Sunday 13 March 2016

The Kennet Valley Run

We got all the seasons' weathers: frost, rain, sleet, hail, snow, sunshine, wind, gusts and if a rainbow was a weather type, I'd add that in also.  Apt that I was using Continental Grand Prix 4 Season tyres.

Myself, I was dressed for one season only: winter.  I was ready for the predicted RealFeel™-1.

There was a big turnout as you can tell from the amount of brevet cards that were laid out on the table at the start.

Brevet cards
It looks like others are dressed for one season also
There were familiar faces, like Titus.  He's more familiar from the FNRttC than from Audax.  But there is a trans-discipline movement in full swing.  There are several Fridays having a go at Audax.  Friday Miranda did the 100km version of this ride.  Her blog post reminds me of my early audax ride reports: treasuring the brevet card, absorbing all the advice given but needing to find your own way, the landscape and wildlife, teething problems with GPS and navigation, finishing with a great sense of achievement and wanting more.

Finishing this ride earnt me my first two audax points since July 2014.  I felt like a newbie myself, and especially with a new bike I am adjusting to.  It was when I got a puncture that I realised how out of audax routine I am.  I had to think!  When passing riders asked if I was ok, I replied with a hesitant yes.  And the riders hesitantly continued on, probably thinking 'she doesn't sound too sure'.   I was ok of course, just getting used to the feel of the bike and learning its quirks.   These quirks are things like how the bike balances with the front wheel off, and how things fall out of the new saddle bag compared with the old.

Had my own puncture soon after I took this picture
I had been prepared for the hills around Bratton.  A good break and meal at the Pickleberry Coffee and Gift Shop set me up nicely and I didn't struggle too much compared with previous years.  

The Kennet Valley Run is a great ride and I always enjoy seeing the white horse.

I also enjoyed the long sunset, meaning I didn't need to cycle in the dark too long.

I made it back by 7.30PM, at the Village Hall where there was plenty of tea, soup and cake to be enjoyed.  I chatted with a few people and then drove back home.  What a great day that was, and I'm ready for more.

Many thanks to the organiser Mick Simmons and team.

The rest of the photos are here: MyPhotos

Other thoughts:
  • Plenty of kites
  • Seeing two people artistically painting the inside of a bus stop, can't remember where
  • Nice to visit the Tutti Pole again, but didn't hang around too long
  • Happy, very happy, with my new bike.  Will change back mudguard to my old SKS race blade ones. Need a little more clearance.

1 comment:

the5milecyclist said...

Lovely write up - and lovely pics. I can't tell you how reassuring and humbling it was to read that my basic starter errors aren't unique to me and the learning curve will improve.

It was definitely a day for all weathers but also a really great introduction to audax.

Hope to see you on another one soon.