17th October 2016
Since my last outing to the Quantocks I have been able to get out with the Wobbly wheelers for a lovely ride over to Lyme Regis, 8 of us were out , via a number of back lanes I had never been down before , after climbing Lamberts castle Hill we then crossed the A35 to go down a long winding hill through Harcombe Bottom and Rhode hill, a lovely road in pleasant sunshine,but! The dappling on the road making it difficult to spot pot holes!! We exited at Uplyme where we continued into Lyme down the main street, surprisingly busy for a Wednesday morning. I was also surprised that I wasn’t feeling the effects of my previous days run on the Quantocks, but I seemed to be going well, climbing as well as the others.
We cycled down the narrow street to the Town Mill Bakery
a quirky coffee shop where you take what you want ,pastry, toast etc. apply your jam, peanut butter or whatever , order your coffee and pay on exit. Great atmosphere and lovely pastry, my cinnamon whirl and latte certainly helped get me home!!! I can recommend a visit but I think its busy at times ,we were very lucky to find it reasonably quiet.
When we were all fed and watered it was time to move on, as we were at sea level, the only way was up!!! But we managed to find a steady climbing route out, going round the lanes once again through Shapwick and under a superb Via duct that used to carry the old railway line down to Lyme, still in great condition, sadly there is no access to it, make a great cycle route into Lyme. We climbed Combpyne hill before descending past River Cottage HQ to Raymonds Hill crossing the A35 once again and heading for Blackpool corner. Heading back down the lanes through Tudhay , crossing the river Axe at Broom before the long stepp climb upto Tytherleigh , on into Chardstock and picking up the NCN route back to Chard. 36 miles covered on a lovely cycling morning but also 3000 ft of climbing, I felt surprisingly good so pleased with the effort.
Friday I decided it was time to revisit the Here Path route
being as its only 2 weeks to the event. I parked at Staple hill which is the highest point on the route. The weather was decidedly poor, there was thick mist and there was also slight drizzle as I ran across to Neroche, a route I have done many times. Down the fast couple of miles to the B road before ascending on the road towards Bickenhall Farm, my least favourite part of the route.
I was soon into the woods before emerging into a large field with a path around the outside, very hard work this bit!!!
At the road once again and after a few hundred yards turned off for a nice downhill it to what is normally the finish at Thurlbear, but not today as I still had another 6 miles to go back up to Staple Hill carpark. After Netherclay it was all track, climbing steadily until I hit Underhill lane where the organisers send us on a loop through some very muddy areas before the final climb to Staple Hill. It was particulary muddy as cattle had clearly been along to path recently, their hooves turning the path into a very wet quagmire that took some negotiating to keep my shoes on in the glutinous mud. Once through it the hill steepened to the highest point on the route and fortunate for me back to the car. I was tired with 13.6 miles covered and over 1300 ft climbed, but it was a good run and the sun came out just to round off the day.My time wasnt great 2 hrs 33 mins
Sunday a 32 mile cycle ride to try to loosen my very sore/tight right calf muscle, it seemed to do the trick until later in the evening when it returned!!
Monday, another HPH route day, this time starting at Thurbear, it was a lovely bright sunny morning as I set off, determined to take my time, I did the long climb up to Staple hill and felt fine, but!! As I hit the last 4 miles from near Bickenhall, it all started to seem very hard, I was struggling to keep a pace and found my self walking where I normally run, jelly babies, dextrasol and energy drink didn’t seem to address the issues, so I was pleased to be on the final descent to Thurlbear. I had missed out the very muddy section today but still managed 12.7 miles. I was very tired when I got to the car and recovered slightly after a granola bar and a bit of stretching. I can only assume I hadn’t recovered enough from my efforts last Friday. I will give it some rest for a couple of days before a short run, before the ‘Stumble’ at Minehead on Sunday. My calf muscle is very sore so will have to get the foam roller out and massage it to see if I can improve it before the Sunday run.
Its been a good week all round with a trips to Exmouth and Seaton in the van, coffee overlooking the sea etc. I even managed to get a bargain at Cotswold Camping at Darts Farm, a Montane featherweight windproof with a full zip. I have an overhead one that is getting a little old now so the zipped one with be more practical, but, it doesn't fold as small as the overhead one, but still fits in my cycling jersey pocket.