Monday, 3 November 2014

A quiet week

Monday 3rd November

Three days Bikeability this week at leisure centres in Crewkerne and Cheddar , the Crewkerne course weather was a contrasting two days, Tuesday was warm and sunny and beautiful day, whilst Wednesday was heavy rain, making the day and unpleasant riding experience for the children [and for me!] The Cheddar course I was only needed on day one, but we managed to finish the day with a cycle up the ‘Strawberry line’ cycle route to Axbridge, so called as the old railway line used to be used for transporting strawberries to Bristol etc. A nice route passing the Cheddar reservoir, lots of half term people enjoying the sunshine.
Thursday also saw Mrs IanB and daughter having a day out at the Bath spa  followed by lunch at Jamie Olivers Italian restaurant in the town, feedback says they had a great time, especially in the rooftop pool! It was Mrs IanBs birthday, so cake at teatime was in order.

I did get out on Wednesday for a run in the evening, I seemed to really struggle, not being able to set a reasonable pace, given it was the same route as the Sunday run 5.1 miles I was over a minute slower per mile, legs were heavy and breathing not easy. The body is strange, I went through why I would feel like this and came to no real conclusions, diet and sleep were normal, the only thing I put it down to was, I did eat a heavy dinner about an hour before my run.
Friday was a lovely day so after some admin paperwork decided that a cycle ride rather than a run was my preference, a temperature of 17 degrees centigrade !! showed on my cycle computer amazing for the last day of October and the roads were dry so I rode my summer road bike [Qoroz] again, the difference between my summer and winter bike is quite noticeable, the summer bike being quicker, and more responsive, I really do like the gearing on my Qoroz.  28miles at 15.5 mph was enjoyable compared to my run of the previous day. My aim to run three times a week and cycle at least once has still not quite happened. Certainly the dark evenings I find do not motivate me at all, and when I do a Bikeability day, these days are quite hard and challenging  ensuring the children are safe and working through the outcomes to ensure they have been consistent enough to award them the level two.
I am intending to get down the local leisure centre this week to try a spinning class, I hope this will help motivation!

Sunday dawned wet and windy, but the promise of fine weather later, so rather than go out and get wet I thought an afternoon ride was a better option [wimp!]
The sun was shining when I set off after lunch so chose to take out the summer bike, I keep thinking it will be my last run out on it this year, but the weather ha been kind so far, only resorting to the winter bike once.
The ride through Broadway was pleasant even though I encountered a tractor hedge cutting and throwing the rubbish all over the road, good puncture material. The clouds seemed to be gathering over the Blackdowns and I did wonder if I would get the whole way round my ride without a soaking [more later] with one eye on the weather I decided to drop down through Hatch Beauchamp rather than my Slough Green route as last time I went that way the road was closed, giving me a long detour! I made my way over Meare Green and down to North Curry, roads now were showing signs of winter approaching being very damp and muddy where tractors had been in the fields, mixed with wet leaves a nice concoction to make the roads treacherous in places, as well as giving my bike and backside a nice coating of mud, I should have brought the winter bike after all as it has mud guards, a lesson there some where!.
Still keeping an eye on the approaching dark clouds I made the decision to via Athelney and check on the dredging, as I dropped down to the railway crossing the first spots of rain began, a quick look over the bridge, a nice wide channel now with fast flowing water [no idea what impact it will have on stopping flooding further down stream at Burrowbridge and Moreland though] on through Stathe in ever increasing shower, time to put my pertex top on, not waterproof but keeps the wind off.  
When I got to Oathe the road splits and I decided the quickest way home was through Oathe and up to Curry Rivel, unfortunately climbing off the levels up Heale lane is a 20% hill that’s 1 in 5 old money!!! I surprised myself and found the climb ok sitting down for the majority of the climb, my 32 tooth sprocket coming into its own. The rain stopped again just before the climb, and the sun came out.

                                              Winter sunshine over the levels just before my 20% climb!!!

Past the Heale tower. [The following is taken from the web ] to Curry Rivel.
“High above the village of Curry Rivel stands a tall column, dedicated to the memory of Sir William Pynsent. Pynsent was a highly successful businessman in the thriving Somerset cider trade.
When the government of the day was considering taxing cider more heavily, William Pitt the Elder came out strongly against the proposals. Sir William Pynsent was so grateful for Pitt's support that he changed his will, and left the Burton Pynsent estate to Pitt.
When Pynsent died in 1765, his relatives were shocked to find they had been left with only a thousand guineas each. They contested the will, but the challenge was unsuccessful, and Pitt became the new owner of the Burton Pynsent estate. Pitt commissioned Capability Brown to design the the monument to remember Pynsent (and, no doubt, to remember his wealth!). The monument was constructed by Philip Pear, a builder from Curry Rivel.
The monument rises to a height of 140 feet, and was finished in 1768 at a cost of £2000, a not-inconsiderable sum fore the day. It is composed of a rectangular plinth upon which is a round column topped by a viewing platform, itself surmounted by an urn. The viewing platform is no longer accessible, due, legend tells us, to an unfortunate incident with a cow.”

An interesting story. Anyway, on through Hambridge, and another rain shower,  the roads were very wet!! I turned right and went through Isle Abbots, on back through Ilton, by now it had stopped raining again, but roads were increasingly muddy.Crossing the A358 was easy for a Sunday afternoon and back home over Crock street and the three final climbs . 41 miles total so a good ride, except for the rain, I had to hose off my bike when I got back because of the mud! the temperature had dropped to 8 degrees, big difference to  Fridays 17 degrees!

This week only 5 miles running but 69 miles on my bike! 

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