Wednesday 25 January 2012

The Willy Warmer 200

A headwind all the way out! But I was prepared, I had planned not to push it too hard, and to enjoy the country scenery.

It was a beautiful morning. The sun shining through the trees and onto the landscape had wonderful effects. I was seeing paintings all around me. Like I had double vision, I would switch between reality and David Hockney's. I was cycling through a gallery of paintings.

This experience was enhanced by me being in 'Mindful' mode. We had sessions at work around Wellbeing, and the Mindfulness session stood out for me. I thought I wasn't too bad for living in the moment. I grew up in a house called Carpe Diem. I had noted to the person holding the session that, what she was describing is very much like the state I'm in when on a long bike ride, and having gone over the threshold. Everything means something, you are aware of the countryside, the birds, the cars, the sun, the rain, the food you eat, the eating, the people, the conversations ... and life can't be better at that time.

It was another great day out. I was focussed, I wanted to gain some confidence again, in being able to do 200 in 12hrs. Anything less than 12hrs is a bonus, or a few missed photo opportunities.

I did take a few shots of curiosities, like this General Post Office marker post:

GPO marker post
The GPO was established in England in 1660 and abolished only in 1969.  The post office was also a telephone operator at some stage, via the telegraph, it seems.  I had never noticed GPO marker posts before, I'll probably see them everywhere now.  I quite liked reading up about the history of the post office, now I know why it is called the Royal mail.

I had good company on the last leg from Winnersh, which I reached before dark, just.  I eyed up the chip van across the road, but thought it safer to get a receipt at Sainsbury's.  There was a wonderful moment when our groupette got to Bray where the Hinds Head restaurant by Heston Blumenthal is. Like you see students walking around in Eton, there were chefs walking around in Bray.  Else we were on a set for 'The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover'.

It was good to make acquaintances with Maidenhead Phil, and I picked up on the Easter Arrow vibes at head quarters.  Looking forward to that event as much as the Southern Kiwi Hunt.

This was the my last audax before the Southern Kiwi Hunt 1200.  The entry form has now arrived, and I know that there will be two bag drops.  Start time and controls are still to be guessed at.  I'm trying to visualise what it is going to be like: headwind south, hard climbing over the alps, rain on the west coast, hard climbing over Arthur's and Porters pass, then a grand finale descent into Christchurch to arrive 10 hours out of time.  Still, plenty of sleep time on the flight back home!

Thanks to team Manotea and Iddu.  Nice to see so many familiar faces.

Photos are on the slideshow till the next ride or here: Clicky


Anonymous said...

Vandaag is het poeziedag in Belgie. Je verslag is een en al po√ęzie.
Je bent geneigd om je tekst steeds te herlezen, het gevoel dat we hebben bij C A duffy 's verzen.
We vinden de foto 's uitnemend mooi en interessant.
De paragraaf over Carpe Diem brougt tears into our eyes.
Onze welbeing week kan starten!!!
See you soon!
Meim en Peip xxx xxx

Kris said...

Nice, nice , nice!
I am still a bit puzzled about that Post office pole??