Sunday, 28 February 2010

Dunkery 'Dash'

Hello to those of you who are only hear as curiosity got the better of you and you thought you might follow the link I sent to you, telling you about this blog. Feel free to leave messages.
Miles cycled this year: 889
In 55 Hours burning 32500 Kcal climbing 29000ft
Most miles in a week (so far) : 160

Dunkery Dash is somewhat of a misnomer. It is an Audax, a non competitive group bike ride. Everyone starts together, but it soon breaks up into groups, and men & adrenaline means that there will be competition. (I was 9th out of 70 odd) It is a misnomer though as it starts with a five, yes 5, mile climb up onto the Quantocks, a fast descent then another long climb up on/in to Exmoor National Park, and ultimately to the highest point of the road next to Dunkery Beacon, the highest point of Somerset. You then turn round and come back, after a drink and a very nice piece of cake. The climbs include 16% sections including the last hill, oh and there was a stiff headwind on the way out, and a bit of sleet. Dashing is, therefore, not at the top of the list. In fact the last hill is a kind of slow bike race. How slow can I ride without falling off? I won’t walk - it is a matter of pride. I can ride quicker up that hill but not after 3 and a half hours, 54 miles and maybe 4800ft of climbing already in the legs using racing gearing.
I suspect you may be asking ‘why?’ and I do wonder that myself. I think on rides like that it is best to leave the thinking part of the brain at the start and just get on with it. Thinking about it gets in the way. It is just a case of which way next, whilst remembering to eat & drink and dodge the odd car. It is a nice feeling to finish it, although me and the bike look like we went across ploughed fields, my back felt like it was going to seize up due to the climbing, and I now walk like an old man.

Still it will be easier/faster next time and all good training for later in the year.

The pic is the route as seen by my bike computer. The brown shaded bit are the hills, the blue line is my speed, and the red wavy line is my heart rate.

Time for a lie down now :-)

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