Monday, 9 January 2017

Good start to the year, but! Some sad news

8th January 2017

New Years day ended with the shock news that a very close friend Dave Pitman had died suddenly on New Years eve. Found at his home after failing to turn up for a group of friends for a walk on Exmoor.
I have known Dave for a number of years and we were planning to share a room on the CTC Manche to Med ride we had signed up for in June. I first came across Dave in the late 60s early 70s when He beat me by 2 seconds on the Monsal Hill, Hill climb! That’s when we both lived in the North, I didn’t know Dave in those days, he was in fact runner up in the National Hill climb twice, as well as being an accomplished road racer both in Britain and the continent. He was also a very good runner achieving high placings in races such as the Grizzly.  I have shared walks on Dartmoor and Exmoor preparing students for the Ten Tors event. I partnered him on several Polaris MTB Challenges in the Lakes and North Wales, he even built me an MTB frame [only 2 in the world]. Dave was a good engineer, a great wheel builder.
Recently I had shared cycle rides with him, and we rode a number of Audax events, which Dave particularly enjoyed. He did suffer a major accident a few years ago when he was in a coma for several weeks, this did affect him, but not his resolve to get out into the outdoors to walk and cycle, and above all enjoy his retirement. Dave will be missed by the cycle groups he was part of, the regular Tuesday coffee rides, the Sunday morning social rides, always taking his turn at the front.
RIP to a genuine bloke, who would help anyone out at anytime I hope he enjoys his ‘next great adventure’. I will certainly give Dave a few thoughts on my next adventure on the Manche to Med !

I was planning to cycle on Monday but, the weather was quite poor so a 10.2 mile run around the lanes, a good start to my Grizzly training. Tuesday was very cold and frosty, but lovely blue skies and sunshine, I waited till after lunch, before venturing out for a 22 mile ride on my bike, some of the lanes still had frost where water had run out of the fields. Wednesday was Wobblies day, a good turn out of ten of us heading out to complete 32 miles including a very nice coffee stop at the Community café in Seavington St Mary.

So round to Friday once more, Mrs Ian B was hairdressing so on a grey but mild morning I was in the car driving down to Seaton Hole to Park to run along the coast over to Fountain Inn outside Branscombe and back a total of 9.6 miles. The trail was quite dry, and there was a chilly wind as I reached Beer Head, I dropped down through ‘Seaside’ to Branscombe where I saw my first people 4 miles in up through the village on the Grizzly route, without the river crossing though, up past the school, climbing through fields before dropping down to the Fountain Inn, I walked up the other side  to reach the ridge. It was a lovely run, I felt ok, no niggles anywhere, I kept sipping from my bottle of ISO energy drink, but didn’t eat anything. I went back over ‘Seaside’ where walking was the order once again. I the views towards Portland Bill were stunning, the coastline, showing in varying shades of grey.  Down into Beer before the final climb over to the car parked at Seaton Hole, I still felt quite good, and reached the car for my coffee and Christmas cake 1600 ft climbed and 9.6 miles covered, my only injury seemed to be a sore big toe on my right foot!.

So a good end to the week

19.8 miles run and 52 miles cycled

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