Its been a busy month, I’ve moved house and managed to squeeze in two audaxes and the Bristol South CC 50TT. None of this would have been possible without the support of my brother and his girlfriend who have helped with all the lugging and logistics, thanks Barry and Chez!
Gospel Pass 200km
A couple of cycling friends invited me to ride the Gospel Pass 200km audax, I agreed and as the 14th of June approached, 4 became 2. I rode the 100km to the start, meeting Sam at Quedgeley arriving for the agreeable 8am start in time for a coffee and some cake.
The event was low key, with only around 30 starting, the organiser announcing there would be plenty of food as a significant number had dropped out. Unusually, the ride was all inclusive, the £7.50 covering all food and drinks at the checkpoints. Perhaps the two pork pies at 5am were a bad idea!
The route took us from Apperley through the Forest of Dean to Monmouth where the first control was open, I suggested Greggs for a breakfast pasty and cake.
Then up to Pandy for some more cake and coffee and a manned control, we set off and climbed the South ascent of the Gospel Pass.
The weather was clear, giving great views
Descending down in to Hay-on-Wye where we refilled our bottles and then climbed back up Cusop Hill to view Hay Bluff from the other side, back to Pandy for a baked potato lunch.
The journey back to Apperley was broken up with a stop in a village pub, I tempted a pint.
We got back to the arrivée just as rain started to fall, I didn’t pack a waterproof. Being Sams longest ride to date, he was concerned about stopping for too long, donned his waterproof and set off home, hats off to Sam for putting out a good speed for the whole route.
I hung around for 10minutes, the rain shower passed allowing for a dry ride home :).
Bristol South Cycling Club 50mile TT – U21/50
Cycling events and sleeping don’t seem to go hand in hand, well, not a full nights sleep. The BSCC 50TT is held on the A38 between Axbridge and Bridgewater, the traffic count means it starts at 06:01, I was off at 06:34. This meant riding the TT bike the 20 miles to the start at 5am, I find it funny riding the odd shaped bike when not racing, even funnier when still sleepy with a pointy hat strapped to my back.
The weather was good, a slight breeze, not too warm or cool. This was to be my second 50 mile TT, I rode the same course last year on a road bike against a howling gale, I did 2:16ish, I expected to knock at least 10 minutes off.
I set off quite well, catching my minute man in the first 2 miles, I got excited and had to reign it in. I managed to stay focused avoiding looking at my average speed or time, just going on feel. At around 30 miles, I saw a fellow clubmate led on the floor surrounded by cars and a few people, uncertain whether to stop, I was waved on by a marshal. This played on my mind until the end of the ride. However, in the closing 5 miles I checked my average speed and was just over 25mph, the final stretch was in to a slight wind, I knew I could keep the pace and blast the last half mile to eek me under the 2hours. I got caught in traffic, overtaking cars on the central rumble strip, but managed to finish on 1:59:36. One of a handful to go over 25mph, mainly as the big guns went to some super fast course to get PB’s.
I hung around for the prizes and was pleased to find out that my effort had helped win the fastest club of the day prize, along with Andrew Bradshaw and Luke Smith. Up the South!
The following Wednesday I rode the CDRC 10TT and crapped out, 25:xx, I was tired, I’m not training for short distance. Next year I’m going to enter one of the 24 hour TT’s as I feel this is where my strengths lie.
The following few days were spent doing easy rides around Clevedon town.