Saturday 28 June 2014


Did not post anything over past couple of weeks because I was away on my family holiday. Had a lovely time in Charmouth despite not riding a bike at all! Managed to complete a series of 5k runs, however, as depicted by the GPX track logs below.
Despite not riding a bike, I purchased some bike related stuff. Indeed, I ordered a new pair of tyres for Jenny, my cyclocross bike. This was because I had punctured 3 times already using the Continental cyclocross tyres that Jenny was equipped with. My buddy Chris suggested I replace them with Scwalbe land cruisers, so I did just that. These new tyres look beefier, were less than £20 a pair and run on a max inflation of 65 psi. Are these tyres any good? - I dunno, but will post about same somewhere in time.
Whilst away, I also swam a little. Oh, I did enjoy my holiday! Sadly, work resumes next week.

Have now ran a 131k this year and cycled some 4,195k. Hope to resume cycling next week (as well as work). Perhaps my running will stop for a season too. No swimming, there is no sea near me and local pool is way too expensive.

Friday 13 June 2014

Saracen RC 200 (No 1) Audax and other stuff

Over the past couple of weeks have cycled lots but just failed to blog about it. Completed a number of work and back commutes using various routes. Punctured twice. Completed one new audax event.

The audax event I completed was the Saracen RC 200k (No 1) permanent audax, organised by Sean Barker. The Saracen RC events (of which there are 2) are new additions to the audax calendar. I chose route No 1 because it had 2 AAA (hilly) points. The AUK and AAA points were needed to keep my RRtY and AAARRtY awards going.
The route I cycled during the Saracen RC 200k (No 1) audax
The event started in Bournville which was handy as it was relatively close to home. The route sheet provided by the organiser was poor and listed only 'left' and 'right' type directions. The provided GPX file was equally pants and followed straight lines as opposed to actual roads. I think I added an additional 13k trying to navigate the route.

The first stage was relatively lengthy at 60k but relatively flat too. Even though this was a new audax, I had cycled most of the roads before on various other audax events. Indeed the first control was a 'spoons pub in Tewkesbury - a usual start control for various other events. At the 'spoons pub I didn't have my usual staple audax diet of beans on toast. Instead, I had an awesome chilli noodles and chicken dish. Delicious!

After a wee bit of rain during stage one, the sun came out and stayed out. This turned out to be a real hot day. Was pleased that most controls had only about 20k between them. The next stop was Ledbury.
Ledbury control
Next stop was Bromyard which was quickly followed by Leominster. The cycling was OK during these stages but nothing spectacular stood out. As the route progressed it seemed to get that little bit hillier. I decided to use Leominster as my lunch stop and indulged myself with a sandwich and crisps from a local store. 
A nice bench for luncheon purposes
Wasn't Rachels bench, it was mine!
Before leaving Leominster, layers had to be removed due to the extreme heat. Just like the few stages before, it was only about 20k to the next stage in Ludlow. I loved passing under a pretty arch to reach said control.
The archway to Ludlow
Ludlow was such a pretty area. The control itself was a cafe shop just opposite Ludlow Castle. Nasty toastie from cafe was swiftly devoured.

The final stage was like the first in that it was about 60k. This stage was more difficult though as it was hilly and very hot. How mean to place all the hills at the end of the route.
Hilliness profile of Saracen RC 200 (No 1) audax
The toughest hill was actually not that steep. The hill was Clee Hill and it just seemed to stretch forever. The heat was making me feel sick and perhaps I was a little dehydrated. With a pounding head I reached the summit and was awarded with a spectacular view.
View from Clee Hill
From Clee Hill a nice descent turned into undulation. This undulating route then continued pretty much all the way back to Bournville. All in all, an okay route. A relatively fast hilly 200k, completed in just over 11 hours and 2 AAA points to boot!

Have now cycled 4,195k this year. Am planning on taking a break for the next couple of weeks. Maybe I'll start up my running again?

Oh, as mentioned last week, here is a link to that news item suggesting car drivers give more space to female cyclists: 


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