Red Rain

I think I may be living my very own version of Groundhog Day…  This was my view out of the window this morning.  Look familiar at all?

I mean…really?  Fog?  Again?  I was bored of it before…so for variety’s sake this time I opted for being grumpy and unamused instead.  This is not a good frame of mind to be in when you’re contemplating riding the bike, and if it wasn’t for the fact that I was riding with someone else – namely George – I’d probably have opted for a session in the nice warm gym instead.  It being her ride, and her route, I didn’t even really know where we were going, other than that it was due to involve hills and Portishead, which again wasn’t all that motivating.  The hills that is, not the Portishead bit, before all you Posset residents take offence.  It’s just with hills I usually get to watch her disappear into the distance whilst I slog along behind her feeling sorry for myself.  Did I mention how crotchety I was feeling? *grin*.

If you want to see my route, you can hit the Strava link and there it will be, in all its glory, though considering that Strava are currently having capacity problems, I can’t guarantee that ;).  It was another chilly, grey, gloomy, foggy, featureless ride.  With my sunglasses relegated to the back pocket and my helmet dripping water onto my face.  Having said that…it wasn’t all that bad.  There were some hills that I haven’t been up in a long time, which is always nice:

  • The fairly gentle climb up past the Walled Garden from Wrington to Redhill, having convinced George that the road around the runway would be mucky and unpleasant.  Well it is at this time of year, right? ;)
  • Wraxall Hill, which is a slog, but which I remember as being worse last time I did it, an improvement aided and abetted no doubt by the nice road surface.
  • The long climb along Nore Road in Portishead, where we waved in Mum & Dad’s direction and wondered where Wales had gone.  Along with the Severn.  MIA.
  • The climb up the initially steep Holly Lane into Clevedon, made easier by the thought of imminent coffee.

At least with the ups you also get the downs, though this was sometimes hairier than usual.  Unfamiliar descents, with limited visibility, damp roads, and very cold hands…ick!  I put my over-gloves on at some point which made all the difference though.  Having shown you a misty pier the other day, I of course leapt at the chance to show you a slightly better version of the same sort of thing. Voila – Clevedon Pier.  Equally atmospheric, but rather more intact.

We had our coffee stop at Tiffin, on the seafront.  Talk about busy!  We were lucky enough to get the last table, and some people ended up outside which, on a day like this, takes some dedication.  The reviews at TripAdvisor may be behind this – it’s clearly very popular, and we may well have been a little under-dressed ;).

George doing what all do when we sit down - check the 'phone!

Mind you, all the coming and going meant people kept opening the (large) door that we were sat next to and letting the cold air in, which ain’t all the pleasant when you’re sitting in clammy lycra.  However that not withstanding, it was all very pleasant.  The staff were friendly, they didn’t flinch at our non-conformist apparel, and they had two types of gluten-free cake – gluten-free being amongst the things I can risk eating.  No guarantees, but it’s safer than most.  My safe sticky ginger cake was nice, if more ginger than sticky, George’s toasted teacake, served with a selection of jams, looked nice, and more importantly the coffee was good.  You know me and my coffee :).  Not the cheapest in the world though – that lot came to £9.90…

So that left me caffeine-fuelled, with my painkillers topped up (yet more caffeine in there) and raring to get home and warm up.  I think the fog had marginally lifted, and the temperature raised likewise, as it wasn’t quite as chilly setting off as it might have been, even when I stopped again for more photos.

George waiting patiently while I take more photos.

George is not going to thank me for all these photos but since she rarely comes out these days, I feel the need to over-compensate for her absence and immortalise her here while I can – so there :P.  We took the fairly direct route home – Yatton, Sandford, Winscombe.  I was going pretty well, and George was kind enough to suggest I’d been towing her around all morning, which is a nice thought, but since her back light is better than mine (the batteries on mine are running out) I think she was really only sitting there for safety reasons ;).

Having been up Winscombe Hill the other day to get my Strava QOM (as you do) I decided we were going back up that way again.  George did try and talk me out of starting at the bottom, but since she’s usually the one making me go up hills, I decided I wasn’t having any of it *grin*.  And I made it up faster today too, so clearly it was all well worthwhile.  Oh dear, oh dear, what is becoming of me…? ;)

George, having had gear problems all day, and not wanting to push her still recuperating knee too much, was a little behind me, so I had time to get the camera out again, and catch her one more time before we went down the bypass to home.  Tee hee hee…*grin*.

I can’t be bothered with multiple sets of stats anymore – so for the time being, these are those from Strava, even if they do make me slower:

Cycling time: 3:06:11 hrs
Distance: 45.1 miles
AVS: 14.5 mph.
ODO: 12544 miles

After all that pre-ride preamble, it went surprisingly well, and I’m very glad I went, as it was good to catch up with George, and riding on my own can get a bit boring.  My legs were feeling pretty good on the flat, but a little less so on a couple of the hills, so I’m thinking it might be wise to take it a little easy over the next couple of days before the Lionheart.  It’s the first 100 miler of the season and it’s inevitably going to be hard work.  It would probably help if I remembered to drink and eat properly too – not easy when the weather is like this, and when I’m not sure what I can eat…  Talking of weather, the forecast is not brilliant, but that’s alright, I don’t need a weather forecast, because I know what it’s going to be like.  Foggy! :D.