Monday, 30 November 2015

Oxford and a charity cycle ride

30th November 2015
After my lovely coastal run last Monday we had a couple of days in Oxford at the Travel Lodge at the Pear Tree exchange, great place to stay, cheap[voucher codes] and next to the park and ride so we can use our bus pass!!  We spent the time looking at the Bodlian, Ashmolian and generally absorbing the atmosphere of Oxford, even though it didn’t seem very Christmassy! Lunch and dinner courtesy of Green and whatsit in the Wig and Pen and the JD Weatherspoon Four Candles, lovely Thursday evening curry, we even managed a matinee of ‘Lady who lived in a van’ which was very good, well written by Alan Bennett, I liked the way he played two of himself! And talked about talking to oneself whilst writing, bit like writing a blog!
We also managed to get a look at Burford and the Burford Garden Centre which was lovely, very Cotswold like in buildings and the Garden centre very nice and Christmassy, but very expensive. The journey home was not pleasant getting stuck in traffic near to Stonehenge on the A303 with the ‘Londoners’ all heading west on Friday afternoon, to their  second homes I have no doubt .
 Saturday I managed a good road run around town with 9 miles completed, in what turned out to be the best weather of the weekend as the wind picked up, with the rain and it got worse, especially for the charity cycle ride on the Sunday, 25 brave souls turned out to support Spinal Research, most to do the 35 mile route, very, very windy and drizzle in the air as we set off uphill into the head wind, we soon split up and the first hill of the day Stoopers Hill out of Combe St Nicholas with a 15% gradient a sign of things to come! The lanes were very dirty making the downhill sections quite slippery and the uphills hard work, we eventually emerged after much up and down round Howley and Stockland out on the Membury to Axminster road to be greeted with hot coffee and cake by the organisers, mind, they seemed to have picked the windiest spot! On to Axminster and then following the road to Chard before turning uphill once more to Wndwhistle hill, very appropriate today and the descent from the summit down the A30 was a challenge, staying upright and pedalling hard to keep moving downhill, there had been constant drizzle all day, not enough to put a waterproof on but enough to be annoying, I had been on my own for the last 20 or so miles and I soon negotiated the lanes round Chaffcombe before  heading back to the finish at Tesco car park, cake and coffee again before heading home for lunch, a very hard route with over 4000ft of climbing, I clocked 36 miles the conditions were dreadful and I was glad to get in the shower and recover after with a nice warming bowl of soup. It was after the event I realised I had developed a sniffle! Start of a cold!!!!

Today [Monday] I was determined to get a short run in and did 4.9 miles before deciding I had had enough, the wind and rain once again, making it a miserable grey day. My cold doesn’t seem too bad, I hope it doesn’t develop further. Forecast for the rest of the week is still very poor so don’t think cycling is on the agenda, I haven’t cleaned my bike from Sunday yet! But, maybe I can get a run or two in. This along with Spinning and my Kettlebells should keep me ticking along with fitness before I have to think about the Grizzly in March next year.

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