A few minutes into the ride and urban_biker proved to be right: "The sun will come out" he said at the start. After that, it didn't matter any more that we had a few showers.
At the halfway point, we sat in the Old Stable tea rooms, the sun shining through ... I was keen to get out on the bike again and enjoy the countryside, and the tailwind!
Old Stable Tea Rooms
Wiltshire scenery is great and I always like the area around Welford, with the round towered church St Gregory's (Round Towered Churches). Some of these roads we ride in reverse direction on the Willy Warmer. It is a lovely, lovely area.
Like last year, there were many punctures, and a repeat of a frame breaking. The roads are still quite flinty (that's right), scoggy (Manotea's word, as we now know, doesn't exist), floody (no such word?), holy (not the right word either?) .... I will take off the winter tyres for the next ride though, the Dean, at the end of March.
I made good time, just over 12 hours for an over distance 200. I very much enjoyed the ride, which I had been looking forward to enormously. The Dean seems such long way off. Maybe I should register for the FNRttC to Southend after all... The original plan was to ride it with friends Mandy and Rob, but when Mandy came off her bike a broke a bone near her knee, I mentally crossed the ride off my list.
I promised myself to take pictures and not worry about time limits. Normally I quite like the look of old, derelict, abandoned buildings. There were a few, where my initial instinct was to stop, but a split second later I had images of crumbled buildings in Christchurch NZ in front of me and so rolled on.
Thank you to the organisers for the event and for the great reception at head quarters. Was able to speak dove Dutch with Marijke.
A few more thoughts:
- Meeting Mel at the start! He said he is changing his approach.
- Thanks to LycraMan for guiding me to Bratton after my GPS problems
- Thanks to Tom/Deniece for lending routesheet at Bratton
- No thanks to myself for ending up without GPS and routesheet
- Faccombe 5 gathering is always good
- Howard's tweet
- Thinking Bratton is not so far from Weston super Mare
- Thinking home to Weston super Mare is do-able, get there for lunch ... hmmm
- The Old Thatched Cottage looks like a restaurant option in Weston
- Did I not need to fill a few gaps between June and July?
The pictures are on the slideshow till the next ride or here: Clicky