Tuesday, 29 June 2010
We rode out to Bampton and turned up to Morebath. It is one long steady climb. Part way up we were stopped by a man in a yellow jacket, cyclists came speeding down a side road and they let us pass. It seems we had come across a half ironman triathlon. Now, they seem a funny bunch to me, triathletes, and they did nothing to help themselves change my view. We rode on passing several hundred as we climbed, no talking, many spinning small gears, and all seemingly riding at the same pace, it was almost like they weren’t allowed to pass. Very odd. Andy and Leigh disappeared up the road. We passed groups of onlookers and were cheered. I felt a a bit embarrassed. We were out for, in relative terms, a Sunday jolly. We were offered drinks by the organisers. Dave couldn’t resist, and took a bottle, it was about a third full, we shared it and along with many others dropped it at the road side for collection later.
It was a stiff ride, and what I feel my legs needed. I’ve been doing distance and riding hills, but not real hills.
During the week I started to break my proposed route for September into days. The first full day from The Lizard to Okehampton has maybe 10.000ft of climbing. That’s it, I am going to have to start to seek out hills in long rides!
In that context the ride on Sunday was right up the proverbial street. I had ridden 40 miles on Tuesday, a short ride with Denise on Wednesday, and 30 miles on Thursday. I went on the club run on Saturday, just a easy ride, but couldn’t resist going with the attack over a small hill on the run into Bridgwater. The group was quite small as we left the other side and I sat in and turned early. Still did 33miles.
5am, 5AM, and on a Sunday. Why did I sign up for this ride? Up, pack a bag with drinks, drink a pint of water, and walk out the door. The bike was in the car, I got in and left for Devon. I ate my currant bun on the way. I can’t eat that early. That time of day is reserved for sleeping and snoring.
It is an easy steady start. I rode on my own, passing others, and passed by a couple. Moving up.
Signs and Marshalls at every major junction makes this ride so easy. Onward and upwards onto Dartmoor then back down through a town. Another slow moving cyclist ahead, large fluorescent orange bag, it’s a paper boy. It is early.
I get into a small group then when I am fishing for food in my back pocket drop something. I best stop and see what it was. It’s some painkillers, carried as I have lost a lump of filling from a tooth the day before. It hasn’t hurt yet, but I don’t want to risk. I ride on and catch the group as we climb. On the descent I loose my saddle bag, it’s got my spares in it so best ride back up and get it. The bracket has broken so I shove it in my jersey and ride on with a distended lump on my stomach. I’ll sort it at the feed station.
I was largely on my own into and out of the feed, but could hear a couple of riders behind me chatting. I eased back, let them pass and sat behind them. We got chatting and it became apparent that one of them, Alec, also rides for Somerset Road Club. It is a big club neither of us were aware of meeting before. The other rider, John was highly amused by this.
Most of the time I had no idea where I was, I knew by the direction of my shadow which was I was going, normally the wrong way. Occasionally we went through somewhere I had heard of, Tavistock and Lydford Gorge came up. They are a long way from the start.