Saturday, 30 April 2016

Catch up

Catch Up
Sunday 1st May
It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I will attempt to bring my Blog up to date!
The weather over the past week has been weird with low temperatures and snow, hail, thunder and some sunshine, and out of the northerly wind it was/is quite warm.
We were camped in the van for the last three days this week, whilst we looked after the grandchildren, now growing fast, the twins now 7 months, starting to crawl  and granddaughter starting school in September! It was minus 3 degrees on the Wednesday night and in the van we woke to 5 degrees, but we were snug and warm, I switched the heater on when I awoke to make tea and the temperature was quickly raised to 12 degrees +. The ‘Briarsfield ‘ campsite on the edge of Cheltenham is fully recommended, a lovely site, the owners are very welcoming and the site is always spotless and very good price. I had a good couple of days on Bikeability where the children were great as the weather was atrocious, they got very wet, and were still positive about the experience.
This week is the first week for a couple of weeks I haven’t got an Audax, the last two down in over the levels  and across in Devon, would be hard to beat, as the weather was really good, chilly but dry, and little wind. Last week was also my first cuckoo of the year, as we cycled past Hound Tor it was sounding out across the valley. This event also saw me puncture for the first time in ages, I think a pinch puncture, soon mended but it did put us back a little on the main group of riders. There were a lot of hills as we climbed out of Newton Abbott, across Ashcombe Valley, the hills being short and steep, on narrow lanes and over to the Coast at Starcross and the Ex estuary, it was a really nice cycle path  down to Exeter, even though it was a head wind all the way.After Exeter it was more climbing, steady this time as we climbed on to Dartmoor, via Cheriton Bishop, Tedburn St Mary and Whiddon Down, I think mainy using the old A30 before they built the new duelled road.
The final climb over Hound Tor etc was really pleasant the exception being traffic, as the sunny weather brought out the day trippers. This was followed by a long descent back down to Newton Abbott and the finish, this was very steep in places on a poor road surface, making braking and control difficult at times, wrists definitely ached when we reached the bottom. A great day out with my eldest son. It was nice to hear all proceeds went to the Devon Air Ambulance  
Only ran 5 miles last week, so will try to run twice this week to keep up the running legs.
I now have an eye on the Eroica Britannica in June when I will ride my vintage bike over the hills of the peak district, Saturday I managed to get out and do 30 miles, trying out my new 38 x28 gear on the hills, I am still adjusting my positon on the bike, moving up the levers etc. I hope to get out again today [Sunday].

This weekend sees the Hardmoors 160 which is 160 miles over the Yorkshire moors, and one of the blogs I look at is John Kynaston who is running the event, after my 22 miles of the Ex to Ax last year and the 20mile Grizzly this year I cant image how anyone can run 160 miles over a couple of days!!

Sunday, 24 April 2016

2 Audax rides - a short quick post... to be continued

24th April 2016

Since my last post I have managed to fit in two Audax rides 'the 110km Dustman Daves Doddle' over the Somerset Levels and the 102k 'Turf and Surf from Newton Abbott out the coast at StarCross and back over Dartmoor, over five thousand feet of climbing!!both weeks were superb weather if a bit chilly.  A couple of 5 mile runs midweek hopefully keeps my running legs on! I will give more details later ..... to be continued

Monday, 11 April 2016

'Potterneering' and a new gym

4th April 2016
New Gym
The cough has eased considerably since last week, it almost seemed to disappear overnight, I was recommended 'Broncostop', lozenges which are 'tyme' based, not sure if they contributed, at least I am now nearly back to normal the odd coughing fit, but thats all. Last Month I managed to run 83 miles and cycle 276 miles which I am pleased with, given the grotty weather we had. The running miles were slightly down on last year as the Grizzly was early March, so I eased off after that and then there was a French holiday where I didn’t run. Cycling wise, I knew I had to get a few miles in to ensure I could ride a 100k+ for the Wareham Audax. My next event will probably be Dustman Daves Doddle next Sunday a 110k from Bishops Lydyeard and heads over the levels to Yeovilton and back, not many hills and a nice route. This should be followed by the Turf and surf Audax down near Newton Abbott and goes over Dartmoor, so a few more hills.I dont have any runs planned although was tempted by the 5 tors on Bodmin next weekend, 8 miles over 5 tors on Bodmin Moor starting from the wonderfully named 'Minnions' I did it two years ago on a freezing day, and really enjoyed it, not quite sure I have the running fitness at present though.

I did manage a nice 47 mile bike ride yesterday morning before the doom and gloom of the grey skies moved in for the afternoon, over the levels once again, this time not flooded!! I even managed a good 15 mph average speed. 
An 8 mile run in the week also confirmed I still have some ‘left over run in me’ despite the coughing!!
This morning I attended my first Spin class at the new 1610 gym, I did an early morning [7:30 ] session, which only had 6 hardy souls there, nice facilities, much better than the old ones. I did reach 80% hrm quite quickly and put this down to no spin session last week and the leftover of my cold, so will be interesting to see how it goes over the next few weeks.

So a quiet week really, no major events etc. to report on. But! I have invented a new word/activity [I think] ‘Potterneering’ which I seemed to do a lot of this week, that’s the art of pottering about, doing little things, like adjusting my front changer on my road bike, changing tap washers etc.

No Bikeability this week, that's next week. At a local school tomorrow with my usual helping with readers and then unusually some Grandchild minding , which should be fun [if hard work]. 

Tuesday, 5 April 2016


Tuesday 5th April

Last wednesday I had what I thought was the beginnings of a 'cold' I tried to ignore it, ate lots of fruit etc, made sure I washed my hands and carried on with exercise with Spin classes, running and cycling.Saturday I felt worse, with a very sore throat!! but still determined to ride the Audax on Sunday, I had several Anadins before the ride and it wasn't until they wore off at about 55 miles I started to feel worse for wear!!!. Monday [Yesterday] I didn't feel too good and felt very tired, throat was like dragging thorns through it and a hacking cough. Another uncomfortable night of coughing and today it has beaten me, no exercise, no energy!!! I had thought I might beat it by ignoring it, no chance, so its a few days rest etc for next few days, I have no energy anyway.

After my good winter so far with no colds and thinking my flu jab had done the trick, washing my hands every 5 minutes and using the gel down the gym, it got me in the end!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shame because its a lovely spring day with warm sunshine and little wind, ideal for a bike ride, if only I had the energy!!!!!!

Monday, 4 April 2016


Monday 4th April

After my silly excursion into floodwater on Monday, I still needed to get out once more before the weekend ‘Coastlet’ Audax down near Wareham, mainly to check out my bike!!

Wednesday saw me out running with my ‘up the lane partner’ Rachel, we went over to Neroche to do the trail run, a beautiful sunny morning, the trail was quite dry and neither of us had been up there since the ‘Herepath Half Marathon’ last October. An enjoyable run, where we managed to solve all the problems in education on our way round!!!

By Thursday I was showing signs I had picked up Mrs ianbs cough so a sore throat etc was an issue for the next few days, dragging down my enthusiasm, and making me feel tired with not enough sleep.

It was Friday before I got out on my bike, even though I had done two spin sessions down the local gym earlier in the week. It was a south westerly wind so I headed out on a chilly windy morning towards Winsham, over to Broadwindsor, and then the Pilsdon Pen Hill fort climb, very alpine like, [for Dorset!!] I had to pedal down the other side because of the wind before picking up the Sadbarrow lanes back through Thorncombe, down past Forde Abbey and then through South Chard before hitting the lanes back home,
a nice ride, no bike issues and reasonably quite on the roads.

Saturday I was out for an early run, a couple of miles before heading up the M5 to spend the day with the grandchildren once again, a good day was had by all, the weather helping as we were able to go in the garden, where we did numerous Easter egg hunts with grand daughter!!!

I was up at 5:30 on Sunday to sort out food and gear for the 109 km Audax the Coast let, which started at 9:00 from Wareham, some 60miles away.
Fruited tea cakes with jam are my staple ride food supported with cereal bars and energy drink. It was a cold morning so unsure of what to wear, I overdid the bag of clothes I took. I loaded the bike in the van and drove over to Wareham via Dorchester, the roads were very quiet and at times the sun was shining, before being screened out by the clouds, which I though were sea mist drifting in from the coast.
I parked up at East Purbeck school and met my son who came from Wimborne only 15miles or so up the road. We packed our pockets and bags before riding down to the start at the scout hut. There quite a few entries as we picked up our Brevit card, [a card you get stamped at various checkpoints]

We set off promptly at 9:00 and headed out towards Stoborough in a large group and the first hard climb of the day [ only 1 arrow on the road map] 18% we recorded as we heaved ourselves up it, hitting the summit we should have seen views over Lulworth Cove etc as we were on the Range road, not normally open to the public. It was a cracking fast descent down the other side down to sea level for our first checkpoint, unfortunately when at sea level the only way is up!! And it was a stiff climb over Daggers gate, the groups now starting to split into ones and twos as the gradient and length of the climb started to tell. Again over the summit it was a tailwind descent down through Winfrith Newburgh, the home of a Nuclear Power station [now decommissioned] but you would never know, a pretty village, very Dorset.
We followed the lanes [ instructions given at the start, no arrows on the road] through Crossways and made out way to the next climb up from Broadmayne, not steep, but long, and again a wonderful descent down towards Weymouth before hitting the seafront with lots of traffic. The Criterion restaurant was the target, and there were loads of bikes piled outside as we each went in to get our card stamped. It was also time for a snack, despite the bitterly cold wind off the sea and no shelter, Weymouth had lots of visitors, must be school holidays!!!
The next bit was embarrassing as we were stopped by a police car for riding the wrong way up a one way street!! To be fair there were no signs to say it was one way and no, no entry signs, the only giveaway were the cars all point in one direction, he did make us walk to the end!!! We were soon on the cycle track and heading out beside Radipole lake, a very nice nature reserve in the middle of Weymouth, it now started to spit with rain, which had been forecast, but it came to nothing and we entered the lanes heading for our next target Abbotsbury, very famous for its swannery, we were over half way now!! we picked up the climb that would take us over the top, past Hardys monument [sailor hardy not writer] a very steep long climb that showed double arrows on the map!!! At its steepest point I could not longer keep up momentum and succumbed to walking!! My son however did a cracking job and managed to ride all the way, he did say it went to 20% at least twice. Over past Hardys and a long 4 mile descent down to Martinstown, a pretty place before climbing up to Prince Charles model town Poundbury locally know as Toy Town, built on the edge of Dorchester, and a truly awful place, you have to see it to believe it. But we were more interested in the Top of the town car park for our next stamp and a welcome cup of tea, before the final 18 miles back to Wareham.

Down through the Busy town, and out past Hardys cottage [ the writer] and lots of lanes before exiting out on the Stoborough road once more and only a couple of miles to finish. We arrived back at the hut and there were already plenty of other before us, we did 5 hours which is not bad for 109 KM [68 miles] and 4500 ft of climbing. We both agreed we had, had enough, we had a rain shower about 8 miles from the finish, which again was not much. My Ana dins had now started to wear off and I didn’t feel too great, so a nice mug of tea was welcome before heading back to the car, packing the bikes and saying our cheerios, my drive home was much busier than the morning and it did rain hard as I got nearer home, I did feel chilly even though the heater was on, and my throat was burning, I think I had overdone it a little!! But what a great day out with my son. A good route with lots of good climbs.

I now need to sort the next one!!