Monday, 4 August 2014

Monday 4th August

79 miles cycled and 12.3 miles running – that was my efforts last week! Pleased with that, my second run of the week on Saturday 6.2 miles from Neroche Castle to Staple hill and back all off road, took me 1hr 6 minutes with 740+ feet of climbing, just over 10 minute miles,  it was hot, but not as hot as the previous run. There were more people around, being the weekend and the school holidays, several dog walkers who kindly either held their dog or put it on the lead as I went past, much appreciated and I acknowledged it.

Sunday 3rd August

A bright sunny morning , clear skies, but with a slight chill to the air, but not enough for me to wear a long sleeve jersey  or arm warmers. I had planned to try to get a 50 miler in to keep up the miles for the forthcoming Audax which is 62 miles. Mike, my riding buddy for the morning was unsure as he had not done a lot of riding lately.

We set off and by the time we had climbed up past Moolham Mill to Kingston I was pleased I had short sleeves with the sun showing its August heat! A descent down through the trees, dodging potholes brought us to Dinnington past the ‘Dinnington Docks’ pub [even though there are no docks and its real name is the Rose and Crown!] we were also now on the Fosse Way, the very straight Roman road that runs down from Lincoln to Axmouth, you could almost imagine the Legionnaires tramping along it. There was a fantastic mosaic uncovered locally showing the detail they put into the way they lived.

We continued through Lopen Head before descending into South Petherton following the road to Martock, a road frequently flooded in winter, but! Very dry today! Martock’s church bells were ringing, calling the Sunday morning worshippers to prayer. The sunshine continued but cloud was building in the west. The route took us up through Long Sutton and climbed up to Somerton, the ancient capital of Wessex, now a small grey stone Somerset town.
We followed the South Somerset cycle route past the ‘park’ which was a large farm complete with helicopter parked at the back, and well manicured lawns, round through Pitney before a sharp climb up to the High Ham road and then dropping down to Langport.

Our choice for a coffee break was ‘Kellways Garden Centre’, who do a ‘Lycra special’ any drink and cake for £3, much enjoyed sat in the sunshine in the garden. It was soon time to saddle up and move on. Muchelney was the next point on the route followed by Drayton, Hambridge and Isle Abbots across the levels that were covered in two feet of flood water in the winter. Fivehead sees the start of the climb back home, as it’s the last of the low points, so its really approximately 15 miles uphill!! Hatch Beauchamp saw us crossing the A358 Taunton road, relatively quiet for a Sunday morning. Mike decided at this point to top up his energy reserves, with a cereal bar and a gel. I opted to do the same even though I was feeling ok after 40miles.

The climb upto Bickenhall, whilst not steep at about 9% always seems very stiff after cycling on the levels. We set a good pace to Broadway before the final 3 climbs over to home.
According to the Garmin we covered 50.5 miles climbing 2280ft and using 2911 calories [which accounted for my cake at coffee time!] the pace overall was only 13.5 mph, but a good ride and morning out, the best of the weather now gone with gathering cloud and the odd spot of rain.

Monday 4th August

A bright cloudy day with the sun showing through occasionally, we decided to have a trip to Minehead, we had not been there for over a year. Traffic was quite heavy and so it took us a good hour plus, to get there. Parking in Tesco we collected a sandwich before passing McDonalds and picking up a coffee to drink on the front overlooking the sea. There were lots of people on the beach, and in the sea. Lunch was in ‘Blenhem Park’ a well managed park in the middle of Minehead. Minehead is in a lovely spot, surrounded by the Exmoor hills and on the edge of the Bristol channel.

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