I wished it would get warmer, and warmer it has become. And me oh my, but it is lovely out there :). Would now be a good time to wish to win the lottery? 😉 I was planning on riding today whatever, and as it turns out, thanks to a torch, a dentist, and an osteopath, GB had the day off, so not only did I get to ride, I got company to ride with. Getting better all the time :). I didn’t even have to faff about layers. Because that would be a plural thing, and today was a most singular thing ;).
I met GB in a very sunny Square at 1:00pm. Everything looks better in the sun, and the Church was looking great. Taking photos in the Square always amuses me – it makes me look like a tourist, and reminds me that Somerset is somewhere that other people come on holiday and that I get to live here. A good frame of mind in which to go riding :).
GB has been threatening to do hills, including the glider hill, which I have to admit really didn’t appeal. I am going to conquer that hill, but I’m going to do it by myself, without an audience, without anyone else to gauge my performance by or to interfere with my mental mojo. Luckily when it came to it, we made our route up as we went along, with the main aim being to enjoy riding our bikes in the sun, not kill me going up hills. Phew!
On the way out of town we startled a grass snake that was basking in the sun in the middle of the road. Considering the fact that they’re verging on endangered, we did a good thing, because if we’d been a car, it would have been squashed. I stopped and watched it for a little while once it was on the pavement, and then it slithered off into the undergrowth, free to bask another day. I do like snakes :).
We headed off towards Wedmore, discovering that while it was most definitely warm and sunny, it was also pretty darn windy, even if it wasn’t supposed to be! As you can see GB was breaking the rules (15 and 16, I believe), but then since my top was sleeveless (rule 7), so was I. He was certainly looking very colourful, as was the scenery as a whole to be fair. Lots of green, thanks to all the recent rain, lots of recently bloomed flowers, and then the blue sky and the yellow sun. Somerset was looking at its best :).
We took a rather circuitous route to get to the top of Mudgley Hill, to keep off the more major roads, and avoid the traffic. It also made a change to the usual route, and let’s face it, variety is difficult to find around here. Odd how climbs that once seemed huge are now not so. John’s hill (named after an ACG rider) was one we always used to descend, and rarely if ever do in reverse. I’m sure it was bigger, or longer, or steeper, back then. Maybe that’s how it felt because it was so much fun to go down? But today it was just another unremarkable climb. Signs of progress? I’m sure the sunshine helped though 🙂 Round the back of Wedmore, and at the top of Mudgley Hill there is, and I think I may have shown it to you before, a sign. And also a very lovely view.
Being up there meant we got to go down there, although the side/head wind did take the edge off the descent somewhat, as it made me a bit more cautious than I sometimes am. A lot of the route out after that involved zig-zagging around and doing our best to avoid having to do too much slogging into the wind. We went via Burtle, which is still a great name for a village. It sounds like something from the Trap Door (BURK!). It also sounds like something out of the Midsomer Murders – a quiet little village where nothing happens but where actually all the bodies are buried *grin*.
On a bridge over the River Brue on the other side, past the peat works, is this sign. Which I always wonder about. Who was he? How was he killed? Why was he so important that he warranted a plaque? How has it stayed there for so long? I guess I could probably do some research and find out more…but nah forget it yo home to Bel-Air! ;).
And if you don’t believe it was windy, I’m going to prove it. I kind of understand wind when it’s grey and horrible and I can actually see weather happening. It’s kinda hard to figure out where the wind is coming from on a day like this, but it was there, and there was plenty of it. From the South West ish.
Our goal was Brean Down for coffee, on the basis that it was a good day for the seaside, but hopefully it not being a weekend and not yet being holiday season, the roads and traffic to get there wouldn’t be too bad. And it wasn’t too bad, but there were still too many cars on the road for my taste. Which is why, as I’ve said before, I tend to ride in the morning, because it tends to be quieter. The only consolation to the slog there was that there was every possibility that we’d get to fly home afterwards which sounded good :).
I have to say we stood out like a sore thumb amongst the raggle taggle customers at the Brean Down Cove Café. And from some of the looks we were getting you’d have thought we came from a different planet. Nothing new there then. We sat outside on one of the rickety as ever picnic tables in the sun and chilled out for bit. My americano, once they finally a black one, was generously sized and very nice. GB’s cake looked lovely…(she says wistfully..). He chilled out so much he had to put his gilet on before we got going again ;). We popped up to the beach for photos before heading back, as you do. Well, as I do. I have to admit to preferring my beaches with waves and rocks, but this one wasn’t bad :).
The route home was indeed distinctly faster, though due to the wiggly nature of the roads, the wind wasn’t as consistently behind us as would have been nice, but boy when it was…GB called it magic carpet time, and he had a point :D. We parted company at the Webbington – I needed to get back, and given a choice between going my way and then home via the A38 or going home via Winscombe Hill, GB preferred the hill option. Unsurprisingly – he’s so good at them!
Look – Wendy has reattached my shadow :). Actually I didn’t even notice the hill because I was so busy messing around with my camera. Maybe that’s a tactic I should try more often? Not likely to work with steep gradients though – I need to be holding on then! ;).
Cycling time: 2:22:21 hrs.
Distance: 41.49 miles
Avs: 17.5 mph.
ODO: 13870 miles
Here’s our route for information purposes. GB reckons we were pushing it, and I guess maybe we were, but that’s probably because no-one wants to be the one to say “slow down”, now do they? Pride is a terrible thing *grin*. Maybe I should try to do that sometimes though… I got home just before eldest, who decided it was time he took his revenge with the camera, which was only fair.
At least I have proof that it was sunny, and that I got to ride my bike in one layer, in shorts, in sunglasses… 🙂 It looks like the rest of the week may continue to be nice *fingers crossed*. Having said that I have a sportive on Sunday so what do you want to bet it breaks by then? Just in case it doesn’t, and having been reminded that the application of suntan cream is a good idea, I nipped over to Amazon and bought myself a couple of bottles of the Riemann P20 which I used last year, which I’d forgotten about, and which I’d run out of. It’s brilliant for sportives – apply once, and forget about it!
Right. One last thing to share with you. Yesterday’s stirfry dinner, which was also today’s lunch. Ginger, green chilli, chicken, peppers, green beans, bean sprouts, carrots, sweet potato, rice noodles, Sharwood sweet and sour sauce, and coriander. Good yesterday, and even better cold today :).
I really do need to start cooking some more interesting things, so in addition to the little gluten free cookery book I picked up the other week (not quite safe enough), I decided to get these two recipe books from the Book People that are even more restricted so therefore more likely to be safe for me if I’m careful. I’m still being way too lazy about what I eat, and not eating the best from a fuelling point of view *slapped wrist*. Yes, I know, I should know better…