Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Hello 2012

Well hello, I’ve been away from a while - not much to say really, just ticking over. The second half of last year was just a few Audax’s and a plan for 2012. I enjoyed my All SEWN up ride, and in discussion, somewhat to my surprise did Denise as she drove around as support and general source of encouragement. I imagined that she would be bored waiting for me, but it seems that I forgot the 100 miles can take 3 hrs or so to drive off main roads, and by the time you have lunch, shop for food and walk the dog, the day goes quickly.

So a plan was hatched to go the Gretna and cycle up the west coast of Scotland in 7 days. This is feasible, and lovely scenery given the weather. Ah the weather, Scotland is not known for heady days of sun, blues skies and calm winds, and rarely all at once. Also Denise was more likely to have to sit and wait in the rain, albeit in the car, with a wet cold dog.

So an amended plan is hatched, and remains the current plan, to cycle from home to Scotland for a week, and then stay for a week in a cottage. The challenge is to do a minimum of 100 miles a day, for 8 days. Now it is ‘only’ 860 for the end to end going direct, so there is going to have to be a bit of winding my way north. But what route? Well I tend to like to cycle to something, so the basic plan is to work the National Trust membership hard and ride between NT properties, giving me a target and Denise somewhere to park the car, walk the dog and have a tea shop to hand. I do also fancy riding over the Humber Bridge (and why not), into the North York Moors National Park, and of course into the Yorkshire Dales, whilst remembering riding into the Dales coincided with my worst day on the SEWN up ride.

This plan hatched lead to a prolonged period off the bike due to that viral cough thing that seemed to do the rounds this winter. It hung on for weeks, I felt better, did a short ride, cough came back and turned into a mild chest infection. So antibiotics and more time off the bike. So overall I am around 500miles behind last years mileage at this time. Still I have only this ride in September and the Dartmoor Classic to prepare for this year.

So I continue to steadily build back up to backing up 4 hrs rides. On the way to this has been the Dunkery Dash on the 11th of March which remains hilly, but with better weather this year. Finished in the first 15 of 106 riders on the day so pleased with that.

Last weekend was the Exmoor Spring Colours from Porlock. We started up the toll road which turns out to be about 6 miles of up, followed by a bit of flat some steep down and another almightily up. The theme tuned in we carried on up and down. Sarah and I were in the front 10, but at the second stop food became necessary, so we stopped for a sandwich, oh alright, a mighty wedge of bread with home made fish fingers. We lost 20 mins but only maybe 6 places and rode on. My body decided that it had not recovered and had not sorted out my blood suger levels. Sarah was riding strongly and lead the 4 other males riders off up the steady gradient of the river valley from Dulveton to Dunster. I couldn’t hold the pace and let go and rode at my own pace. I rode the last 25 miles on my own, to my surprise I wasn’t caught up riders from behind, and Sarah told me I was only 5 mins behind them in front. That said she had drunk her tea and eaten the cream scones before I got back. I was happy with my place and overall time of 4hrs for 65 miles & 4700 miles of climbing. I had doubted my ability to finish at about 20 miles to go, but persuaded myself to keep going and the slower pace helped.

Next audax is the Merry Monk which is another 65 miler. This time it is a ride out and back job too, so it should be about 95 miles on the day. The food after this audax is legend, last year I ate cake and then had crumble and custard. I am very much looking forward to more crumble.


  1. Good to see you back blogging again Greg :)

  2. Hi. Just to let you know I have included your Blog on my listing of UK Cylce Blogs which you can see by clicking on the link here I continue to follow and enjoy your blog and hope to hear more from you soon.