Saturday, 27 October 2012

Somewhere beyond the bitter end is where I want to be

What time is it in the world? Hah!

Sometime around now the clocks are going back an hour, yet Google blogspot-world measures time according to someplace in the USA. Whatever time it is I should really be asleep, but as is usual these days I'm finding that, well, problematic. Especially as I had a few hours in the land of nod after I came home from riding this afternoon. Yesterday afternoon.

It has been quite a week, for all sorts of reasons, trains, training sessions, bike rides and just pure unadulterated slog. I rode to work for the first time in a few weeks on Wednesday, played football enthusiastically on Monday, went to London on Thursday and went to see my Dad on Friday.

So despite my immense fatigue at 8AM Saturday, it was an official ACG ride, I was ride leader, and the sun was threatening to shine. Time to be out and at them, the hills that is. And of course it was cold, and windy, and wet and mulchy underneath, with hints of ice and more mud on the road than a seventies revival tour.

But you can't just sit about, after all the only things that are keeping me going right now are Patty Griffin, Paul Whitehouse and riding my bike. So we formed up in the Square, both of us (Dave and I) and headed off into the teeth of the north wind and up Shipham Hill. Then up Long Bottom (thank you!) and down Burrington Coombe. Now if you think you are slow going down hills, I think I have found a couple who are slower than you. Halfway between cattle grids I passed a couple who could have made faster progress by walking. Perhaps they were worried about the threat of ice, or the cavers that crossed the road in front of us.

Dave and I headed into the maze of little lanes around Butcombe and Nemnett Thrubwell. Most of them are steep, and all of them were muddy, but as far as we could tell, none had ice in or on them. With little traffic about it made for a very pleasant change from slogging into headwinds on flat level territory.

We decided to try the cafe by the east side of Chew Lake, and admire the views. I'm sorry there are no action shots, I haven't been on the course yet, so you will have to make do with still landscapes.

And here is the obligatory cake, in this case a nice fruit scone, which I ate, although most of the cream and jam was unconsumed.

I am also on something of a quest and a mission to ride lanes and byways that I have never done before. This is difficult locally but we managed it today. Some of the roads near Butcombe were new, as was the latest climb up the Mendips, Ridge Lane out of West Harptree. Sounds like a racehorse.

So here is our route as recorded by Charlie and loaded by Garmin and here is the route on ridewithGPS. About 40 miles all told, some inaccuracies in recording, but I think Garmin is more accurate. But GPS has gradients, peaking at around 18% today.

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