Saturday, 31 January 2009

The Willy Warmer 200

The Willy Warmer was a popular Audax, with over 60 entrants. It was a great crowd with many familiar faces. The event was extremely well organised - thank you to Manotea.

My sister commented that this could be called The Willy Colder. Which is very true. The last section after the Sainsbury's stop was very cold. I get bouts of 'white finger'. On a ride, it usually starts when I take a break and while it hurts, it hurts even more when the circulation kicks in again. This is what was happening in the next hour after Sainsbury's.

The second half was tough because of the headwind. I still made good time - which is what counts really. You soon forget how you felt, as long as 'the job is done'.

On the train home I received a phone call from my mum, saying that a Belgian friend had made a very generous 100 euro donation on the LEL JustGiving site. What timing to receive that news! It brought tears to my eyes.

I tried to reduce non-cycling time, so my stops were brief. I only took a couple of picture at the end. Here they are:

Sunday, 11 January 2009

The Poor Student 200

Thank you, thank you to the fantastic Fabulous Faccombe Four - and Mercury! No way would I have completed this ride without them! Navigation, company, chats, light! I have only ever cycled at night in a group: Dun Run, FNRttCs and this one, and although I love it, I also find it scary at times. The thought of night riding on my own scares me a lot. Maybe the Willy Warmer will provide me with an opportunity to overcome my fears?

It was a great route, weather better than expected, hills not as bad as expected. I am very pleased with how it went, but it was tough. Its only the first in the season, and fitness and endurance will get better. But for now, I don't know how I will ever do a 400.

We started at 8 AM, cycled from Oxford to Shrivenham, to Malmesbury, to Chipping Campden and back to Oxford arriving just before 9.30 PM. The final control closed at 10.25.

I am very tired. Didn't sleep very well - how is that possible?

The Faccombe Four

LEE and Mercury