Sunday, 2 September 2012

Audax ride - Camelia and Canal Bridges....

It's been a while since I have posted a 'proper' blog - apologies! - the demands and restrictions of work have resulted in less time out on the bike unfortunately.

Firstly though I must mention a couple of things that Gary has been involved with of late (cue a rare blog from Gaz perhaps???) - This last Wednesday he went on the beer ride, I couldn't make it, at the meeting point in Burton on Trent there was a man at the bus stop carrying an Olympic torch - a real one. It transpired that he had actually been a carrier and got to keep the torch - Gary and Paul from over the road were quick-witted enough to make the most of a brilliant photo opportunity and duly coerced the bloke into passing it over for a photo - wow - I wish I'd been there - how many people do you know who have held an Olympic torch? (Gaz will load picture, I hope!)

Secondly, Gaz went to a bike fitting session on Saturday morning - these are available pretty much all over the country, however our local one has the advantage of being administered by Adrian Timmis - an ex professional cyclist who rode in the Olympics and also The Tour de France back in 1986 (I think? - anyway it was the year that Stephen Roche won it) - so, a good bloke to help with getting you and your bike set up properly. Gaz texted me after he'd finished the session. His position on the bike had been dramatically altered - saddle up 4cm handlebars down 7cm - this sounds drastic - but Gaz informs me he has never felt better on the bike - I'm sure he will add further details (come on Gaz....).

Okay, so with his new bike set up, and me struggling with what I think is a cold, but could be some sort of hay-type-fever with all the harvesting that is going on at the moment, we met at Moira Village Hall to ride the 'Camelia and Canal Bridges Audax' - 107km. We did it a couple of years ago, missed last year because we went to see the vintage bike riders (check out blog from this time last year). The weather was good - I rode from home, by the time I'd got there I'd covered 18 miles on the route I took - so I was well warmed up. We headed out through Overseal, up to Grangewood, down to Clifton Campville  and on through Thorpe to Alvecote. From there we took a cycle track through to Whateley and crossed over the motorway to Wood End. We were moving at a pace! - we'd started with the first group out and  they weren't hanging around - it felt good though and riding in a 'peloton' was fun. Traffic was considerate, giving way to us and being patient when stuck behind us!!

We progressed to Hurley Common and then to Nether Whitacre for the first stop at the garden centre - there we got our cards stamped, had a quick drink and a bite to eat before heading off to Hurley and then Baxterley - nice pub here with a village green and a duck pond. Then it was through Pinwall and on to Ratcliffe Culey. I was struggling by now - each hill saw me drop off the back, luckily I was able to catch up on the downhill or flat sections, Gaz in the meantime, remained firmly towards the front of the group - that new set-up has obviously added something!

Onwards now to Wykin and from there through Dadlington and a stop for another card stamp at Sutton Wharf - a lovely canal side cafe - a coffee and a slice of cake went down very well. We carried on into Sutton Cheney, down the hill past the Bosworth battlefied site and on through Shenton to Far Coton - we were on my home turf now and I was feeling knackered - I decided to drop off and ride home from Carlton - well I'd ridden to the start so my excuse was I'd already done the mileage! - I got home, aching, sweaty and tired - but it was a thoroughly enjoyable ride - I coved 71.2 miles in total - Gary texted again when he got home - when I left him he rode along with a man of 70 who had completed Lands End to John O'Groats in May and was heading to ride up Mont Ventoux in 10 days time - how spooky is that? - apparently he wanted to ride the course again!!! - I say he should be drug tested!

P.S. - I get the canal bridges of the name of this ride - but Camelia??? - any ideas?

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