Author Topic: Back to the Smoke 2018  (Read 4764 times)

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #50 on: May 26, 2019, 03:49:06 pm »
About 32 started at noon, including some that others might refer to as "audaxing gods".  :facepalm:
Bit warm - all set for a lovely afternoon and night time ride.

We saw most of the field coming the other way over the Mendips.
None of them looked god like :)
I certainly didn't feel god like, on what was billed as a benign 400

But what a lovely ride, loved the rolling first section, followed by the levels, easy to make good progress and put time in the bank, the mendips had a lot of climbing but nothing too severe. Particular highlights were the lovely valley out of Marlborough, the most painless crossing of the ridgeway I have ever used and the views across to glastonbury tor (i think) on the climb after wells.  Low light was the crazy descent before cublington, where the centre of the road was gravel, and the edges were pot holes.

Overall a lovely event I'd like to do again, but probably with a sleep stop at Stowe or chipping norton
   Eddington  81 miles  112 kms

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #51 on: May 27, 2019, 09:19:45 am »
#makewattsnotwar

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #52 on: May 28, 2019, 10:43:06 am »
Ian Thank you for an excellent second Back to the Smoke 412k
I had a bit of a panic a week before the event realising I had not booked my train tickets.  I went to the ticket office after work and asked for a ticket on the straight through 0846 from Chippenham to Exeter but was advised there were no bike spaces left!  Ah, rethink. OK, I will take the next available earlier train which was 0746, change at Bristol Temple Meads.  "And a return sir?" No thank you says I.  I will have a single from Paddington to Chippenham on the 1437 on Sunday.  He drew breath but thought better of it. 

Arrival in Exeter early afforded me the time to buy stamps and an envelope to return my brevet card and PoPs to the guvnor and partake of the Imperial's (Spoons) big breakfast and bottomless teapot.

At the start the conversation was convivial and there seemed more starters that the 25 last year.  Only 5 more apparently.
Rolling along out of Exeter I fell in with Judith and David but had to take leave in the lanes after Uffcombe due to the revenge of the bottomless teapot I re-attached myself as we turned on to the A38 helped by some slow road work traffic controls riding for a few miles with the Muswell massive I found myself admonishing myself for reading a young lady’s shorts (sorry Bubbles) but thought “make wats not war” is a good tag line.   

The delights of downtown Taunton were enjoyed with Judith but pleased to join the comparative quiet of the A361.  The level’s around Godney and Fenny Castle were my commute to work from Street to Wells 35 plus years ago, first job after school, and the roads have not changed a bit, We were treated to an errant heffer that IanH, Ms Port Sunlight and I herded back into its field. 

I controlled on the way out of Wells at a Budgen filling station (Like Co-Op but not) and ground my way up over the Mendips. It was warm and I was swapping places with an Exeter Wheeler.  Away from the Tesco control at Durrington the lanes are a delight although getting dark by Upavon the climb up to Severnake is always a grind.  After Marlborough the lanes are little and I was mindful of Mrs D’s advice “to be wary of the night critters".  Last year, in Chopping Knife Lane, I had seen a massive rabbit who I had to ask politely to move out of my way. This year as well as a few small rodents appearing in my front light I saw a young badger, who seemed extremely surprised to see me and shortly after an owl standing in the middle of the road staring me out gracefully taking off when I got within ten feet of him.

Lechlade must have had an earthquake as I passed through after midnight as, staggering away from a bank holiday weekend riverside function, there were a number of people using walls or each other to keep upright.  On the outskirts I stopped kerbside to don my legwarmers.   I was checked on by a fellow audaxer and stared at by a couple of motorists.

Arriving at the Stow on the Word control, a 24 hour M&S garage I was please to see others sitting around the forecourt in various states of awakeness, mostly not. I was so looking forward to a bucket of strong black coffee and some hot food.  “I am so sorry” said the young lady, obviously for the umpteenth time, “both coffee machines are out of order”! I ate a hot sausage bap and pushed on. Thinking I could get coffee at Chipping Norton.  I ignored the garage in town remembering a 24 hour garage at the top of the hill on the roundabout/A40 junction I remembered from previous calendar and DIY events ……it was boarded up!  I was so disappointed.  I started draining of energy brought of by the dozes and was passed by IanF and Ms Port Sunlightt (her mutter as she passed suggested she was also lacking sunlight!) I passed them again, shortly after, giving support to a five bar gate and resting their eyes.
Buckingham control and the Spar garage had the coffee I desired and after 10 minutes shat eye leaning against the windscreen wash I felt a bit more awake.  I diverted a couple of miles off course at Long Marston to see my son for tea and toast at his house.  A face wash and change of base layer freshened me up and sharpened my blunt wits for the last 50km push to the finish. I caught up with the Muswell Hill group who were working well together in Berkhamsted but lost them after Hemel Hempstead with the help of some traffic lights.   The revised, from last year, route around the back of Bushey was far more favourable than the busy A41 Kilburn High Road/Edgeware Road such a contrast to the lanes with grass growing up the middle earlier in the ride.

The Muswell Group were at the arrivee and kindly waited with my bike while I popped into M&S to get my final receipt/PoP.

Across to Paddington I arrived an hour and ten minutes before my train was due to depart back to home and sleep and food. 

Thaks again Ian...excellent.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #53 on: May 28, 2019, 08:01:43 pm »
Nice write up!
<pedant> A5 is Edgware Road/Kilburn High Road/Cricklewood Broadway etc
A41 is Watford Bypass/Edgware Way/Watford Way/Hendon Way/Finchley Road.

A5 crosses A41 north of Stanmore.
Before roads were renumbered recently, A5 also crossed A41 near Newport, Shropshire/Sherriffhales, of WCW fame.

Re: Back to the Smoke 2019
« Reply #54 on: May 30, 2019, 08:52:12 pm »
I'm still waiting for some cards to be returned.  Need 'em by the weekend, please.

Thank-you for all the kind comments about the route.

Chuffy

  • Found a newt on LEL
Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #55 on: June 03, 2019, 12:55:31 am »
B2tS is just one of many long rides I’ve failed on over the years. Anything from 200km upwards is always a bit of a dice-roll, sometimes my legs fall off, sometimes it’s my head and it doesn’t take much to knock me off balance. Last year I got to the bloody horrible hill at Oare (190something km) decided I’d had enough and turned to ride back to my parents. Which was lucky, because my lights packed up after Salisbury, just within range of rescue from Mum. I’d have been completely buggered if I’d ridden on, so yay for being a lazy coward.

Trying again this year was a bit of a gamble. A fast but sweaty 200km two weeks earlier was the longest I’d ridden for nearly a year (including a forced layoff for a broken elbow). Anyhoo, decided to roll the bones and tag along with Ian H and Elaine Jewkes. Turned out they were both stronger than me. Ian was fresh, for a given value of that adjective, from the previous weeks BCM and Elaine is a strong club rider doing her first 400. I fell off the back on some horrible little hill (on the Somerset Levels….) lost them at the subsequent junction and after letting them know I was alive and a mile down the road, bashed on alone to Wells. By now I was already feeling crap, slow and low. Not great. At Wells I eschewed the magnificent cathedral for the equally magnificent Tesco, which sells sushi, fruit and Coke, which the cathedral doesn’t. Packing was a definite option. Rang Baggy, whinged about what to do next and decided to plod on, given that there were plenty of bailing options down the road. In my head I’d decided that making Stow was the decider and that if I got there in one piece, the rest would be fine.

Plodding out from Wells my cassette started playing up. The lowest gears worked, but I had to hold the lever in to keep the chain on. A bit vexing and I still had a few dropped chains to hook back on through the ride. Annoying but not fatal. Passed a chap with the same issue and we swapped places a few time. Might have been you RobD62, seeing as I was probably the Exeter Wheeler you mention.

A low residue food strategy was paying off – ice creams, gels (a recent discovery, Torq rhubarb & custard ftw) rice puddings and pots of jelly, necked on the move. Without the need for full value toilet stops I avoided triggering my Achilles arse, although my shorts & lack of saddle time were doing their worst on the outer periphery of my fundamental areas. More of that later…

Durrington eventually came into view and I was deeply cheered to see a bunch of audaxers & bikes at the local pub. Naturally I carried on to the Sainsburys Local, because standards must be maintained and it’s not a proper audax unless you’re sitting uncomfortably on a low wall eating an egg and cress sandwich. Oh and a pre-mixed G&T. After checking messages and posting on Facebook it was time to press on and try to complete the leg that had beaten me a year earlier. I also sent a video message to a very good friend who is undergoing yet another round of treatment for her terminal cancer. She treats me like I’m some kind of cycling hero, but she’s spent more than half her life dealing with shit that makes her far, far more heroic than some fat berk riding a bicycle, so I sent her a message to remind her of that. She hates being called an inspiration, but she’ll never see this, so I can say it with complete safety. Suck on that, princess…  ;D

Reader: it was not pleasant. But at least I had a dynamo this time. I’d chosen a faster DC route past Swindon, with an optional diversion to a 24hr Mcdonalds. In the end I decided to spurn the hot apple pies & salty chips and press on, which probably saved the best part of 30 valuable minutes. I knew the road from Burford to Stow from previous rides (my first ever century, albeit in the opposite direction) but I wasn’t quite prepared for the utter slog or the badger that tried to kill me. Must have just clipped his tail as he scuttled in front of my wheel, the furry twat. I did know about the Bloody Great Hill into Stow, which was looming large in my mind. However, o happy day, it wasn’t too awful. Granny gear, head down, chug upward very slowly. The garage forecourt looked as glamorous as you can imagine, decorated as it was with smelly randonneurs in various states of decay. I too was nearly reduced to tears by the lack of coffee, but made do with the other accoutrements of civilised audaxing: a cold coffee drink, a prawn sandwich and ice cream. I also bought a packet of smoked cheese to eat the day after the ride when I emptied my Carradice. This is also an important part of my audax tradition YMMV. At this point Ian H and a very knackered looking Elaine rolled in. I comforted her with some kind words: it will get better when the sun rises, there will be good patches and Ian will eventually run out of stories about people you don’t know. Possibly.*

Rolling out felt good. I’d reached my mental milestone, which meant my head wouldn’t fall off later, even if my legs did. The route I’d planned went via the Rollrights, another nod to my very early days of endurance cycling, when I wore modesty shorts over my lycra and a heavy cotton t-shirt. Silly arse. It was a quiet, velvety night, the Whispering Knights were silent and the lanes were nice, with a slightly downward trend. Lovely night-time riding.

The garage on the southern shores of Buckingham was glorious. Never has a pile of bagged kindling felt more like a comfy armchair and even better, there was coffee. Coffee! Hot, strong, sweet and delicious, just like Baggy. The chap at the counter told me that the machine had been out of action for cleaning a few hours earlier and some riders had been disappointed. Hah! Take that speedy bois.  :demon:

By now I was sort of in terra-incognita, with only a passing knowledge of the geography. I’d buggered about with the route, because that’s half the fun, but not from a position of local knowledge. When I turned up one lane, only to see a sign saying ‘12% ahead’, that was enough to cause a quick revision and a sensible avoidance of Swans Bottom**. What I wasn’t smart enough to avoid was sodding Rickmansworth. Which is on the river and hence at the bottom of a bastarding steep valley. I did the walk of shame up the far side, cursing my stupidity. By now I was out of drink, hot and not in the mood for another gel. The nearest shop en-route turned out to be a crappy Nisa in equally crappy Pinner. However crappy it was, they sold me the nicest Magnum in the whole universe. So I had another and staggered on.

Picking up the A5 at Hendon was a joy. I’d stayed nearby while working in That London, so this was my old commute and I’d been looking forward to riding it again. Even on a Sunday morning it was packed, so it was back to the old routine of filtering through stationary traffic. It had taken me a while to get used to that back in the day, but it was fun, of a sort.

Marylebone was quite lacking in charm (and other riders, although Ian & Elaine rolled in barely minutes after I’d left) and I was lacking in a decent lock, so it was a quick cash-point receipt (11.14, very pleasing) and off to Paddington for a return train. I’ve been on the bike-ticket merry-go-round many times and when you bother to try booking a space, even on the day, they always lie, because computer says no. Bollocks to that. I’ve only once been refused and that was by a Virgin guard at Taunton, may his piles itch for all eternity. The new Great Western trains have saved weight by not painting ‘bikes here’ on any of their carriages, but most of them have those stupid vertical hangers, with space for two bikes. No guard was going to sniff my saddle, match it to my shorts & demand a bike ticket, so I hooked the bike, flopped in a seat and fell asleep. Baggy collected me at Exeter & took me home for a little cry, a shower & a Nepalese curry the size of a very large curry.

It’s taken more than a week to recover. My arse looked like a baboon who has sat on a belt-sander. I’m talking red, raw, weeping and sticking to bedclothes & underwear. Photos are available for anyone with a strong enough stomach... :o Even my mum said that she’d never heard of nappy rash like that. After a few days it was scabby & peeling. Which was hugely satisfying, like sunburn only not. Foolishly I started the Avalon Sunrise 400km a couple of days ago, but really didn’t have the legs and rode home after 120km.

All told I was bloody pleased to have had the gumption to finish. It doesn’t always work out that way. Torq rhubarb & custard gels are nice, Wiggle Mocha caffeine gels are good. Banging METAAAAAAAAHLLLLLLLLL is great (Amon Amarth & Powerwolf ftw). Pots of jelly are good ride food, albeit heavy to carry. Always make sure your coffee stops have working machines. And don’t forget your sunscreen.

* - I might be terribly rude to you old chap, but I wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't for you.  :-*
** - I didn't go up Swans Bottom. FFS. I must be getting old.  :facepalm:
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Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #56 on: June 03, 2019, 05:26:42 am »
Before roads were renumbered recently, A5 also crossed A41 near Newport, Shropshire/Sherriffhales, of WCW fame.

It still does  ;D

If my back/leg heals up by next weekend, I will be on that very roundabout on Saturday morning.
Cats to the left of me, cats to the right of me, cats sitting on my keyboard making far more sense than I do.

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #57 on: June 03, 2019, 06:35:05 am »
 ;D ;D ;D Chuffy....witty bastard! Congrats
#makewattsnotwar

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #58 on: June 03, 2019, 11:37:55 am »
I'm pretty sure the organisers route over the chilterns is the easiest possible way and any route involving swans bottom is not in the top 5.
   Eddington  81 miles  112 kms

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #59 on: June 03, 2019, 02:00:08 pm »
At this point Ian H and a very knackered looking Elaine rolled in. I comforted her with some kind words...

Elaine wishes it to be made clear she was not knackered...
Quote
Quite entertaining....
Perhaps you could reply on my behalf to say I wasn't feeling knackered, just in a similar-shaped agony to him, requiring (once procured) a hydrogel dressing to avoid said sticking to undies, bedding and clothing, not to mention trying not to appear, by having soggy marks, to have poor continence... My personal baboon was one-sided rather than bilateral, but was just about sufficiently vanquished to not preclude me riding the Chester RC 25 yesterday, though I was utterly, utterly knackered at the end of the day - think it all caught up on me!
My personal "favourite" hill was the FG climb up through Bushey Heath, when I really had reverted to five years of age and "are we nearly there yet?"

Chuffy

  • Found a newt on LEL
Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #60 on: June 03, 2019, 07:30:51 pm »
At this point Ian H and a very knackered looking Elaine rolled in. I comforted her with some kind words...

Elaine wishes it to be made clear she was not knackered...
Quote
Quite entertaining....
Perhaps you could reply on my behalf to say I wasn't feeling knackered, just in a similar-shaped agony to him, requiring (once procured) a hydrogel dressing to avoid said sticking to undies, bedding and clothing, not to mention trying not to appear, by having soggy marks, to have poor continence... My personal baboon was one-sided rather than bilateral, but was just about sufficiently vanquished to not preclude me riding the Chester RC 25 yesterday, though I was utterly, utterly knackered at the end of the day - think it all caught up on me!
My personal "favourite" hill was the FG climb up through Bushey Heath, when I really had reverted to five years of age and "are we nearly there yet?"

Merely suffering from a demi-baboon.  :thumbsup:
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Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #61 on: June 04, 2019, 07:29:32 pm »
Provisional results should appear sometime tomorrow. 

I have been chasing riders for their cards, three have failed to respond at all, whether to say they packed or anything else.  They will miss out, I'm afraid.

It does feel like herding cats.*




* and I have the same task next week after the Buzzard.

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #62 on: June 04, 2019, 07:36:32 pm »
B2tS is just one of many long rides I’ve failed on over the years. Anything from 200km upwards is always a bit of a dice-roll, sometimes my legs fall off, sometimes it’s my head and it doesn’t take much to knock me off balance. Last year I got to the bloody horrible hill at Oare (190something km) decided I’d had enough and turned to ride back to my parents. Which was lucky, because my lights packed up after Salisbury, just within range of rescue from Mum. I’d have been completely buggered if I’d ridden on, so yay for being a lazy coward.

Trying again this year was a bit of a gamble. A fast but sweaty 200km two weeks earlier was the longest I’d ridden for nearly a year (including a forced layoff for a broken elbow). Anyhoo, decided to roll the bones and tag along with Ian H and Elaine Jewkes. Turned out they were both stronger than me. Ian was fresh, for a given value of that adjective, from the previous weeks BCM and Elaine is a strong club rider doing her first 400. I fell off the back on some horrible little hill (on the Somerset Levels….) lost them at the subsequent junction and after letting them know I was alive and a mile down the road, bashed on alone to Wells. By now I was already feeling crap, slow and low. Not great. At Wells I eschewed the magnificent cathedral for the equally magnificent Tesco, which sells sushi, fruit and Coke, which the cathedral doesn’t. Packing was a definite option. Rang Baggy, whinged about what to do next and decided to plod on, given that there were plenty of bailing options down the road. In my head I’d decided that making Stow was the decider and that if I got there in one piece, the rest would be fine.

Plodding out from Wells my cassette started playing up. The lowest gears worked, but I had to hold the lever in to keep the chain on. A bit vexing and I still had a few dropped chains to hook back on through the ride. Annoying but not fatal. Passed a chap with the same issue and we swapped places a few time. Might have been you RobD62, seeing as I was probably the Exeter Wheeler you mention.

A low residue food strategy was paying off – ice creams, gels (a recent discovery, Torq rhubarb & custard ftw) rice puddings and pots of jelly, necked on the move. Without the need for full value toilet stops I avoided triggering my Achilles arse, although my shorts & lack of saddle time were doing their worst on the outer periphery of my fundamental areas. More of that later…

Durrington eventually came into view and I was deeply cheered to see a bunch of audaxers & bikes at the local pub. Naturally I carried on to the Sainsburys Local, because standards must be maintained and it’s not a proper audax unless you’re sitting uncomfortably on a low wall eating an egg and cress sandwich. Oh and a pre-mixed G&T. After checking messages and posting on Facebook it was time to press on and try to complete the leg that had beaten me a year earlier. I also sent a video message to a very good friend who is undergoing yet another round of treatment for her terminal cancer. She treats me like I’m some kind of cycling hero, but she’s spent more than half her life dealing with shit that makes her far, far more heroic than some fat berk riding a bicycle, so I sent her a message to remind her of that. She hates being called an inspiration, but she’ll never see this, so I can say it with complete safety. Suck on that, princess…  ;D

Reader: it was not pleasant. But at least I had a dynamo this time. I’d chosen a faster DC route past Swindon, with an optional diversion to a 24hr Mcdonalds. In the end I decided to spurn the hot apple pies & salty chips and press on, which probably saved the best part of 30 valuable minutes. I knew the road from Burford to Stow from previous rides (my first ever century, albeit in the opposite direction) but I wasn’t quite prepared for the utter slog or the badger that tried to kill me. Must have just clipped his tail as he scuttled in front of my wheel, the furry twat. I did know about the Bloody Great Hill into Stow, which was looming large in my mind. However, o happy day, it wasn’t too awful. Granny gear, head down, chug upward very slowly. The garage forecourt looked as glamorous as you can imagine, decorated as it was with smelly randonneurs in various states of decay. I too was nearly reduced to tears by the lack of coffee, but made do with the other accoutrements of civilised audaxing: a cold coffee drink, a prawn sandwich and ice cream. I also bought a packet of smoked cheese to eat the day after the ride when I emptied my Carradice. This is also an important part of my audax tradition YMMV. At this point Ian H and a very knackered looking Elaine rolled in. I comforted her with some kind words: it will get better when the sun rises, there will be good patches and Ian will eventually run out of stories about people you don’t know. Possibly.*

Rolling out felt good. I’d reached my mental milestone, which meant my head wouldn’t fall off later, even if my legs did. The route I’d planned went via the Rollrights, another nod to my very early days of endurance cycling, when I wore modesty shorts over my lycra and a heavy cotton t-shirt. Silly arse. It was a quiet, velvety night, the Whispering Knights were silent and the lanes were nice, with a slightly downward trend. Lovely night-time riding.

The garage on the southern shores of Buckingham was glorious. Never has a pile of bagged kindling felt more like a comfy armchair and even better, there was coffee. Coffee! Hot, strong, sweet and delicious, just like Baggy. The chap at the counter told me that the machine had been out of action for cleaning a few hours earlier and some riders had been disappointed. Hah! Take that speedy bois.  :demon:

By now I was sort of in terra-incognita, with only a passing knowledge of the geography. I’d buggered about with the route, because that’s half the fun, but not from a position of local knowledge. When I turned up one lane, only to see a sign saying ‘12% ahead’, that was enough to cause a quick revision and a sensible avoidance of Swans Bottom**. What I wasn’t smart enough to avoid was sodding Rickmansworth. Which is on the river and hence at the bottom of a bastarding steep valley. I did the walk of shame up the far side, cursing my stupidity. By now I was out of drink, hot and not in the mood for another gel. The nearest shop en-route turned out to be a crappy Nisa in equally crappy Pinner. However crappy it was, they sold me the nicest Magnum in the whole universe. So I had another and staggered on.

Picking up the A5 at Hendon was a joy. I’d stayed nearby while working in That London, so this was my old commute and I’d been looking forward to riding it again. Even on a Sunday morning it was packed, so it was back to the old routine of filtering through stationary traffic. It had taken me a while to get used to that back in the day, but it was fun, of a sort.

Marylebone was quite lacking in charm (and other riders, although Ian & Elaine rolled in barely minutes after I’d left) and I was lacking in a decent lock, so it was a quick cash-point receipt (11.14, very pleasing) and off to Paddington for a return train. I’ve been on the bike-ticket merry-go-round many times and when you bother to try booking a space, even on the day, they always lie, because computer says no. Bollocks to that. I’ve only once been refused and that was by a Virgin guard at Taunton, may his piles itch for all eternity. The new Great Western trains have saved weight by not painting ‘bikes here’ on any of their carriages, but most of them have those stupid vertical hangers, with space for two bikes. No guard was going to sniff my saddle, match it to my shorts & demand a bike ticket, so I hooked the bike, flopped in a seat and fell asleep. Baggy collected me at Exeter & took me home for a little cry, a shower & a Nepalese curry the size of a very large curry.

It’s taken more than a week to recover. My arse looked like a baboon who has sat on a belt-sander. I’m talking red, raw, weeping and sticking to bedclothes & underwear. Photos are available for anyone with a strong enough stomach... :o Even my mum said that she’d never heard of nappy rash like that. After a few days it was scabby & peeling. Which was hugely satisfying, like sunburn only not. Foolishly I started the Avalon Sunrise 400km a couple of days ago, but really didn’t have the legs and rode home after 120km.

All told I was bloody pleased to have had the gumption to finish. It doesn’t always work out that way. Torq rhubarb & custard gels are nice, Wiggle Mocha caffeine gels are good. Banging METAAAAAAAAHLLLLLLLLL is great (Amon Amarth & Powerwolf ftw). Pots of jelly are good ride food, albeit heavy to carry. Always make sure your coffee stops have working machines. And don’t forget your sunscreen.

* - I might be terribly rude to you old chap, but I wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't for you.  :-*
** - I didn't go up Swans Bottom. FFS. I must be getting old.  :facepalm:

Chuffy - Twa me  :) and thank you for yuor cheerful exchanges when our paths did cross.  I might have been vying for a bike space with you had I not stopped at my son's in Cheddington for an hour and a bit.  But it was worth it....a wash, fresh vest, tea and peanut butter toast was worth the stop, oh yes, and seeing my lovely son.  You were right, that climb on the outskirts of Watford was a b'stard.  I had to hop off the bike to check I still moving!  :)

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #63 on: June 04, 2019, 07:48:27 pm »
At this point Ian H and a very knackered looking Elaine rolled in. I comforted her with some kind words...

Elaine wishes it to be made clear she was not knackered...
Quote
Quite entertaining....
Perhaps you could reply on my behalf to say I wasn't feeling knackered, just in a similar-shaped agony to him, requiring (once procured) a hydrogel dressing to avoid said sticking to undies, bedding and clothing, not to mention trying not to appear, by having soggy marks, to have poor continence... My personal baboon was one-sided rather than bilateral, but was just about sufficiently vanquished to not preclude me riding the Chester RC 25 yesterday, though I was utterly, utterly knackered at the end of the day - think it all caught up on me!
My personal "favourite" hill was the FG climb up through Bushey Heath, when I really had reverted to five years of age and "are we nearly there yet?"

I suspect we had used much of our energy hearding errant cattle on the somerset levels! :)
I do feel that as well as the hearding the farming community owes you and Ian a debt of gratitude for stopping a five bar gate falling over in the Tingewick area by resting your backs against it.  I noted that the effort required you both to close your eyes!  Was the coolness of the ground also easig the fire behind?
IanF....please pass on. Thanks Rob

Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #64 on: June 04, 2019, 07:56:11 pm »
Provisional results should appear sometime tomorrow. 

I have been chasing riders for their cards, three have failed to respond at all, whether to say they packed or anything else.  They will miss out, I'm afraid.

It does feel like herding cats.*

Posted from Paddington - Sunday PM - Hope Pat did his best to get it to you.
Rob




* and I have the same task next week after the Buzzard.


Re: Back to the Smoke 2018
« Reply #65 on: June 05, 2019, 11:59:59 am »
Provisional results should appear sometime tomorrow. 

I have been chasing riders for their cards, three have failed to respond at all, whether to say they packed or anything else.  They will miss out, I'm afraid.

It does feel like herding cats.*




* and I have the same task next week after the Buzzard.

Up now, taking my current tally of provisional results to 4
   Eddington  81 miles  112 kms