I've drifted from the cycling blog over the last couple of months. Because it's difficult to keep interested in reading, let alone writing the same old stuff. But because there are some eternal truths that never go away, this post is unashamedly retro.
The Axbridge Cycle Group annual outing to Lyme Regis took place yesterday.
No pictures of cake though.
The occasion is my third ever trip to Lyme Regis. For somewhere not on the doorstep, it's a place I've only ever been to on a bike. It's a great opportunity to try out some new hills and routes in a part of the country that isn't too far away, but not immediately accessible.
More importantly, a way of having a great day out with good people. It was this kind of a day.
We were all laughing at lunch in the pub on the end of the sea front in a very busy and crowded Lyme, but not so much ten minutes later when we set off straight up the 15%+ hill that got us out of the town. It was fun though.
I'm not hopeful on the Madone's warranty claim, there was much head-shaking and teeth-sucking in the shop about the wear on the seatpost from my saddle bag contributing to the crack. I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere.
There was certainly some comedy yesterday, a lot of it unrepeatable, and as usual you had to be there, contextual see? But no retro blog post wouldn't be complete without the inclusion of one stereotypical picture.
It was a beautiful day yesterday, a bit cool at times, but some wonderful views, valleys, hills, the seaside and above all various modes of transport. One train arrived at a railway crossing just as we approached, slowed and then passed as it went on its way. No doubt entranced by the view.
Then there was Martyn's pink tram, just outside Colyton.
If you take a close look at our route you will notice that its main body has few flat bits. I'm beginning to really love the Blackdowns, and our route criss-crossed them, as well as the ridge of hills near the Dorset coast.
I did feel like shit on the climb up to Dunkerswell airfield. But the plane-spotters, copious amounts of sugar and free parachute display were enough to cheer me up. With Cothelstone Hill as the last coup de grace I filled up on caffeine and orange juice and applied Rule 5. Relatively slowly, but absolutely the fastest ever.
Then came the final flat bit before I collapsed into a heap.
But I can always manage a smile for my camera.