I’ll start by appologising for the lack of photos from today. You have to imagine four wet cyclists, in the rain, on slightly flooded roads looking out on very flooded fields. The ground is red ironstone clay with little orange houses, some thatched.
Whilst this is a distance challenge, it’s turning into more of a logistics challenge. 500km in 8 days isn’t really that far. However throw in commitments of Christmas, family and all that it entails and it’s a different challenge entirely.
So we were on the visiting run. Plan was, drive to Leighton Buzzard for lunch with my partner Ali’s family then drive to Oxfordshire to visit mine whilst squeezing in some friends. I’ve been doing a bit of extra mileage to cover having a day off but hoped to sneak a bit in where I could on Thursday. It didn’t happen!
So Friday came, we met up with the couple who got me into racing in the first place, Rob and Moira. Now Ali had been lulled into a false sense of security by the fact that Moira is in her 60’s. I may has brushed over her 4.06 100 last year 😉 and is still testing having only stopped road racing this summer.
Anyway, it’s flat compared to here right?
ZOOM and she’s off! Fully resplendant in Banbury Star kit with Ali looking shocked. I chatted with Robert, I’ve mentioned him in this blog before, he taught me loads when I first started and used to do the maintainance on my bikes. It was nice to go full loop where I was riding the TK3 which I’d predominantly built myself. He’s now building the Smart ENVE wheels for Simon Smart. I guess technically he’s Moiras toyboy!
They took us on some of my old route from when I lived down there. On a 50km whistle stop tour we managed one stone circle, The Rollright Stones, one brewery at Hook Norton and Broughton Castle.
Then chasing through some more friends human carwash with a brew in hand, we were then ready to eat the biggest pies you’ve seen at The Crown and Tuns pub with my Dad and his wife, before tumbling back into the van to drive back up.
I even managed to squeeze a quick Cragg loop in to top up the mileage….I hope it’s not that windy now….