Sunday 23 October 2011

The Boat Ride 200

First audax since PBP and first ride with the Willesden Cycling Club.  It was a perfect, crisp and sunny autumn day for a long ride.

This new perm, organised by Paul Stewart, starts 10 minutes cycle away from where I live.  It was so nice not to have to drive to the start, and it was even better to be able to cycle home afterwards, knowing that it wasn't going to be an additional 20+ km.  As a bonus, we had a post-ride dinner at a local restaurant.  Usually after a long ride, everybody makes their way back home, the next catch up being on one of the internet forums.

Paul has set up another perm close by, from Richmond, towards Brighton and back. Thank you Paul, for organising these rides.

I started off trying to hang on to the group.  I knew it wasn't going to last.  'It is a tad too fast' I thought, but carried on.  'Good training' I told myself.  I also tried not to gear down too much.  'Good training' I told myself.  We had a headwind on the way back.  But I didn't need anymore training opportunities by then!

My fish and chips stop was great!  Saw 'the group' leave as I entered the Cheddington cafe.  Good! It meant I was still 'in contention'.   There was a wedding party on and a fish and chips van was doing the catering.  The only thing left on the menu was 'fish and chips'.  No large nor small, just fish.  No cod nor haddock, just fish.   I was able to intercept the customary 'salt and vinegar', and asked for mayonnaise.

Bridesmaids flowers by the boat?
The Waterside cafe is by the Grand Union Canal, which goes all the way down to Brentford.  It makes the ride feel local to me.

From Cheddington onwards, it was heads down and focus.  It was quite a thrill riding through dark country lanes again.  You get a mixture of emotions.  From excitement at the speed you can go at due to reduced traffic, to apprehension that overcomes you in waves due reduced visibility, to moments of fright at the thought of an unavoidable pothole.  I made my way to Chalfont Saint Peter, which is known for the start of other audaxes.  From there on, the post-ride meal was what occupied my head.

It was a great day and am looking forward to next weekend's trip to Westvleteren.

The photos are on the slideshow till the next ride or here: Photos


Anonymous said...

We zijn gelukkig dat je eerste "lange" rit na PBP een meevaller was: PROFICIAT!
Het was een echt traktaat voor ons je tweets onderweg te lezen.
We wensen je een goede reis naar Westvleteren...
maar vergeet niet te stoppen aan 't oveke hé!!!
Meim en Peip xxx xxx

Kris said...

vlotjes gefietst en vlotjes geschreven.goede wijn betert met de jaren... maar volgende week geen wijn maar: patersbier!!:)