Thursday, 19 January 2017

A sad week but the first lambs, daffs and snowdrops

Thursday 19/1/17
This week has been a hard week so far. But it’s now Thursday evening so the weekend is approaching fast and hopefully some of the gloom that has descended on me will clear over the weekend.

After my bike ride on Sunday it was down to the laptop to pull together the tribute I would have to read out at my cycling friend’s funeral on the Wednesday. I did 2 drafts before deciding to leave till Monday for another go. Each time I read it, it was hard to believe that Dave was no longer with us, the times we cycled together, shared a tent on stormy nights on Dartmoor, North wales and the Lake district, not to mention some hard Audax rides, when Dave always seemed the stronger rider at the end of the day. We even had the same frame as Dave was so impressed with my Qoroz titanium frame.

Monday I was awake and up very early, the tribute on my mind. So I worked on it some more getting it down to 6 to 10 minutes. Dave had done an awful lot in his lifetime. It was late afternoon I got out for a run to clear my head, it was cold and damp but I covered 5.5 miles at a good pace for me just over 9 minute miles.

Tuesday I had arranged to cycle over to the café at Goose Slades farm at East Coker to meet the Yeovil CC members to talk through their proposed cycle cavalcade to the Crematorium and also to share my tribute with them, to get their approval I wasn’t missing anything. Tues dawned very damp, very chilly and very dark with low cloud. I nearly decided to drive, but felt it wrong. I put on my new Paramo waterproof coat, and set off along the lanes vis Hinton St George where I saw my first daffodil blooms of the year, Merriot and West Chinnock, it was a head wind, the roads were really muddy, cold at 3.4 degrees and it was raining, so the 20 miles took longer than I thought and they were all halfway through their coffee and cake when I got there.

A cheery welcome, a pot of tea and large piece of Tiffin in the warm air of the café soon cheered me up, but I wasn’t looking forward to the journey home, another 20 miles in the cold and damp!!! We had a good old natter and shared memories of Dave around the table; I had full approval, except I had missed out that Dave had been on a cycle tour of Mongolia!!!
I set off back home in the company of the others, this time over Ham Hill, riders peeling off until I was left on my own with 17 miles of drizzle. I joined the ‘old Fosse way’ which was somewhat less hilly than my route of the morning. I dug in, and pedalled away just turning the pedals. I was pleased when I finally turned into my drive. Nice mug of steaming tea, dry clothes and an egg mayo sandwich followed by Christmas cake once again. 41 miles covered

Wednesday the ‘Wobblies’ had agreed to meet at 8:30 as several of the group were going to the funeral in the afternoon. Although it was frosty the roads were clear, the morning was bright blue skies and clear sunshine, a great day to send Dave off on his final journey and an excellent morning for a bike ride before suiting up for the afternoon.
The 10 of us made our way down through Winsham and Broadwindsor to Bridport, not West Bay today, we had coffee at Washing Pool Farm, an excellent farmshop/café, a large piece of Dorset apple cake for me, thick toast, and of course beans for others. Well-fed we went home the way we had come, as it’s a relatively quiet ‘B’ road it as quite clean, the sun was now on our backs, the down side there seemed more hills on the way home 32 excellent miles covered. Home for a shower and change into my suit for the afternoon.

We arrived quite early for the funeral, a nice celebration of his life. I did my tribute to Dave outlining his success cycle racing career and his other sporting achievements in running and triathlon as well as his travels around the world. I did have several moments of ‘wobbly’ voice as emotions got in the way. I survived, met loads of friends, lots of memories etc. It was good to meet Dave's family, he had a good send off with lots of friends around him; he was an outstanding cyclist and a genuine good bloke, sadly missed already by the cyclists in the area. The sunset was stunning and ‘Venus’ shone bright in the sky, or was it Dave looking down!!!!

Thursday was a contrast with my volunteer work at the primary school hearing children read, another beautiful day, but more frost. After lunch I fell asleep in the chair, the emotions of the week catching up with me and even though I had cycled 100 miles already in the week and run 5 miles I decided to get out and run as the weather was so nice, I intended to try for 8 or 9 miles. I set off round the town, up over Snowden Hill, by a steep muddy bridleway, by the time I had got to the top after 2 miles I knew I wasn’t up for it and decided to shortcut back home, I struggled on and finally managed 7 .5 miles, a hard 7.5 miles and I was pleased to get home. Just as I entered the lane I live I saw my first snowdrops of the year. I think I have overdone it this week and should not have run today. Think my next run will be on Sunday to give myself 2 days rest and try to catch up on sleep etc. the other downside is still am not losing weight despite all the exercise, I must be eating too much!!!

After a sad week it was good to see the beginnings of spring, the first Lambs at Hatch Beauchamp, the first Daffodils at Hinton St George and the Snowdrops in Chard. I know Dave would have enjoyed them!

Cycled 100 miles
Run 12.5 miles 

I have put a copy of my tribute to Dave in the 'other' list.


  1. Great posting Ian, very touching and a wonderful tribute to Dave from you and all his cycling friends. Those daffodils and snowdrops, and Venus in the night sky, will forever remind you of him......

  2. Thank you for your kind remarks. I am sure each spring I will think of Dave, and each Venus siting wonder if he is looking down, but! I expect he will be out on his bike on his 'next big adventure' thanks again, much appreciated.