Archive for the ‘ RRtY ’ Category

Audax 200k – Windy Wiltshire

The torrential rain and gales abated a little, so it was the chance for the January ride.

The forecast had been for no rain, but I packed coat and overshoes anyway and un-surprisingly, it started drizzling heavily 30 minutes in.

The ride out wasn’t too bad depite the headwind until abit of a low after Pewsey where I was going slow and got passed by another roadie. I tried to accelerate to stay on their tail, but there was nothing in the tank.

I worried about accessing the church at Alton Priors for the first Cycle Quest clue. However, despite the grass being sodden, there wasn’t that much mud and I managed to walk right roud the church.

The ride up the hill past the Alton Barnes White Horse was awesome with a monster tailwind, as was most of the ride to Hungerford, via a pub lunch and the second Cycle Quest clue at Ramsbury.

After that I was feeling the cross / headwind and getting tired, but I completed the ride in good time.

Alton Priors Church

View North from Alton Priors

Alton Barnes White Horse

Pub Lunch

Ramsford Cycle Quest Clue

Audax 200k – Oxford Floods

There looked like there was a gap in the rain warnings, so I decided to attempt this ride before getting into the Christmas season.

I kind of wish I hadn’t.

The rain was hammering down when I woke up at 4am (I wanted to make sure I was back home for a party at 4pm) and was still hammering when it was time to leave.

The roads towards Oxfordshire were very wet and I had to go through several large puddles. I was cold as well and I wish I’d put on thicker socks.

Then at West Hanney, there was a puddle so large I didn’t fancy risking it. I saw a Land Rover go through up to the wheel arches and there was no way round. I took a detour that was far longer than it needed to be, but at least it was fairly dry roads.

I had made an in-advisable routing choice for the season of a farm track between Coleshill and Watchfield. This was a terrible mud hole.

McDonalds at Watchfield was still serving breakfast.

Going back South I was battling a strong headwind. Then after the A4 more floods started to intervene. Near West End Green, there was another enormous puddle with no way round. I peddaled through very slowly, but in the middle, the road dropped away and I was able to only just save myself, but with water up to my knees. There was another wading incident near Fleet, but I figured I was so wet anyway it didn’t matter.

On a back-road I lifted a phesant out of a puddle, but I think it had been hit by a car and died anyway.

Audax 200k – Aldershot to Bristol via Salisbury

This ride was cold and wet. Also, it seems like I had to put in an enormous effort to go very slowly.

There were a couple of “path” sections, that might have been fine in summer, but were mud-holes.

Stopped for a sandwich at Old Saurum. This was a terrible mistake because I go so cold, I had to ride hard with all my layeres on for several miles to warm up.

Got terribly lost trying to get through Froome. It had just gotten dark and started pouring with rain, so it was very hard to read the GPS.

On the lanes transitioning from the Radstock to Bath cycle paths, the rain got heavy again. Resulting in more horrible mud, then having to put on my balaclava to keep warm!

Finishing on cycle paths was good, but some of the route into bath was not metalled, so, in combination with the earlier mud, the bike got truly filthy.

I went through my water much more quickly than I expected and had a headache for the last third.