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!!

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