Monday, 24 June 2013

Dorset Downs Audax - 19th May

This Audax starts from Dorchester at a later time than normal allowing me to get up at a normal time and still get there on time. So an unhurried journey down and still able to park in the small car park at the start.

At 9.43 quite a small group of us left and started a slow ride up the ascent of the rise of the High Street. All very pedestrian, but I sat in. We soon turned right and left the houses behind and up a short sharper climb. The group fanned out across the road. Amused that no one seemed to want to lead up the hill I rode to the front and carried a steady pace to the top of the hill. Looking round I expected to see a line behind me, but no 40yds back there was a group. I freewheeled down the descent and climbed the next hill slower, but the stayed doggedly 40yds behind. I turned a corner and stopped to take a jacket off. I was caught. I caught the small group up, and followed a lady up the next climb, eventually we formed a group of four or five on the front and rode on steadily through light showers

The route is lovely. The sort of route I would plan for myself. Quite pretty lanes, with little traffic. It rolls, but I didn't find it overly demanding.

By the time we stopped for the control, there was just the two of us at the front. Riding together and chatting. It turned out he had done the 1400km Paris - Brest - Paris, but at least I could put up my two end to ends, one the long way and the 100m a day for 7 days. The food was, well the ladies had clearly decided to supply us lunch. A monster roll, a piece of fruit and a piece of cake, all for a donation to a local charity.

The hall was filling with riders as we left, and we rode on steadily and up over Bulbarrow. This hill has three or four ways up and we went up the steepest. My companion, on his compact, climbed quicker, with me adopting my 12 pedal revolutions standing and 12 seated on hard steep climbs. It works for me. By the time I get to the end of one set that group of muscles is tiring and then rest whilst I use another.

Over the top, we regrouped and I left him to follow on the mighty quick descent, and we were then onto the run into Dorchester. I felt the back wheel go bouncy and then starting to squirm. I was going to have to stop and change the inner tube. I told my companion to go on, and turned to the job in hand. Working quickly I was determined not to loose my place on the road. Somewhat amazed I managed it and rode onto the hall to More rolls and cake.

This is a lovely ride, and I would give 4.5 out of 5 . It deserves more riders for its route and organisation. I would only ask for a a bit more cake and less roll at the control.

My GPX file is available at

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