Monthly Archives: September 2009

All by myself

Although devoid of company, I decided that was no excuse not to ride (especially as I need to get some miles in!), and spent a really nice couple of hours out on Sunday morning.  The weather was pleasant enough – still only a one layer ride, just one with long sleeves this time.  The wind had dropped from earlier in the week, most of the world was still in bed, and it was pretty quiet out there.  I only had a couple of hours spare so couldn’t head too far afield.

I headed out on the back roads to Cheddar, ’round and down past Nyland Hill where I scared the farm chickens quite satisfactorily.  From there it was across at Cocklake, up Rug Hill, and off towards Mark.  I pretended to be doing the Tour of Britain as I briefly joined the route they’ll be taking at Blackford…though I’m guessing I was going considerably slower than they will be!  I detoured round the levels from there to Mark, and then took the road by the post office to the A38 and from there to Rooksbridge.  This then joined up with the last section of the forthcoming Cheddar Cyclosportive which I wanted to check out just to make sure I knew what was where and that I hadn’t forgotten anything too nasty hillwise – which I hadn’t.  Well – there are some ups and downs, and the nasty little bit by Banwell Castle…but the run down the main road back into Winscombe, 30mph into the wind, kinda made up for it 🙂

Cycling time: 1:49:20
Distance: 28.6 miles
Avs: 15.6 mph
ODO: 1778 miles

So, that was that.  Another enjoyable ride.  Being on my own I could concentrate a bit more on what I was doing, and having the mp3 player on helped relax and distract me a bit on the hills and corners – if that makes any sense!

Running up that hill

It’s getting increasingly hard to get out on the bike.  The weather has definitely changed for the worse, and it’s been nothing but rain and wind all week.   Well, today it was predicted to be just wind, so after I cajoled for a bit, Dad agreed to come out with me, carpe diem, and get some training in.  As the Cheddar Cyclosportive gets ever close, we decided to do some of the route ’round here and do the odd hill too.

So, off out into the quite considerable wind.  Hey – at least it was sunny.  We went out via Winscombe Hill (where I still didn’t like the down), along the back road to Loxton, along the levels to nearly Mark, and then off to the challenge of the day – going up Brent Knoll using the Cyclosportive route.  To be fair, it wasn’t as bad as I’d remembered it, and Dad wasn’t too dismayed by it either.  (Same cannot be said for High Ham which we plan on doing beforehand too if we can).  We slogged up it and the views from the top were pretty impressive, so it was almost worth the work!  *grin*.  Maybe it’s just better when you haven’t been dropped, and are left doing your tortoise impressions as the others hare off?  It’s amazing what a difference mental attitude can make to a hill you know…

Then it was back through Lympsham, over Bleadon Hill, over the Webbington Hill and home.  Just as we reached Bleadon the wind was finally behind us, and it was suddenly quiet and fast and lovely 🙂

Cycling time: 1:54:06
Distance: 26.3 miles
Avs: 13.8 mph
ODO: 1750! miles

The speed is mainly down to the strong headwind that hampered us for most of the way.  That’s when it was trying to blow us off from the side of course!  It was nice to be back out on the bike, getting some sun and fresh air – I think such occasions are going to be harder to find from here on in!   I was happier on the winter tyres, and improved a little on my downhill – though not much.  Irritatingly my knee was twinging a bit half way ’round, but it seemed to go away again.  More practice to be done methinks!