Now the longer days are here an audax man’s thoughts turn to the bigger distances working towards a series of 200k, 300k,400k and eventually a 600k. A number of our members have entered a 300 next weekend and some daft people have to check the route to make sure the instructions are ok and there are no roadworks, diversions or even new roads. Yesterday one of those was me.
I left for Stockport at O 630- O as in Oh my goodness that early. Met up with my partner for the day and we were off at 7.10. I had decided to bear the shins, for the second time this year, as temperatures were predicted to get into double figures. First thing it was a nippy but once riding I warmed up.
From Poynton the route headed out through Alderley Edge, Goostrey, Middlewich and on to Whitchurch. Early doors the traffic was light but being a Saturday things got busier and there was, sadly, the usual impatience from some. As the day wore it appeared the motorist became more polite. Whitchurch control is a 24 hour garage but now it has a 24hour McDonalds next door – all good sports nutrition.
From Whitchurch it is out to Wem, Bomore Heath, Montford Bridge and Ford. Here the control is the interesting Dinky’s Diner on the A458. Particularly interesting at 3.00 am when this event is ridden from the 11pm start. Then on to Montgomery and Newtown. This leg is scenic and rolling, nothing horrendous, but the SE breeze always seemed to be a slight hinderance. It was here too that the blue skies disappeared and the predicted light rain arrived. At the turn around, another McD’s the rain became heavy enough for capes but within 15mins it eased and half way back to Dinky’s jackets were off and stayed off for the rest of the day. The wind, still SE helped a little.
Next leg was a retrace to Wem, Bomore Heath then over to Ighfied, Checkley and Alsager. On this stretch we had a refuel and lit up at Audlem, before the final push for Poynton via Smallwood, Somerford (the climb up Radnor Bank), Siddington and Redesmere. The final climb of the day was the “Col Du Birtles”. Eventually the clock stopped at 00:02:04. This beat last year’s time by 10 mins or a cup of tea somewhere and meaning the event was completed in 16hour 52 mins. All that remained was to ride back to the car 8k away. Total distance 202.5 miles in 12hours 30mins riding average 13.1mph.
What else went through my mind all day I don’t know, being skilled at using empty boxes has its uses.
For the sports nutritionist this journey was fuelled by
2 cans of coke, 2 bottles of water, 3 coffees, 8 Jelly babies, cheese and onion pasty, beans on toast, pork and apple bap, 2 galaxys, one snickers one choc chip muffin and 2 Nature Valley Granola bars. I don’t know, or care, whether this is more or less than the 9998 calories I burnt off, according to Garmin, but it did the trick for me.