First off, I got myself a smart turbo trainer. Oh man, this was fab. I could kinda do the outdoors indoors. Jonny M and Ronnie had convinced me this was a good idea and yup, I agree, it certainly turned out to be. I'm a fan of Zwift now which my 'regular' turbo trainer never seemed to get on with. Will be interesting to see how many virtual km's I can clock up. This years SIKA event is a virtual ride and yup, you got it, it's on Zwift. This ride includes a famous big hill/mountain and I hope to cycle it next week (will blog more if indeed I do).
I bounced the first control. I could have bounced them all to be fair because, AUK has 'left the stone age and have decided that GPS track files... can be accepted as proof of passage'. It's always good to stop but controls really can suck time out of a ride. More hills and patches of very muddy road finally took me to the control in Ludlow. It was nice to devour a bacon and egg roll here and wash it down with a cup of tea.
More hills, a real big climb and then a dash took me to Knighton. I actually saw the 'welcome to Wales' sign that I failed to see last time I cycled this event. Incredibly pretty sights - God's creation is just awesome.
Nest stage was all about climbing the Clun hills. Had a super nice descent down The Cwm and finally made it into Montgomery. Madness!
Lots of climbing leaving Montgomery with ascents of 17%. Passed a place called the Bog and felt obliged to take a comfort break. After some time had a fantastic climb up and over Long Mynd (which The Phantom told me meant 'long mountain') and then a zoomy descent down the Burway. Last time, I punctured down the speedy Burway descent. This time, I was better blessed and saw wild horses atop the Long Mynd.
The last leg was homeward bound. Day turned into night and it was dark by the time I reached Morville. A few more ups and downs finally led me to the arrivee. No one to meet and greet on this audax. Mad times indeed. A crazy audax but thoroughly enjoyed. May madness abound!