After too long a break from cycling I started to get withdrawal symptoms! I figured the best thing to do was to plan another adventure and get back on my bike. The adventure was easy - ride Alan Raynor's 'Solent - Hungerford' 200k permanent audax with a few good friends. That was my big event for the week and was saved for the weekend.
Still felt the need to get back on a bike sooner than the weekend, so mid-week took my single speed machine 'Florence' out for a spin along my TTT 20 route. Had been a while since I last cycled this route and it felt quite hard on my legs but enjoyable all the same. I thought it was important to stretch my legs a little before the impending big event.
Even managed to squeeze in a week day ride with Ron. Early Friday morning we took our bikes for a spin around Ron's classic '1 Hour Loop' route. This was a wet day and lots of poor frogs could be seen croaked out on the roadside. A bad day for frogs but a great day for cycling.
Saturday came and all my plans went wonky. First off, my buddy Chris decided he didn't want to cycle the planned permanent with Aid and I because he had bike issues of his own stressing him out. I reckon Chris was hydrophobic myself. Aid's view was that Chris had been troubled by the 'Southern Fairies' - these fairies cause many a Southerner to lose their mojo. Aid and I were all ready to tackle the permanent and then horrors - my daughter became unwell and had to be taken home. I guess I blame the Southern Fairies for that! Sadly this was the third event this season that I did not start (DNS). Some say 'bad luck' comes in three's, let's hope this was the last DNS this season!
Short on miles, I decided to use Sunday as a training day. Just to remind all - I am training for the London-Edingburgh-London (LEL) event - a long distance event of 1,400k. I am following a basic training plan where I cycle between 0 and 600k a week up until the LEL event itself. On top of that, I like to cycle at least a 100 miles per week so that hopefully by the end of the year I would have reached my desired target of 5,200 miles. So, Sunday was a case of out the bed and on the bike! I started to cycle my TTT 20 route but turned off just before 'John's Hill' and went via Bearley to Reach Alcester (just to add a few miles). From Alcester I continued on the TTT 20 route but took a left after Gas Hill and cycled past Ragley Hall (front and back) and finally home via Sambourne. This was a good trek of about 30 miles despite the weather being crazy - it was snowing, and in March too!
Still not happy with my weekly mileage, I cycled again in the afternoon after attending 'fellowship'. This time I started to cycle my figure of 8 loop around Ragley Hall but once in Alcester I headed to Bidford following part of Steve Poultons 'The Vale (Cheltenham)' permanent. I stopped at the church in Bidford (a control in said permanent) and took a photo. The church was called 'The Parish Church of St Laurence'.
I figured no trip to Bidford would really be complete without taking a picture of the river (below). I returned home via Wixford and Sambourne and completed a further 34 miles in all. This basically meant that I had completed my desired LEL training for the week (150k) and had cycled over a 100 miles in the week. All my cycling was this week was ridden on 'Florence', my trusty single speed machine. My total distance this year now stands at exactly 900 miles (just 100 miles under my target).
Disappointed I DNS the 'Solant - Hungerford' 200k permanent but have plans of cycling this event on 28 March 2013 now and hopefully 'The Vale (Cheltenham)' 100k permanent shortly after (?1 or 2 April 2013). Next week I would like to complete the 'Poor Student' 200k permanent. Watch this space!
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