Was it hot!!
The Dean is the most beautiful ride. The Cotswolds, Forest of Dean and Malborough Hills. I didn't appreciate the Malborough/Wiltshire region before, but it is stunning and wonderful to ride (on a couple of occasions walk!) through. A horrible climb, but coming up to Pewsey Hill with the chalk white horse is impressive. Wiltshire is known for the chalk white horses (not just Uffington): Wilthsire White Horses .
Coming out of Shipton, I saw a barn owl, which then flew alongside me for quite a while. Lovely! In the Forest of Dean, I saw a group of wild pigs. Heard them first, so I was on the lookout.
Both rides were absolutely beautiful in this weather. It was the third time I've done the Poor Student this year, and the best.
I did the Dean in under 18 hours and the Poor Student in under 12 hours. How consistent: 6 hours per 100km, which includes breaks. What I learnt this time is what challenges hot weather brings. I used wet wipes to freshen up every now and again, bought water at every opportunity, but I got sweat rashes in allsorts of areas and don't know what to do about that! It also takes some time to get ready in the morning, I should allow 30 mins. Eating takes time!
The YHA was also a good way to simulate disturbed LEL sleeping. Since it was so hot, the window of the dorm was left open so we could hear the traffic, the trains and the road works (or was I dreaming that?).
I am encouraged by this for LEL. I'm beginning to believe that I'll do better than my planned worse case scenario ... but I'll stick with that plan. Anything better will be a bonus. I'm imagining if I had to do both days all over again - but I'd probably walk the steepest hills, and that's OK.
Only three weekends to go. The thought of that makes me nervous. What kind of training is left to do? I have nothing planned except not do any night riding, no more coffee, no more alcohol ... That seems like a lot of doing nothing!
Quite a short ride report for such a two-day effort!
3 months ago