were not thick and luke warm. Yuck! At least the scenery was great. I saw at least 2 fish jump in the water whilst I supped on my evil Schmoo. After the Schmoo we were good to gooo!
Stage 3 was a strange one. We seemed to keep slipping into and out of Welsh Wales. I never expected that. The country lanes essentially continued in their largely un-motorised manner and the drizzle had mostly cleared away by now too which was great. During this section, my flavoured water bottle had ran out and my second filled with water tasted like the dish-washer. Thankfully, we found a P.O. and was able to refuel. Why the shop was called the 'Poo Room, I never quite found out. This 3rd stage took us to Wem where we fuelled up once again.
The last stage took us back to Codsall. By this time, I found that the ride had started to take it's 'Toll' (haha, no offence Andy) on me. I was quite whacked and I think Jamie was too. We were the 2 of the 4 suffering with man flu. Still we soldiered on, on lots of newly gravelled roads and more (still minor) ascents. At one junction we (Ron) stopped to rescue a baby bird that was lying all alone in the middle of the road. After several pulls, and before you could say 'man, I've only gone and rode another 200k event', we had only gone and completed another 200k permanent audax. All in all, a great days riding and am tempted to discover the other 'Wandering Wolves' perms. I'm sure to suffer the next few days...

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