Monday, 27 May 2013

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch 400

The weekend saw me complete the Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch 400 audax. I had so wanted to enter this event because doesn't it just sound great?! As the name suggested, this was a 400k audax event that passed through Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. The ride crossed the Cheshire plains, the North Wales coastal strip, Menai Bridge and reached Holyhead in Anglesey before heading back to Poynton. The route should have looked like this:
The event started at a very reasonable time - 9 a.m, from a car park in Poynton. I met Jamie M and Andy T at the start plus about 60 or so other crazy cyclists. It was a warm day, just perfect for cycling. I tried to stay with Jamie and Andy from the start but with such a mad exodus of cyclists (plus a wrong turn here and there) that proved difficult. At various points during the first stage I would be (re)united with the guys but then lose them again - still it was good to meet them on their first 400. At times I would think they were behind me but then catch them further on. After 60k I had left England and crossed into Wales by cycling a fantastic stretch of tarmac known as the 'Greenway cycle path'.
The only menace with the Greenway was the amount of greenfly it attracted. Must have been a name thing?! Once I had crossed the River Dee, I met the 'man in the grey van' - the organiser. This was the first control and Mike (the organiser) awarded us with banana's for cycling this far. I cycled just a few metres more and awarded myself with beans on toast at a local cafe in Shotton.

The roads were initially a little busy leaving Shotton but it wasn't long until quiet roads were encountered again. I remember climbing a big hill during this stage - the climb of Halkyn mountain! A fast descent followed and I missed a left turn but it didn't matter - 'all roads lead to Rome', right?! Right enough, my wrong turn joined the correct route a little further out. The greenfly had disappeared during this stage but flying ants had taken their place. As I cycled across a bridge, I caught sight of the guys again so rode with them for a while. Not sure exactly when or where we got separated again. The route was lovely during this stage and it wasn't too long until I was cycling along a coastal cycle path - I had to stop just to take a picture.
I love cycling by the seaside. It's great to get a whiff of sea air and views that are often spectacular. Plus the fact that the sun, sea and surf seem to create a happy population. God's creation is really wonderful. My route passed through Colwyn Bay and led to Rhos on Sea where the next control was. I stopped at the suggested control (Forte's Restaurant) but soon left because this was a 'sit down and wait to be waited on' affair. It was sunny and hot and I didn't wish to wait in any cafe for a length of time. Instead, I nipped over the road and bought an ice cream - yummers, I felt like I was on holiday! Just before I left the control I saw the guys Jamie and Andy roll in but that was the last I saw of them on this audax. As I headed away from control, a random guy asked where I was heading - when I told him 'Holyhead', he gasped 'but that's miles away'. When I told him I planned to turn back from holyhead and return to Poynton, he just said 'that's mad', and I think he really thought I was. Perhaps I am?!
The route continued to follow much coastal paths which I was real happy about. The second big climb was during this stage too - the Sychant Pass. The route appeared to essentially follow much of the A55 but without actually touching it. Cycle lanes ran alongside the A55 or specialist cycle bridges were used to cross the road and avoid the Pen-y-clip tunnels. Amazing!
Nearing the control I saw signs for the Menai Bridge but it wasn't until the return leg that I would actually cross it. I crossed the self-same Menai Bridge during the 'BCM 600' audax a few years back, but it was dark and very wet then. I was almost sad that I wouldn't be crossing it right now on a gorgeous sunny day. My sadness didn't last long, I stopped at the Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch train station and that put a smile on my face. For such a long time I had wanted a picture of this place name taken with my bike present.
This was the last picture I took, but was happy with that. Just before reaching the control in Holyhead, I stopped at a garage and drank lots of water as I was feeling really parched. On route to the control I was thinking of food and deciding what to award myself with - I planned on a big beefy pie. Almost cried when I reached the control - it was no cafe or restaurant, it was 'the man in a grey van', located at Penrhos Coastal Park. Mike signed my brevet card here and fed me with a banana, chocolate bar, cold rice pudding and fruit salad. Not quite my beefy pie, but I was so hungry that I joyfully ate these foods that I normally would not. I wonder if Chris Hodge would have ate the rice pudding if he were here with me?! Woo hoo, I was now half way.

Was feeling pretty good at this half way stage and as I left control was pleased that the prior headwind was now a tailwind. Big Welsh mountains lay ahead of me and it was almost daunting heading towards them. Creation, so beautiful. Was pleased that I crossed the Menai Bridge and it was still daylight, still sunny and still warm. Cycled through Bangor and across many a cycle path again. One path was covered with sand. I missed one turn and cycled a short stretch of the A55 - menace road, but at least it was flat and allowed me to speed along at quite a pace. It started to get dark during this stage and I could start to feel the temperature dropping. Many folk had layered up during the last control - I felt that was a bit premature with the bright sun still shining. I told myself I would not layer up until I got to the control at Abergale. This was a good tactic because as I was starting to get cold, I would cycle harder and faster to reach the control. The control was a McDonalds. Once I stopped, brr, I really did start to feel the chills. A few folk were stopped here, many feeling very tired now and not really wanting to push on. I ate loads here - a large meal, extra nuggets and an apple pie. After a much needed rest, I layered up and set sail one more time.

The stage from Abergale to Hapsford was a night stage. My lights worked well and I could not remember the last time I cycled at night. My initial chills soon disappeared as I cycled along. Luckily this was an easy to navigate stage and before too long I was at the Chester M56 Services, the penultimate control. I could have had another McDonalds here, but I didn't - I had a cup of tea and a packet of crisps. Many folk were here again, not wanting to continue due to feeling worn out. One chap had the same bike as I. They bikes looked good parked next to each other. I left a few defeated looking chaps here and headed for home, well, towards the arrivee anyway!

Man, it was cold during this last stage! Note to self - warmer gloves and socks next time! This stage was nice because I saw the night turn back into day. Around 5 o'clock in the morning it wasn't far off daylight. The chap who had the same bike as I caught me up and overtook, so I followed him for a while. He went off route but I was happy to follow and not navigate. Once we reached Ashley we passed through 2 tunnels using a cycle path and then continued on to Wilmslow. With not too far to go (just short of 400k at this point) I had to stop - my Garmin had decided to turn itself off. Not sure why my Garmin did that, it still had charge. I charged it a little more anyhow and then set off once more. I felt a little dismayed that a group of 3 had whizzed past me. With a final push, I raced to the finish, whizzing past those 3 cyclists and reaching the arrivee just before 6 a.m! Great stuff, I had completed another 400k event (my third) in about 21 hours (20 hours 59 minutes)! Just a 600k ride off a SR series! My actual route is presented below:
Cycled a total of 545k this week, not bad for a LEL 'rest week'. My yearly total now stands at 4,703k. 

Friday, 24 May 2013

The Cotswold Corker 100k audax (May 2013)


Funny old start to my training this week. I only went out once mid-week but completed 2 separate cycling adventures. Quite bizarre using 2 different machines in the same day.

My first adventure was on my road bike. I cycled my new ‘BG SR 2’ route from last week. This time around, I cycled much faster. I changed the route ever so slightly by avoiding the busy (dual carriageway) A435 on the return leg and instead cycled through Alcester. I like this route and am sure to cycle it again. My 'new improved' route is presented below:
My next same-day adventure was ‘The Cotswold Corker’ 100k audax. This was an awesome event that I had ridden a fair few times before. As is usually my style, I used my mountain bike. The route I took is presented below:
I started the Cotswold Corker from Winchcombe and 3 big hills were battled to reach Bishops Cleeve and then Northleach. These hills were Bushcombe Lane Hill, Cleeve Hill and Sudeley Hill. The biggest of which reached a reported 27% (road sign states 25%).
The rest of the route continued in a hilly style but not quite as severe as the start. Was looking forward to reaching Bisley and planned to use the Post Office for POP as they usually oblige by stamping my brevet card. This time around, the Post Office was closed. Worse still, the 2 pubs nearby were also closed. No stamp and no dinner! I stopped at a Murco garage just a wee bit further along to refuel.
At around the 77k mark, somewhere between Bisley and Andoversford, I stopped. I stopped to take a photo of a Stone Circle. I had no idea which stone circle this was but after passing it on so many occasions decided I must stop and take a photo of it! Once home I tried to research this circle and find out more about it but with no success. Does anyone know anything about this circle?
Once in Andoversford it was a lovely descent before the final climb back to Winchcombe. After the final climb, it was the final descent back to the arrivee! This was an awesome 100k ride, with over 1,500 metres of climbing. I finished the event in just over 5 and a half hours (5:39). Oh, and I got my much needed AAA point for May (1.75 AAA to be precise!) Hurrah!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Next week - a 400!




Great cycling start to the week, but a more relaxed finish. Struggled to get as many miles in as I would have liked. Still, cycle I did and on the whole was happy with my LEL training.

Took ‘Scotty’ out, my mountain bike, for a mostly urban mountain bike jolly. I often like to ride what I call my ‘urban route’ and essentially followed this same route but with a few variations. These variations were an off-turn trying to locate Aid’s new house (which I didn’t find on this occasion) and getting lost in a field by Ron’s (as a youngster, this was known as the ‘quarry’). This ride wasn't brilliant, just okay, I struggled to get into a nice rhythm. Pleased I stretched my legs all the same. My route is presented below:
My last cycle of the week was another route I had stolen from a Strava user. I had named this route ‘BG SR2’. This was a fast route, which started off similar to my ‘TTT 20’ route. From Wilmcote this route headed towards Bidford on nice roads but had to cross one busy road (where I had to wait an age for the traffic to slow so I could get across). On the return leg I passed the ‘Fish Inn’, where SJ and I had a not-so-nice meal just a few weeks back. From the pub this route headed home via that ‘undulating road’ and finished with a zoomy speed down Jill Lane. Nice. My route is presented below:
Cycled a total of 278k this week. Was hoping to ride 400k to keep in line with my LEL training plan. Not so bothered really though, as next week I plan to ride 400k in a single event! My yearly distance now stands at 4,158k!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Stranger 14:05:13

Contrary to my blog post yesterday, Geoff actually did publish the photo he took of me! I sent him a link to my blog and he replied to me by email stating 'Hello Tim, if you could only have been a short while later!  How do I convince you that your picture was already on line and awaiting a few lines of text and the close of today? Every so often it happens that I get a good day followed by a pretty dire day. Today has been a pretty dire day on many levels, but I had already decided your pic was going to be included and the order was simply in which I had taken them'.
Geoff informed me that he had even sat down and mapped out my likely cycle route and even got it pretty accurate. Amazing! This was the actual route I cycled:
I'm real pleased I met Geoff. He informed me that the horse I photographed yesterday was not the Marlborough White Horse at all, it was the Hackpen White Horse. Apparently the Marlborough White Horse can be found by locating the college fields near town, as it is at the back of there. In addition, Geoff informed that If I had stayed on the A4 and gone up the Avenue, I would have seen Silbury Hill over the next rise. Cheers Geoff! 
I would like to conclude this blog with another quote from Geoff - 'Although it's true I prefer ladies in general, you will see from my site there are a fair number of men, both pretty and knarled!' Check out Geoff's awesome site here: www.365strangers.co.uk

Marlborough Connection 200


On Monday, I decided I would ride the ‘Marlborough Connection 200’. This was a 205k permanent audax event organised by Nik Windle. I had hoped to cycle this same event last week. I was excited about cycling this event, as I’m sure I had read that the route passed one of the famous Wiltshire White Horses and passed Sibury Hill too – am not sure where I read this and could not find a source to confirm same. Guessed the best thing to do was ride it and find out for myself!

The ride started from Woodstock, a pretty area that I had cycled to recently during the ‘Banbury Cross’ and ‘Cotswold and Thames’ events. I started a little later than I had wanted to as the M40 traffic (to get to start) was horrific. The roads were lovely from the start and remained that way till the end. This really was a lovely route. A map of my route is presented below, and as you can see it forms the shape of a heart.
I told my wife SJ, that the route was this heart-shape as I was thinking about her the whole time. I saw lots of ‘white horses’ early on during this first stage. These white horses were pointing to bridleways. Horses for courses – I sped down this valley called ‘Race Horse Valley’ and even with a head wind reached speeds of about 60kph!

The first control was in Hungerford. I stopped to get a bank statement for POP and eat a bag of nuts. Whilst I was munching away, a random guy asked if he could take my photo. This ‘random guy’, was a photographer called Geoff Hawkins. Geoff explained to me he was doing a project where he would photograph a stranger each day for 365 days. He gave me a card with details of his website and said to check there later and see my picture. His website can be found here: www.365strangers.co.uk I checked (once at home) and my picture was not there, it appears Geoff prefers to publish pictures of the ladies… Engaged in conversation for a short while with Geoff about bike related stuff. I told him my next stop would be Wootton Bassett – he informed me that it is now called ‘Royal’ Wootton Bassett. Without further ado, I left for Royal Wootton Bassett.

Beautiful roads took me from Hungerford all the way to the next control. Despite not being an overly hilly route, undulations were frequently encountered. A representation of the profile is shown below:
Whilst cycling on top of one valley, I’m sure I could see what looked like West Kennet Avenue – a series of standing stones all in a row. The stones (if indeed that’s what they were) were too far out to really see or photograph, but it really did make me wonder. After reaching the top of this valley, whoosh - it sure enough descended big time. 
As I flew down the hill, something made me turn around. Not sure what made me turn my head, but I’m so gald I did because I spotted what must be the Marlborough White Horse. Yay! I found the horse but did not spot Silbury Hill at all.
After cycling about a further 10k, I reached the control. Geoff was right, I had reached ‘Royal’ Wootton Bassett. Wootto Bassett deserved it’s royal status as it was such a pretty area. I stopped at a cafĂ© for lunch – beans and scrambled eggs on toast on this occasion.
Leaving Royal Wootton Bassett I headed for Lechlade. The previous headwind was now a lovely tailwind. This ride just kept improving all the while! Stopped in Calmsden just to answer the info control. Last post Monday to Friday was 4.15 p.m!
Just before reaching control in Lechlade, I met Bill at Hatherop. Or was it Ben? I don’t know, perhaps I’ll meet him again?!
Left Lechlade and had thoughts of previous events again as have now cycled much around these parts. During this stage, I stopped on 3 occasions to take photographs. I stopped because I witnessed a group of deer. Is that called a ‘herd’?! (The deer may have been spotted earlier, I really can't recall).
I witnessed a fantastic rainbow. In fact, I saw a double rainbow at one point. This made me think about God and his wonderful creation and promises.
I also stopped at a place called ‘The Barringtons’, to answer the info control. A chap called P.I. Hands was remembered on some memorial. I doubt I will remember that name for long. I will remember this ride for a long time!
The last 15k was menace. The heavens opened and I got drenched and looked like a drowned rat. Despite this, I actually enjoyed it and had a great days ride. Reached Woodstock feeling great. I had cycled 206k on fantastic roads with great weather up until the last 15k. This ride took me 10 hours and 11 minutes and was hard to believe so much fantastic road could be ridden for that length of time. Perhaps I’ll ride this one again…

End of another week


My final training ride for last week was a single-speed MTB jolly. I was hoping to ride another 200k audax (The ‘Marlborough Connection 200’) with Chris Hodge, but the Southern Fairies had wreaked havoc with the weather and Chris was suffering with his ‘hydrophobia’ again, so this ride didn’t happen. I could have cycled that audax alone but by then I had lost my mojo.

My final ride was fun all the same even though certain tragedy happened. I had decided to take ‘Queenie’, my single-speed MTB out for a blast. The route I took is presented below:
Whilst I was following familiar paths across ‘naughty fields’, the back wheel suddenly locked tight and threw me off. It took me a while to find out what was wrong – the rear disc brakes was preventing the wheel from moving and it looked like the spring was jammed. Even though I was only 7k from home, I didn’t fancy walking back so I pulled (removed) the said spring but that didn’t work. It transpired that one of the 2 bolts holding the disc brake ‘thing’ to the frame had gone AWOL. I re-positioned the disc brake ‘thing’ and continued on my journey deciding not to use the rear brake. (Am not sure of the real damage or repairability of this issue).

Still wanting to cycle further (originally had plans of cycling a hilly 50k, my mojo was still absent) I continued on to the ‘Breadcrumb Trail’ and cycled a lap of that. Quite difficult with no rear brake. Following this, I cycled up towards ‘Stag Hill’ and was overtaken by 2 younger road cyclists. I could see that they had slowed right down once the hill was encountered and so raced them up the hill and beat them both to the summit. I then re-traced my path to the beginning (end) of the bridleway that leads through the woods on the left.

I forget what these woods are called, but Ron (and possibly John V) and I have cycled through them before. More often than not, the track is very wet and muddy. This time around it was mostly ok, but still a little quagmire-like in places. On one stretch it was real mean and I came clean off the bike and landed in some terrible thorns which cut through my jacket. Grr.

Once out of these woods, I continued home via Great Alne and Coughton, using as many off-road tracks that I could find. I completed my return to Studley by cycling through Jill Lane (just to be different). Despite having a damaged bike and damaged jacket, I had a whole lot of fun. Perhaps none of this would have happened if I cycled the Mrlborough Connection 200…

Managed to cycle 456k this week. Was pleased as that was 56k over my LEL training target (despite wanting to cycle 600k). My yearly distance to date now stands at 3,880k.

Oh, I would like to end this blog with a big, big thanks to all those who have sponsored me so early on. My friends are family, you are so generous and it means so much to me. At least 2 of you have donated over £50 (one a whopping £100) and that will make such a difference to people’s lives that the Christadelphian Meal-a-Day Fund is supporting. Thank you!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Please sponsor Doo's cycling MADness

A certain Sister Tracey Pearson asked me to write an article for the Studley Ecclesial Newsletter about 'Why I like cycling'. This would fill up a page in the newsletter and plug folk to sponsor me for my planned epic cycle ride in the summer, raising funds for the Christadelphian Meal-a-Day Fund (CMaD).  I was more than happy to oblige.

So, why do I enjoy cycling? I would love to say 'it's because I'm good at it', but sadly this is not the case. Perhaps folk will re-call my many cycling accidents and subsequent trips to hospital over the past so-many years. On 2 particular mis-haps I managed to lose my teeth. (I'm sure Aid Payne remembers the first incident - he caused it by allegedly sticking a twig in my spokes. Ron Pinfield is sure to remember the last incident, he allegedly pushed me off my bike, attempted to divert emergency ambulance and left me for dead, whilst he went in search of breakfast).
Perhaps I like cycling because I'm a health freak?! Absolutely not - when one considers my diet this becomes an obvious joke (food is fuel though, remember that). Maybe it's because I like to push myself above and beyond my limits, enduring suffering, pain and complex hallucinations (Sarah Jane can remember when I saw dinosaurs on one trip).
Truth is, I love cycling for a number of reasons. These reasons include the fact that cycling enables me to meditate, providing an 'outlet' if you like. Cycling allows me to witness the wonders of God's creation and utilise all the senses that He has blessed me with. For sure, I do like to push my limits too, and there's no need to convince anyone that I'm as MAD as a fish.

I'm hoping to put a lot of this MADness to good use and really Make A Difference. I am hoping to Make A Difference by raising monies for the Meal A Day fund and cycling like MAD for about 116 hours.

This summer, I will be 1 of 1,000 riders from 33 countries that will cycle over 1,400 kilometres from London to Edingburgh and back again in under 5 days! I will ride through some of the most beautiful scenery in Britain, relying on my own self-sufficiency, camaraderie, and the hospitality of hundreds to complete this epic cycling challenge.

Please help Make A Difference by donating to my MAD cause - the Meal A Day fund! The Christadelphian Meal-A-Day is a volunteer run charity working to provide clean water, food, agricultural development, basic education and basic healthcare in many less developed parts of the world.
You can sponsor me and this worthy cause by clicking onto this link, which will take you to my JustGiving website: http://www.justgiving.com/doorideslel

Thank you!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Banbury Cross 200 (May 2013)

Decided to do a back-to-back 200, as part of my LEL training. This was basically a 200k audax event followed by another 200k audax event the following day. Yesterday I completed 'The Cheltenham Olde Folks 200' and today I completed the 'Banbury Cross 200'.

The 'Banbury Cross 200' is definitely one of my favourite 200k audax events. It's a great route virtually completely on lanesy roads. This was the third time I had completed it. (First time was with Aid. The second run was a solo affair. Chris Hodge and I recently completed the 'Cotswold and Thames 200' event too which was considered to be a variation of said event - in my opinion, it doesn't really compare).
As per usual (for me), I started the event from the Broadway control. It was a warm start but the skies were grey and a few drops of rain landed on me during the first few k. Starting in Broadway was a good idea - some (most) of the hills were conquered early on. Passing through Winchcombe was a pleasant experience and then the descent that followed Cleeve Hill was great too. I didn't reach my fastest speed descending down the other side of Cleeve Hill because traffic was jammed (school hour, I think).  I reached Cheltenham and felt this was going to be a good ride.

Leaving Cheltenham and the second hill was battled - Lilleybrook Hill. Once again, when the summit was reached, I was rewarded with a zoomy descent. Lovely roads took me all the way to Cirencester.

From Cirencester the route continued on nice roads. My previous attempts to find the bridleway that leads to Cricklade had failed. This time, I had partial success. I found a bridleway, but it wasn't the correct one as this was like single track and not tarmac as the route sheet stated. However, after so long this bridleway became tarmac and did lead to Cricklade! For future reference, I need to take 'the next' bridge along that crosses over the A419!

As I cycled from Cricklade, I thought about the 'great aviation disaster' at Fairford which I informed Chris about on our last audax. Am not sure if my tale is true or a yarn to be fair, but am sure elements of it were correct?! Just outside RAF Brize Norton, another disaster had taken place. Not sure what this disaster was but police and ambulance were everywhere. I didn't pay too much attention and instead sped on to Witney, as this would be my food stop. I stopped at the self same cafe that Aid and I stopped at on our first trip and ordered a huge delicious breakfast. Yummers!

Witney to Bicester was a lovely stage. I liked passing over river, canal and train track in quick succession. Bicester was a pretty area too where one is supposed to 'walk' to the shops for POP purposes. Oh well...

Bicester lead to Banbury. And in Banbury was the Banbury Cross, the 'thing', I guess, this audax was named after. I didn't take a photo of the cross, instead I took a photo of the white (grey) horse with the fair lady upon it. Shame she had her back turned to me.
Not sure of the frog's significance, but I took a photo of that too.
The route from Banbury back to Broadway was certainly undulating in nature and quite demanding on my tired legs. I forgot how hilly this section was. The climbs were rewarded with super descents though - I reached speeds of over 70kph! After reaching Chipping Campden, with just about 5k to go, the heaves opened and I got drenched! I didn't mind too much, this had been a great ride and made up for yesterdays not-so-great event. I cycled a total of 201k in under 10 hours (9 hours 57 mins). And on my return home, SJ cooked me up another top dish (lamb casserole), bless her! Maybe I should cycle more often?!

Cheltenham Olde Folks 200

Started the week by cycling a new-to-me audax event. This event was the 'Cheltenham Olde Folks 200'. As the name suggests, this was a 200k event that (officially) started in Cheltenham.

I actually started the event from the Evesham control, as this was nearer to my domicile. The ride passed through Tewkesbury, Cheltenham, Thornbury, Stonehouse, Hartpury, Upton-upon-Severn and Worcester before finishing at Evesham. A representation of my route is presented below:
On the whole, I didn't particularly rate this event. I felt it was a trifle boring and had too much in the way of busy, motorised roads. I didn't like the fact that a long stretch of the same road was cycled in both directions. I guess it it was a good ride in that it was fast and few (if any) hills were encountered.

Below are a few random thoughts I have remembered about each stage. It has taken much head scratching to recall these musings. I guess that's to be expected on a not-so-great ride.

Evesham: Good start in great weather. Hottest day this year to date. It was here that I proposed to my wife all those years ago. 

Tewkesbury: Have started so many 'Black Sheep' events from here. Made use of some cycle lanes.

Cheltenham: Got lost around here, which I so often do in Cheltenham for some reason. Found it difficult to find a suitable control.

Stonehouse: Pretty area. 

Thornbury: So near Bristol. Made me think of SJ's brother as he lives nearby. Sure I caught a glimpse of one of the Severn Bridges - gutted did not cross same. Purchased rolls from Aldi and a banana from fruit shop for lunch. Cycled a long stretch of A38 which was busy. The A38 has cycle lanes, of sorts, in that painted lines are present on the road. Even so, the A38 is quite menace. Think bike!
Hartpury: Nice roads to here. Pretty. Used Post Office for POP purposes.

Upton-upon-Severn: Funny place name I thought. More of the same (A38) to get here. Very pretty once at control. Took a well deserved stop sat next to river.

Worcester: Thought of SJ again, as she used to live here. Thought of SJ's family as they live here still. Passed Dan's bike shop. Still very hot, purchased an ice cream for POP.

Evesham: Yay, the arrivee. Cycled a total of 211k. This was a fast audax - completed in 9 hours and 50 mins.

Got sunburnt big time during this ride. Didn't use sun-block. Had a nice stew once I had gotten home, cheers SJ :)

Thursday, 2 May 2013

There be dragons

This week I didn't cycle an awful lot. My LEL training schedule dictated that I should have cycled 200k this week, but this didn't happen. I was about 70k short but that was a small price to pay to spend the weekend away with my beautiful daughter (and wife)!
I did, however, cycle on three occasions in the early part of the week. My first cycle was with Ron where we essentially cycled the most part of my 'AM SR 1' route on our mountain bikes. Even though Ron was familiar with these roads, it was a new route to him. We changed the ending of the route and cycled a short section off-road in the 'Woods of Doom'. Our route is presented below:
My second adventure took me on new roads. There be dragons! I stole a route from a Strava user which was pretty awesome and essentially took me to Lowsonford and back. The middle section was a bit wonky, as can be seen by the route track below:
My third adventure was essentially a repeat of my second adventure, only without the wonky middle section. I named this route 'BG SR 1' and am sure to ride this again. My second run of this route was a lot faster than my first. The correct route track is shown below:
In all, I cycled 141k this week. My yearly total now stands at 3,424k. Nice :)

Happy New Year 2022

Happy New Year folks. I wonder what's in store for 2022,  - something crazy, something new? It's a shame Covid is still here and I&#...