Sunday 12 September 2010

Mr Pickwick goes to Hay in a day

Mr Pickwick goes to Hay in a day was another awesome 205 k audax event that I completed with Ron yesterday. This was the first lot of cycling I have done since LEJOG last weekend. The day started off fine, we were 2 of about 25 cyclists undertaking this challenge. The audax was split into a number of stages, and each stage was not without incident.

Stage 1 started in Tewkesbury. We had not cycled for more than 6 miles before we had to stop. Ron's computer sensor had fallen off and needed to be adjusted. This was soon fixed and we made good progress from falling to the back of the group to nearing the front. Just before reaching the first control in Wormlow a number of cows (with calves) had broken out of a farm yard and were running up the road alongside us.

Stage 2 from Wormlow started to become a little lumpy after the relatively flat start. The weather was great, but my bike was not! My rear tyre had developed 2 bulges and looked like it was about to pop. This tyre (Schwalbe Ultremo) had only done 1,000 miles and during LEJOG I couldn't sing it's praises enough. Now, I wasn't overly happy with this fast rolling, pretty looking piece of rubber. I let out some pressure and continued to the next control. The next control was only a few miles away and woo hoo we reached it! This control was in Hay and that means we had cycled into Wales! Better yet, the control was next to a bike hire shop. A quick stop at this shop and a new (cheap as chips) tyre was purchased and swiftly replaced the Ultremo menace. I no longer have a matching pair, but hey, I could continue my day. Beans on toast, and much tea was consumed at this stop before we continued with the adventure.

Stage 3 was real eventfull. We were cycling alongside an Irish hag (witch) for a while. This hag was old and wrinkled as you would expect, but was also zoomy fast and cycling wearing a pair of sandals (fitted with spd cleats). This hag led us to a far-away tree, that is allegedly as old as the Doomsday book. This tree, (I think it was an oak), was massive. So wide was the tree, and hollow, that one could hide inside it. The hag went inside first. I'm sure she hinted that she had found some gold inside the tree. After I'm sure I heard her cackle, poof, she was off like a shot.
We could see the hag in the distance as we left the far-away tree and continued on our way. Every time the hag would go out of sight, she would re-appear but be a good distance further ahead. Ron and I concluded that it must be some sort of dark teleportation magic she was practising.
How we did, I don't know, but we caught the hag up by the time we reached this bridge that crossed the River Wye. This was no ordinary bridge with booth. This was a Troll booth. Ron paid the troll the troll charge and we were allowed entry over said bridge. We then sped along to Bromyard, the next control. This control was great. We sat and ate a curry with rice. This curry was so, so hot. It burned my mouth each time I belched. Delicious all the same. With breath this bad, I though all folk would stay away, but can you believe it? - the Hag came and sat with us. The hag introduced herself as Mary and shortly teleported off. Today was also the Bromyard folk festival. This provided light entertainment as numerous Morris Dancers danced away before us as we ate our curry.
With a belly full of curry, I figured I had enough carbs and gas to commence the next stage. This and the previous stage were quite undulating in nature. We experienced a brief down pour of rain, nothing heavy. When the rain had stopped, a beautiful rainbow came out which was awesome. The rest of our ride was fairly benign, although there was the odd little climb to get me pushing the pedals. We reached the control in Tewkesbury feeling pleased with ourselves and the knowledge we had had another great day.

Cycled a distance of 128.47 miles, at an average speed of 14.5 mph and a max speed of 38.3 mph.

Weekly totals: Cycled a distance of 129 miles.

1 comment:

  1. Nice 1 - sounds like a nice day out
    Love the bit about old hags & trolls in booths...
    along with 'curry gas' - can be deadly!


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