Tuesday 1 April 2014

The Dean 300

This is how pleased was I to see Andrew!

Me, near Cutsdean (by andrewp)

I was just taking a photo of the farm I still want to buy (if I could!).


My mind was where it usually is at this stage of a ride.  Thoughts of lantern rouge, reminders not to overdo the photos, take it easy, enjoy the day ... even if you're going to be going round on your own... 

I knew Andrew was doing the ride and gathered I must not have seen him in the car park at the start, and now he's way up ahead of me. Shame, I like to have a chat with Andrew.  We reminisce over the Wessex Series rides, and the 10 minute kip we had in the middle of a cycle path.

Where's Andrew?
When he caught up with me, he explained how he had his own sneezing panda moment on discovering he'd overslept.  We chatted for a while before I encouraged him to go ahead without me.   But we chatted some more, reminisced over the Wessex Series rides, and the 10 minute kip we had in the middle of a cycle path.  

A police van pulled up along us, telling us through the open window that we 'really should be cycling in single line'.  I was going to be happy to agree with them, but Andrew said 'No we don't!', and waved them on their way.   

For the first half of the ride, we had tailwind (with a bit of south in it according to Andrew).  But by Chepstow my legs were like jelly.  Refuelling at the petrol station did the trick.   We saw a few other riders and yoyo'd with them till Stanford.  

Refuelling at Chepstow
It's at Stanford that a spoke in my back wheel broke.  I asked Francis if he had a spoke key, which he'd did.  It was only when I was back in the car that I remembered that one of my spanners does have a spoke key slot in it.  With a bit of Francis' encouragement we true'd the wheel and loosened the brakes, enough to make it rideable.  

Andrew replaced an inner tube whilst we were at Membury Service Station.  The Membury stop was cosy with a few other riders around the table.  Service is always top notch with detailed explanations on why they can't print a receipt from one till or another.   Earlier, I had already messed up their system by waiting at the coffee machine for a coffee instead of going to the till to pay first.  'Had I not read the sign?'.  And then I dared to ask for a receipt after they'd cashed up'.  'Can't I see the tills are closed?'.  I was in a dozy enough state to think it was not my problem.  I was reminded that they need to close one till at a time and that they have now already done till 2.  But Mary on till 3 was on to it, she produced the receipt.  Amazing!  I love Membury Services.

We togged up and set off for the last leg back to Oxford.  I got the dozies and requested we'd 'talk' some more.  We had already chatted about the Wessex Series rides, and the 10 minute kip we had in the middle of a cycle path.   I brought up the subject of Toastmasters and Andrew shared insights on e-cigarettes, influencing my views on them on the way.  

Our non-faff stops means we finished the ride with 15 minutes spare.  When we got receipts in Oxford we became surrounded by friendly party-goers, asking the usual 'what are you doing' questions.  The last stretch back to the Peartree car park didn't seem to drag this time.  We said our goodbyes and I snugged into a sleeping bag.  I woke up at day break and then drove off home, still stopping at each service station on the way.

Fabulous day.  My conclusion that my audaxing journey is coming to an end has been shattered again.

Many thanks to Andrew Rodgers for organising the ride. 

Photos are here: MyPhotos

Other thoughts:
  • Seeing Frank at the start being able to congratulate him on his engagement.
  • Seeing zigzag, the zigzagging Transcontinental hero.
  • Seeing oh so many familiar faces like fboab and Priddy.
  • Spring signs of skylarks, lambs, daffodils, willow catkins, and sun.
  • My running hasn't done my climbing legs any good.
  • Hearing the wild pigs in the Forest of Dean.
  • Francis on fixed wheel.


Anonymous said...

Hebben zo graag je verslag gelezen en foto's bekeken!
Dat tikkeltje humor hier in daar in de tekst maakt het geheel typisch Bengske :)
Bravo met je prestatie! Meim en Peip xxx xxx

Unknown said...

Thanks for your company Els, glad you finished ok. It was nice to meet Andrew.

Sir Wobbly said...

"my audaxing journey is coming to an end" ... that would be a terrible shame if it ever came to pass Els.

See you on PBP next year then :-)

Kris said...

Binnen tijd, met weinig slaap, maar good "roadbike -helpers" nice "stops" maakt deze rit weer onvergetelijk: put er vertrouwen uit voor je 600 !! x