Bristol’s Biggest Bike Ride 2010

Today was Fathers’ Day.  Not that this makes any difference, I’d have been doing the ride whatever.  However I did take my Dad with me again, which makes the fact sort of pertinent.  GB is also a father.  And Hubby was at home being allowed to sleep off the Cheddar Ales Beer Festival.  So there you go, a day for fathers of all sorts.

GB kindly played chauffeur and drove him and I into Bristol, pondering what the weather was going to do, to his amazingly handily located office parking.  OK, so maybe we should have cycled in and back, but with a 9:20 start, I’d have had to get out of bed hideously early, which never appeals!  We cycled over the harbour bridge in the sunshine to the start, with GB complaining about a slight chill in the wind, where we met up with my Dad and DMC at the start, turning our ride into an informal ACG ride.

We weren’t too early this year, and having met up with remarkably little logistical difficult – considering the number of cyclists due to be around – we headed straight for the start and got a lot nearer the front than last year.  We made good progress out of Bristol, and it even stopped being “cold” once we got into the sunshine.  I always always forget how much I hate the first 20 minutes or so of a ride – it takes that long for me to warm up, whilst in the meantime feeling slow, unfit and out of breath.  Well, not that slow as we were hurtling along at a fair pace down the Portway – GB had rocket powered legs today and was definitely off on one.  Then again, maybe he was just trying to keep warm?

We kinda stayed together…  Well, ok, we sort of spread out but caught up with each other from time to time.  We regrouped for the final time at the top of Brockley Coombe, a climb which I really enjoyed.  Yes – I did say that.  I pushed hard all the way up – doing over 13mph for the whole middle section.  In fact I pushed hard for most of the ride, and enjoyed doing so.  We spread out again shortly after that – GB and DMC leading the race for base, and Dad dropped back.  Left in the middle I just put my head down and pushed myself all the way back.  I stomped my way up the Barrow Gurney steep bit, and basically had a fab time zooming along (comparatively speaking) in the sun.

I met a fly in in the ointment just as I arrived back at the start.  Just before the pedestrian bridge over the basin, some *insert impolite word for stupid person here* on a mtb came out cycling towards us all, talking on his mobile phone.  There was skidding, and stopping, and shouting, and I stopped but…couldn’t unclip too.  That would be asking too much.  Being virtually stationary at the time, this meant bruises on the legs that encountered the road or frame, and a very sore wrenched little finger on my left hand.  We exchanged words…but of course since I hadn’t actually hit him and had only fallen off avoiding him, it wasn’t his fault, right?  *grrrrrr*

Turns out Dad had managed to have a tumble too and gashed his leg.  Mind you, he hadn’t really noticed until someone pointed it out to him!  The pleased to finally be doing something St John’s Ambulance guys who iced my finger and strapped it up were concerned that it might be broken so, post ride, I spent some time in WSM A&E checking that this wasn’t the case.  Which it wasn’t.  Which is good because if I go on another summer holiday strapped up and incapable my family may well have a sense of humour failure…

Cycling time: 2:18
Distance: 38.3 miles
Avs: 15.9 mph
ODO: 4761 miles

Considerably faster than last year, and it felt it.  There’s something naughty but nice about cycling with a very mixed ability crowd – you get to overtake lots of people and be fast – very good for the ego *grin*.  Mind you, some of them could use some road sense…  Still, GB and I reckon on a good day, if you pushed it, you might bring it in at 2 hours…  I said that last year though.  Got to be worth a shot next year, right? *grin*  Well, it’s a lovely ride, and I don’t see any reason not to do it again.  And again.  🙂

Oddly tho, maybe due to the accident, or the pushing hard, my thighs are killing me now…which is really weird and unprecedented for such a short ride.  Hm.  Probably good for me in the long run though 😉

Thanks go to GB for driving Miss Accident Prone both to the ride, and to the hospital afterwards.  He deposited me there, and took the bike home.  Which, as it turns out, is a good thing because I’ll be able to ride it this week as planned now!  ‘Rah!  Put me back on my bike!