27 Mar - The Dean 300 - Sunday Update

What a great ride! Absolutely beautiful. But why why do we have to attach another 100km to a beautiful 200, only to cycle in the dark? You can't explain that to anybody. I don't understand it, but still expect non-cyclists not to question it. 'Its just something I do', I say.

I finished in under 18 hours again, as I did last time. With the difference, that this is earlier in the year, I took longer breaks and took photos. I also recall needing to get off the bike and walk a couple of times last year, which I didn't this time. That must have been upto Somerset Monument and then up Hackpen Hill.

So, I'm really pleased. This is my aim, to do a consistent 100 in 6 hours, with increased capacity to take breaks and photos. I adjust my non-cycling time according to how I'm doing in my 6 hour slot. Lycra Man looked puzzled at the Good News Cafe, when after 10 mins, I was announcing that I was ready to go again. But it was 12 noon you see, have to go! I felt guilty leaving him, because we just had a good section riding together. Must be careful not to get too OCD about this 6 hour melarky!

Lycra Man noticed my LEL bottle, so we had a quick chat about it. I quoted that if it hadn't been for the nasty weather I would say that LEL is not as hard as the Bryan Chapman. To which Iddu chuckled. Iddu was with me during my last deepest darkest hour of the BCM. He would have known exactly what I was referring to.

There was a comedy moment at Chepstow services. "No mobile phones on the forecourt". Didn't quite catch what was said the first time, but it was repeated soon enough, a little bit louder. When it was repeated again even louder, you couldn't help but look around to see who/what the announcer was getting upset about. And it was Mercury! He was on the phone and of course wouldn't have his ear pitched to the tannoy, but rather to the phone. So the lovely lady at the till, perched on her stool that was setup too high would angrily say it again "No mobile phones on the forecourt!" ... the sound was now distorted. Once Mercury caught on what was happening, rather than cut the conversation short and get off the phone, he just moved 5 paces out of sight of the lovely lady and probably CCTV. How cool was that!

The picture below is taken moments before the first announcement.

It was a fantastic ride, wonderful scenery, some great descents. Hi Fabian! Well done on winning E3 Prijs Vlaanderen – Harelbeke!

Below are a few of the photos, the rest are on the slideshow till the next ride or here: Clicky

Sudeley Castle - Katherine Parr lived here after Henry VIII died.

Beautiful, beautiful Forest of Dean. The cyclist is Mercury.

"Gloucester Hole"
Only noticed the Union Jack after uploading the picture.
And is that a giant pre-historic creature crawling up into the hole?

Malmesbury Abbey with another royal connection.
King Athelstan ''King of all Britain" is buried here.

And this is Malmesbury 'Tower House'.
The tower being built by somebody interested in astronomy.

Photos on the slideshow till the next ride or here: Clicky

27 Mar - The Dean 300 - Tuesday Update

Look! The forecast is getting better for Saturday! It was rain and winds at 32 km/h before. Don't worry, no, I'm not getting carried away; forecasts change, I shouldn't look at it, don't tempt fate, prepare and pack for all weathers anyway. "Expect the worst" they say. About 5% of my brain's capacity expects the worst. The rest likes to stay in denial.

But shame on me! How dare I write about the weather! Shouldn't I write about how I am looking forward to cycling through the Cotswold's scenery, climbing Cleeve Hill (the highest point both in the Cotswolds and in the county of Gloucestershire, "commanding a clear view to the west, over Cheltenham and the Cheltenham Racecourse, over the Severn and into Wales, and to the north over Winchcombe"), reaching the Forest of Dean, then coming back via the lovely Marlborough region?

I was on the other side of the fence last week, following Chillmoister's progress on the Denmead 300 PERM, which he was riding together with Urban_Biker. Scotland were winning against Ireland in the afternoon and the guys were well into the ride. England were losing to France in the evening and the guys were still cycling. Its a long day, even from an armchair point of view!