I had entered the Dean not being sure if I would be fit enough for a hilly 300. But the more I talked myself out of it, the more I saw it as a challenge. By Tuesday I was completely up for it and even the forecasted low temperatures didn't put me off anymore.
|The Dean 300|
The ride went very well. I was pleasantly surprised. The high gearing on my new bike didn't trouble me too much although I did walk up the 14% climb to Somerset Monument and also up Hackpen Hill. At least Hackpen Hill has a name, I thought. From Chepstow onwards I had planned to count the hills from 1 to 10. The first climb towards Thornbury, after the Severn Bridge, didn't seem so bad, so I didn't count that one. I certainly couldn't count the ones I walked. By the time we got to Lambourn it was time to give up on the counting idea.
Sometimes I can't tell if we have headwind or tailwind. Early on I put my buff over my ears and pretended there was no wind at all. When Pete and I crossed the Severn Bridge, the angle of Pete's bike told me for sure which direction the wind came from! Our triplette did well to take it in turns to battle against the wind. Pete seemed to revive, having not felt very well in he first half, and took the lead a big proportion of the time. Thank you Pete!
In previous rides, I would be totally shattered, struggle my bike in the car, struggle myself into a sleeping bag, sleep till I get too cold, then drive off to the next service station. This time, there was the welcoming finish party, and then I made my way to the Travelodge hotel. Wheeled my bike into the room. Had a shower and ate rice pudding. Then! Then, I still had the energy and inclination to get my brand new chain link pliers out. Took the chain off the bike and put it in a pot of degreaser. Amazing! The next day I completed the chain cleaning and compared the job to professional oven cleaning: 'comes out shining like jewellery'.
I didn't take many photos. It was a rather grey day and I was in minimalist mode. I did take a photo of the farm though.
Many thanks to Justin and Chris for organising. Much appreciated.
Photos are here: MyPhotos
- Lots of wildlife, dead and alive: badgers, deer, various birds of prey including the red kites.
- Familiar faces like Frank and Steven
- Chatting with fboab
- The kilometers clicking away quickly, till I got to 279 which seemed to last for hours.
- The women at the Newent Co-op asking if I'm doing 'that 300'
- Getting a hotel room before and after the event makes so much sense!