Monday, 26 September 2016

Taunton 10k +

Taunton 10k +
26th September  2016
Since we got back from the holiday in Pembroke I have managed to get very few miles in on the bike [42!] but have managed to run 3 times a week the furthest being 8.5 miles, which is bringing me a step closer to my half marathon distance at the end of October, although it does seem hard work this time and a small pain just below my knee cap is causing me a little concern, it doesant hurt when I run, but if I touch it, it is tender and I cant kneel on it. No idea what it is but it doesant hurt cycling or running, odd!!! Tried Googling without success, tried Voterol that doesant work, despite the posh TV advert!

We did manage to childmind in Gloucester last week  this was particularly helpful as poor Gdaughter had to have 48 hrs from School due to a sickness bug. But, a great time with her and the twins was had.

Sunday [yesterday ] saw me doing the Taunton 10k road race, my first ever road race, along with my daughter who has only been running a short time and has only run 10k in the last couple of weeks, her first race ever!!!
We were both excited and apprehensive, but it helped as we were able to walk from her flat in Taunton round the corner to the start at Blackbrook sports centre. 600 + had entered so it was me, daughter and her boyfriend lining up with lots of runners, the weather was set to be good and it was hot as we set off at a brisk pace, everyone jostling for position before it thinned out a little, daughters boyfriend was looking for a good time so went on ahead whilst we were aiming for a finish around  the one hour time, and just to get round.

We were going well and when we went into the lanes the weather started to change and we had a slight drizzle as we approached the drink station at 5k. it was a slight incline out of the village of Stoke St Mary, so a good time for dextrasol and a drink. When we got to cross the M5 once more it started to rain heavily, followed on by gusty wind, making running hard work, we fought our way over the bridge to the last half mile, where we picked up speed to the finish, a sprint finish had daughter beating me by two seconds!!!

A great run, daughter did really well, chip timing said 1hr 6 mins, we came 507 th and 508th out of 574 finishers. Pleasing result and a good day out. The sun came out, as we finished and we were presented with a rather disappointing plastic medal, not the best I have ever seen!!!!!
Daughters boyfriend was 26th in 39 minutes the winner doing 35 mins, so a good run by him, even though he was suffering a nasty cold and was on antibiotics.

This is all good preparation for our Plymouth 10 k in two weeks

Monday, 19 September 2016

France or Pembroke??



15th September 2016 
Decisions!! We were undecided where to go for a holiday this year, now the children have gone back to school and the holiday areas are quieter. We thought France then looking at the cost - £350 to get the van over there + road rescue+ personal insurance+ extra van insurance, along with the hassle of early ferries and 4 hours twiddling thumbs across the water, we decided to visit an area of Britain we had not been to before, Pembroke. This would work well coinciding with a visit to share Twin grandson’s birthday at the beginning of September.
So it was 3 nights first of all at ‘Briarsfield’ at Cheltenham, a site we seem to have spent most of the summer on, surprisingly relatively quiet this time. We had the Friday visiting Cheltenham, lunch out etc.( I did manage a 7 mile run whilst here]

Saturday was Twins Birthday, so party lunch and lots of present to unwrap, which the granddaughter enjoyed as much as the twins!!! Our Daughter came up as well so it was a nice family lunch, shame our eldest son couldn’t make it, although he was in the area earlier in the week whilst Bramble the dog took part in dog agility down the road.

Sunday saw us driving over the welsh countryside through Monmouth, Abergavenny, the heads of the valleys road [Much construction work to improve it] to Merthyr Tydfil, Neath on to the M4 to Carmarthen before heading down towards Tenby and our destination Freshwater East and its Caravan Club campsite,
The campsite was in a great position just a couple of hundred yards from a spectacular Beach, with a beautiful curved bay. Our first test on parking up was to put up our new drive away awning; I had put it up once at home to try it out. It was simple to put up with the poles already in place, just needed extending and then fitting the flysheet over the top and connecting to the van. We were soon sat in the sunshine with tea and biscuits in a good position, a grassy pitch.
The awning gave us more space, and somewhere to sit other than in the van, somewhere to store the chairs, rain jackets etc. After an evening meal of sausage casserole we had a stroll down to the beach, the tide was out and there were lots of people around, I assume from a nearby chalet park, but busy to say the children were back at school. It now turned chilly with a mist rolling in from the sea, making it quite damp.

Day 1 [Monday] we headed for Tenby, despite the weather being very foggy and damp, but very warm. Parking was easy, unusual for the van, as we were on the edge of Tenby near the park and ride. Cheap too!!
It was a good 20 minute walk to the front. There was a low cloud over the cliffs, the views over and around Tenby were wonderful. We walked round lifeboat stations [new and old] and then onto the town and managed to find a nice café for our coffee. We sat a while, phoned our Grandaughter after her first day at school, all went well!!!!
Lunch was back at the van, with homemade rolls…… after several hours around the town looking at the sites we headed back to Freshwater and camp. The weather was changeable, wet, windy and sunny!!!  The awning was a little flappy and noisy in the increasing wind, not a good sign, especially as gales were forecast later in the week. We did end up taking it down the next day as high winds were forecast for the next night. I didn’t want to damage the van if it broke loose.



                                            A Misty Tenby

Day 2 we spent walking over to Stackpole Quay, which according to local signposts was 2.9 miles away. Weather was good, hot at times in the sunshine. The views as we walked along the coast were stunning, the path right on the edge. We had taken a packed lunch, which we ate at the quay before testing the tea in the National Trust café!!!
The quay is very strange, a lovely spot once used to export limestone from a local quarry at the ‘big house’ to support the estate. Well worth a visit.
It was hot walking back and the hills we came down seemed steeper on the way back up so were glad when we got back to the camp, kicking off shoes and putting the kettle on. The site was full again, a sign of all the older people on holiday now children are back at school. The toilets were the usual CC standard, spotless!


           Stackpole Quay
Freshwater water bay
 Path to Stackpole
 Tenby in the sun
 Tenby in the sun
 New Awning



Day 3. I was up before it got light with the intention of running along the cliffs in the direction of Stackpole Quay, not sure I would go all the way. It was still getting light as I left Mrs IanB asleep in the van. The campsite was deserted I ran down the lane to the bay before heading up onto the cliffs and around the first Headland Trewent Point. It was wet underfoot as autumn dew was now coating the grass. The views across the deserted bay were stunning, the weather looked promising as I ran along the cliff edge, it’s a rolling route, the downs being a little slippery with the mud, so extra care needed. Occasionally I was covered in spider’s webs! That had carefully been constructed overnight; I expect to catch their breakfast!!! Don’t know what they made of some oaf, crashing through them at 6:30 in the morning, The sun was now starting to show through, but a chilling breeze kept me cool as I reached each little rise on the route I soon got to Greenala Point a lovely hill fort that was quite steep, it was a strange feeling when I stood there for a drink, taking in the atmosphere, all those years ago people lived there! I was the only person around, but was only 6:30 am!  I could see Stackpole Quay but decided it was time to turn round and return the way I had come, down the slippery descent and back along the roller coaster route. When I got to Trewent Point the sun was out and the views were even more beautiful, the curve of the bay and the surf rolling in. Back to the van, still few people are around, dog walkers mainly 5 miles covered so I was pleased with that. A nice shower and a breakfast in the sunshine before sorting the van to move on once more.
 We were to depart to St Davids further down the Pembroke coast, but after packing up the weather was beautiful, we decided to head back to Tenby to see it in a better light, we weren’t disappointed, it was beautiful, beaches, cliffs and the town free of traffic after 11 am. Tenby is a place we will visit again I am sure.
We then pointed the Van towards St Davids the smallest city in the UK, we didn’t realise how small it was. Haverford West came and went, although there were great views over the River Cleddau as we crossed the toll bridge and we soon got to our next site CC site near Whitesands Bay, little winding narrow lanes to get there after St Davids.
We pitched up on a very open site, also a very busy site again, apparently full for the next few days. I was pleased we got there early to give some choice, although there was no shelter, from the wind. Reviews of the site had said it was an exposed site! We put up the awning with some difficulty in the winds. The kettle was soon on and we were able to sit in the sunshine, even in the stiff breeze. We were also some distance from the toilet block.

Day 4, a bright sunny day dawned, even though again there was a stiff breeze. We walked the several miles into St Davids, passing the splendid ruined Bishops Palace on the way in an then the Cathedral, not quite as exotic as Exeter or Durham etc., but lovely in its own right. There were no stained glass windows, and it was very basic in comparison to others. WE peeped round the door to look in, it did say a donation for up keep would be welcome, but inside the door it asked for £2 each and there was a person to greet you, not quite our cup of tea. Never the less a lovely place, lots of other visitors around, well cared for, I thought the Bishops palace ruin more impressive!!
We walked into St Davids, a ‘one street and square city’ but a lovely place, we had taken a flask of coffee so sat on the square in the sunshine  and enjoyed the atmosphere, a small craft market was also there.
After a walk around the ‘city’ which didn’t take too long we were starting to feel a hungry. After looking around we decided to give the ‘Bishops’ pub a go, nice menu and several veggie options, the atmosphere was good a mix of tourists and locals, we ordered Welsh Rarebit with a salad plus of course our side bowl of chips! It was delicious, and plenty of it, washed down with a pint of bitter shandy. A satisfying lunch, it was quite bright when we stepped out into the sunshine as it was a typical low ceiling, beamed village pub, quite dark inside. We were soon re tracing our steps back past the Bishops ruin and the cathedral and into the lanes leading back to the campsite, a good couple of miles each way.
The evening weather forecast was for gales and heavy rain and the wind had already started to pick up as we got back to the van, so I decided to take down the awning as it was already flapping around where it joined the van, I think I have discovered that it’s a very nice awning in good weather, but when the wind rises it’s not the best, even with extra pegging, [I will do a separate review of the awning later]
It was a rough night with heavy rain and winds, I saw several people adjusting awnings to cope with conditions, the wind was even making the van rock at times, I was a little worried about being parked on the field, and getting stuck, however, this was unfounded as the drainage seemed particularly good and a good under soil, perhaps after the dry summer.
 Whitesands Bay near St Davids
 St Davids Cathedral
 Rainbow over the campsite St Davids





Day 5 The weather overnight had eased by morning but it was forecast to be a damp and windy day. We decided it was a driving about day, so we planned to visit Haverford West with its castle etc.  The drive over was easy, parking was a little more difficult, especially with the van, but we managed to park below the castle. We walked up, but it was a disappointing visit, everywhere looked run down and needed some TLC. The town was a nice little town with a splendid new shopping centre next to the river; sadly this was also a little run down. The main street looked as though it had been quite prosperous at one time. We struggled to find anywhere to eat so settled on sandwiches back at the van later. We left Haverford and went on to Little Haven, another sweeping bay, we parked and walked out on the beach, again a few hardy surfers and dog walkers around, but a beautiful spot once again. We finally made our sandwich whilst in the car park overlooking the bay.
The drive back was uneventful, passing Newgale Sands once more, very similar to Little Haven with its broad sweeping bay of sands. The campsite adjacent to the road was now a small lake, so glad I wasn’t camping there. It was also raining again!!

Day 6 The weather eased, the next day and it was another walk day. We planned to take coffee round to St Davids Head which was about 2 miles away round the coast. We walked down the road to Whitesands Bay; surfers were already queuing up for the right wave to come along. We stood for a while and watched. It was then a steady climb up and around the coast with spectacular views of Ramsey Island etc. We even managed to spot a family of seals on a secluded beach, the two babies lounging on the rocks whilst, mum and dad kept a watch from the sea. occasionally coming out of the water to check on their off spring.
St Davids Head is a lovely spot, fantastic views around the bay, even better with the weather being nice after the storm. Coffee and snacks were eaten in the shelter of the rocks as small groups of people came and went from the point, Mrs IanB even got her sketch pad out to record our visit.
We walked slowly back to the camp for a leisurely late lunch and spent the afternoon reading and enjoying the sunshine.


 Sunrise near St Davids Head
 Climb up to Carn Llidi
View of Ramsey Island from Carn Llidi

The campsite from Carn Llidi

Day 7, I was up early again, this time it really was still dark, the temperature was also down on previous days, with the wind eased from the previous night but still breezy. I set off for a run round the coast, needing my head torch at first to avoid tripping over. I headed out past the golf course before descending down a lovely single pathway to Whitesands Bay; I had beaten the surfers today as it was only just light as I set off up the track to St Davids Head once again. There was no one around, the skies were getting lighter and there was promise of a good sunrise. I ran past the secluded beach with the seals, still there! And out to the point. This time I headed up on to the ridge and ran more westward before descending to the coast path again and climbing up to the peak of Carn Llidi  at 181 metres. It was tough climb and route finding through the heather at times difficult. I was also aware this was Adder country! I hope they were still all asleep! The top few metres were a scramble, now fully light with a lovely sunrise and clear blue skies I summited to find a young couple there, who had walked up from the Youth Hostel, it was barely 6:45 but they were keen to see the sunrise as I was. We exchanged chat before Ms ‘young couple’ decided she was getting cold, so they headed of down the rocky ridge, leaving me to enjoy the really stunning 360 degree panorama in brilliant sunshine, the campsite below now looked very small. I enjoyed my few minutes up there and as always reluctant to leave the summit after all the effort. I scrambled down through rocks and heather to pick up the coast path again and ran down and back the way I had come through Whitesands, this time there were several surfers out, even though the surf was quite flat given the stormy day the day before. I ran up the hill from the coast and back to the van, there were still few people about and I looked up at the peak I had just run up and felt very self-satisfied I had made the effort 6.5 miles run and several hundred feet climbed before breakfast. Mrs IanB had overslept, and I opened the van door to find her still asleep. A shower and breakfast followed before it was time to pack up camp and move on once more. We both agreed it was a good move to take down the awning it the nasty weather.
It doesn’t take long to pack up the van, by the time you have put the seat back, stowed the kettle and mugs all we have to do is un plug and coil the lead, then we are away. There was some sadness at going from here as it had real potential to explore, quite a remote place but! I was told by the ‘young couple’ it’s very busy in school holidays with lots n lots of children, so perhaps we had seen it at its best.
Abergavenny was our next site some 112 miles away; I opted for going round the Brecon Beacons this time able to follow the A40 all the way. A lovely drive, with changeable weather conditions, bright and sunny, very dark black clouds[ but no rain] after several hours and a van lunch once more we arrived at the CC site at Pandy, a smallish site, as were  quite early we had a good choice of pitches this time, including hard standing which we opted for. The campsite once again was full for the next couple of days. We had a nice pitch, not too far from the toilet block this time, I put up the awning, which is very easy, but glad I had the hard pegs as pegging into hard standing plays havoc with soft pegs!
We were right next to a railway line and the trains seemed quite regular, but they didn’t bother us, even through the night, there was something comforting knowing that railways are still used and still used for freight which we saw.

Day 8, was a trip around the area in the van, I didn’t have any local 1:50000 maps and there were no maps or walks in the information room, so we decided the best use of time would be to visit Hay on Wye which was only 20 miles away. Driving away from the awning was easy, and I was surprised how easy it was to reattach when I returned as long as I realigned with it.
Hay on Wye parking was easy, Hay is well known for its second hand book shops. We found it a pleasant large village with some wonderful old buildings, quite historical, including the cheese market in the middle, for me the second hand book shops were not inviting, all smelling of second-hand books, there were also a few shops with ‘retro clothing’ it was a very touristy place, well worth a visit, though I expect its very busy in summer time. After several hours and a coffee later, as well as purchasing some nice rolls for lunch in the van later we departed and set off for Abergavenny. We stopped on the way, below the Black Mountains for some lunch. Abergavenny was a surprise; a very clean well looked after town [unlike Haverford] with free parking!!!!! Close to the town centre. We were able to visit the castle and museum free! A lovely little place, the town looked in good shape with lots of top high street shops, few vacant premises.  We enjoyed Abergavenny, and felt welcome as a visitor. Over all the welsh places we had been to car parking charges seemed reasonable compared with those around us in the South West. After several hours and a little prsezzy shopping for grandchildren we set of for the few miles back to Pandy and the campsite.
The evening we walked up the lane from the site and ended up helping a farmer herd sheep along the road and into a field, ably assisted by his two sheep dogs, our job was to stop escapees up another road nearby.

Day 9 was our final day and decided on packing up to call at Monmouth on the way home, the weather forecast was grim for later in the day! Monmouth was disappointing just another small town, we were surprised as there seemed little history and the town really consisted of a main wide street with little or no character. Abergavenny seemed better to us.
We drove back down the Wye valley, winding its way back down to Chepstow and the Severn Bridge. We stopped and had lunch in the van at the Severn Bridge services, just as the thunderstorm hit!! It was a wet drive home down the M5 from there, with occasional claps of thunder and heavy rain. Later it was reported that across the country there had been floods and lightning strikes, we were lucky!

It had been a good holiday, in an area we had not visited before. Nearly 20 miles run and lots of walking.The van was brilliant as ever, couldn’t have wanted better sites and the new Awning was a success despite the issues with its performance in the wind.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Nice weather continues, plenty of running and cycling.

Thursday 1st September 2016
well the summer goes on despite the odd hiccup, like  last Sunday when I got a wetting!!
The week has gone well, with a 5 mile run on Monday and a very good round the town run on Tuesday of 7 miles, using an off road route up Snowden Hill and giving me 551 ft of ascent, timewise just over the hour, so very pleased with that on a summers evening. Wednesday I was out with the 'Wobblies' again, lovely morning, a ride over to Yetminster via Beaminster Down, Toller down and Evershot to 'Hamishs Farm shop

 http://www.hamishsfarmshop.com/

Really nice place ,food was good, large cinnamon swirls, huge bacon sarnies, and a smashing scrambled egg on granary, along with tea and coffee!!! it was lovely to sit outside in the warm sunshine after the hard 30 miles ride over some big hills. But it was 20 miles home from there so it took some time to get into riding again, and we hit a good 15% hill quite soon after, the rest of the ride through Hardington Mandeville, Merriott and Hinton St George was up and down, but not as tough as the ride out, I think all eight of us struggled especially those who were bacon sarnies! 50 miles covered on the ride, 3200 ft ascended and 2800 calories burnt, so a great morning out.

I have also been following 'My fitness Pal' again as two weeks ago I hit the 12 stone mark! but after two weeks a lot of running, cycling and keeping out of the biscuit and cake tin [ cafe stops cycling an exception] I am down to a reasoneable 11st 9 pounds so good news and will make the races coming up in October easier.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

150 miles cycled 13.4 miles run last week

28th August 2016

Including last Sunday's cycle ride I managed to cycle 150 miles last week! My Sunday ride over the levels with Mike. Wednesday was a 'Wobblies' ride on a beautiful morning over to have coffee on the Beach at Beer. It was a tough ride over Stockland before dropping down a lovely long descent down to the coast. Coffee and cake at 'Duckeys' cafe on the beach below the cliffs, a superb position, great cake, sadly we then had the climb up from the coast over Rousden and Chardstock, eight of us had a lovely ride.
Thursday I joined Yeovil CC for a ride over to Milton Abbass and Milton Abbey School where they have a wonderful tearoom only open in holiday time. Thirteen of us left Yeovil for the Dorset country side, working our way through villages with lovely names, Wooten Glanvills, Beer Hacket etc. The weather had been humid and low cloud and as we arrived at Milton Abbey, it started to drizzle. It was a spectacular view down on the school and Abbey.The tea rooms were quiet and we were early for lunch but, the lovely ladies serving said we could order. Mine was Milton Rarebit, thick whole grain toast with tasty cheddar cheese, a pot of pickle and a small salad accompanied by a pot of tea, very nice, we had to sit inside as it was now raining harder.

http://www.eventsatmiltonabbey.co.uk/

By the time we left the cafe the rain was very heavy, we climbed up through the village of Milton Abbas ( the village was moved so the Lord of the Manor couldn't see it) a pretty village, one street of thatched cottages, at the top of the Main Street, we turned left to climb Bulbarrow hill, in now heavy rain. Finally at the top, lots of sweat in the heat and wearing a pertex wind proof the descent would be interesting, twisty, steep, several 20% sections on very wet roads, braking was hard in the wet, the overhanging trees not helping as they made it very dark and even more slippery. Descending also with 12 other cyclists, I think we were all glad when we got to the bottom, ironically the rain started to ease, eventually stopping and drying up as we got closer back to Yeovil 60 miles covered, a great day out, especially as the sun came out in the final few miles to dry us off. I can recommend the Tea rooms at Milton Abbey, they do have website, worth a check when they are open.

My running this week was an off road 7 miler round Neroche trails, very hot and very dry and a 6 + mile road run round town, my first since the spring where I finished in the dark!!

A wonderful week of weather last week, but toady it seemed to have changed, my Sunday morning ride was spoiled with heavy rain 12 miles from home. We had gone round through Misterton and Hazelberry Plucknett before riding through heavy rain back through Hinton St George ( one of the posh villages in the area) only 27 miles today.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Grizzly entry open - entered the lottery

Monday 22nd August 2016

Email from Ax Valley saying the draw for places for next years Grizzly is now open

http://axevalleyrunners.org.uk/grizzly/

So my entry went in, I will know later in September whether I have a place. It will give me something to aim for over the winter months. Great event, my second Full Grizzly ( 20 miles) after four Cub runs (9 miles) Fingers crossed now!!
I have several events planned for September and October

Chard Wheelers 112 k Audax September 18th.

Ocean 10k road run in Plymouth October 9th my first ever road race!

Exmoor Stagger or Stumble off road run at Minehead on October 23rd, if I am fit enough might try the 15 mile Stagger up to Dunkery Beacon rather than 7 mile Stumble round its lower slopes, this is my 4th Stumble!

Herepath Half, half marathon round Neroche Near Taunton, did it last year, nice event, but, quite hard so need to build up the miles that's on 30th October.

So a busy September and October.

Grand Children, some running and cycling and beautiful weather again!

17th August 2016
A visit from grandchildren, a trip to the Beach and!!!! some lovely cycling and running days.
Friday evening last [12/8/16] saw the grandchildren descend on us after a rather busy drive down the M5, we expected the 11 month old twins to be fast asleep, which they were, until they were unloaded from the car, so at 8:30 they were wide awake, crawling round the lounge laughing and giggling etc. Grand daughter was rather more tired. We finally got them all to bed later.
Saturday
Dawned bright and sunny intervals, Grand daughter was determined we were heading for the seaside. So we set off for Sidmouth parking above Jacobs Ladder in an expensive car park.
Loaded with , a picnic, rug, chairs, towels etc . we pulled the double buggy over the shingle down to the sandy bit above the water level, William found this hilarious!!!
We found the tide was coming in fast so decided to move round the corner where there was more sand, the beach was relatively quiet, must be the sunny intervals rather than just sun!
Gdaughter, went in the sea with her dad and had a great time, the twins were unsure of the whole experience being their first time at the seaside. We had a picnic, chips, ice cream…….. etc so a good day was had by all, everyone being tired after a long day [ children had been up since 5 am].
Then, it went down hill as we had to take George off to Taunton A and E as he had a small spot that wouldn’t stop bleeding, so at 2 am Sunday morning they were driving back to us after 4 hours in A and E. They decided to drive back home on Sunday, good job, as the same thing happened on Sunday night, although less time spent in Gloucester A and E, but! Monday again saw them at Gloucester A and E!!!! still not sorted, emergency op needed, but!!! Cant do till Tuesday !!!!!  difficult for an 11 month old child - - - hopefully finally sorted Tuesday, with an operation, he now looks as though he has done five rounds with a large dressing near his eye, how long that will stay on is anyone’s guess.
Monday I did a local 6.5 mile run, very hot!! But I felt comfortable, no second Jurassic run this weekend as they wouldn’t let me enter on the day. All my aches and pains seem to have gone away!!!
Tuesday , very hot and sunny again, my new Awning arrived from ‘Just Campers’ so spent the afternoon putting that up to make sure we were keeping it and when I put it up on site for the first time I won’t be embarrassed. Seems quite good, ‘Easy Camp’  will review when we have used it in action.
Wednesday was ‘Wobbly wheelers’ day , 6 of us out, worked our way  down to Seaton Hole, via Lamberts Castle, Rousdon, Axmouth etc, the café at Seaton Hole was welcome after 24 miles to get there.  walnut cake and tea, before the ride back home via Kilmington and  Membury including a 6 mile steady climb. A really nice day out but very hot in the sheltered lanes of the Dorset/Devon/Somerset. A total 42 miles covered .
Thursday, yet another beautiful day, the plan was to meet up with Yeovil CC/CTC at ‘Barley Mows’ café   http://www.barleymowsfarmshop.co.uk  at the top of Snowden Hill when they got there after their 20 mile ride from Yeovil before heading out over Membury and down to Beer and the Anchor Inn for lunch. I met up with them 20 in all!! A good turn out for mid week, most with Yeovill CC jerseys on, one had a puncture just as we were leaving the café, so I went on with a lead group of 6 riders, over Bewly Down towards Axminster, the views across towards Stockton Mast were lovely, bright blues skies only added to the picturesque summer view, sadly no photos, no time to stop as were still climbing before the long descent. I decided to leave the group at Axminster, and complete a circuit of my own, I had been down to Beer and Seaton several times over the last week or so, lovely as it is.
I went through Axminster, very busy as it was market day, Hugh Fearnly whatsits, ‘River Cottage Canteen’ doing very well. I went down a road called ‘Sector Lane’ which I had been down before, but! I had forgotten the sting in the tail at the end on the climb up to the Lamberts castle ridge, 20% for some time and a 2 mile climb, very hot and very steep, I did struggle at times, sweat pouring off me, it was very hot between the narrow hedgerows. I finally reached the welcome B road and rested with a drink and snack. The ride down over Lamberts Castle was good, nice curvy descent, on good roads, not too busy for mid-week even though it’s a B road from Crewkerne to Lyme Regis. I climbed up through Marshwood Vale, before turning off through Sad Barrow and past Forde Abby once again, to get home after 26miles, disappointing mileage but made up with the climbing, I will update the Blog post when I have downloaded the route from my Garmin. I was very hot and very tired surprisingly!!!
Friday was wet and windy so a quick trip down to Exmouth, very different from our last visit when it was very hot, sunny and crowded, today the waves were crashing over and there were few people about except hardy dog walkers . A pic nic lunch sat in the car watching the weather and the kite surfers who started to appear now the tide was going out.
The evening saw me out for my local town run, but in reverse 5.5 miles covered on a very windy run, hard work with the wind in my face at times.
 Sunday 21st August,  

Saturday was very wet and windy, but today dawned just windy with a promise of improving conditions. I met Mike and we did a 46 mile ride over the levels which turned out to be a tail wind out and a head wind back, very tough at times, the wind really getting on our nerves. There was also areas of road that had been ‘surface dressed’!! huge patches of gravel everywhere, dangerous at times and making riding a bike on it difficult. The weather improved and the sun returnedbut the wind stayed with us. A good ride as usual.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Nice weather for running and cycling



Friday 12th August 2016

Monday last, the day after the Jurassic  was another lovely day for weather, I also decided that it was a rest day, no cycling or running, but I did have a partial garage sort out!!! And can now get in and out much easier round the 6 bikes!! A trip down the dump with a car load.

Tuesday it was the Blackmore Vale CTC coffee meet at the Riverside Café in Langport, a cool start made the downhill start a chilly descent, but! I soon warmed up  as I set a good Pace on the Chard to Ilminster cycle route heading to Shepton Beauchamp and Kingsbury Episcopi, the roads seemed quiet, must be the school holidays, I made good time and the 18 miles soon passed. The group were already gathered with their coffees and cake, I duly ordered tea and a piece of ‘Langport Bun’ a cross between a Chelsea and lardy cake, with fruit and apple. The café was quite busy and I had a good chat about arranging a ‘classic bike ride’ before the end of the summer for pre 1987 bikes, ‘Eroica style’ and also to catch up with my friend Dave about the potential ‘Manche to Med’ ride with the CTC next June, that’s Caen the other side of the channel, down to Montpellier on the Mediterranean I have initially put my name down for the 1000 km ride over 16 days, looks exciting! I seemed to spend ages in the café and finally left to ride home with Dave partway, via Muchelney, Hambridge and the National Trust village of Barrington, we shook hands and both agreed we were up for the ‘Manche Med’ Challenge and promised to keep in touch. I cycled home from there in lovely bright sunshine, 38 miles covered, a nice morning out.

Wednesday, the weather was again promising after a cloudy and cool start, and today I made a real effort to meet up for the firs time with the ‘Wobbly Wheelers’ an off shoot of Chard Wheelers cycling club for those of us who can cycle mid week, and they meet round the corner from where I live. There were five of us who set off to ride down to West Bay [ I seem to be spending a lot of time down there at the moment] we went a slightly different route, taking in Forde Abbey and Pilsdon Pen  and as it was market day in Bridport the back way down to the harbour area. It was relatively quiet, and the ‘Harbour Lights’ café [ famous from Nick Berrys Harbour Lights TV series] was also quiet, fruit cake washed down with several cups of tea, fortified me for the return ride, this time back over Symondsbury [a lovely Dorset village sitting just under the famous Colmers Hill] and through the Marshwood Vale  with the steep climb out of Bettiscombe. I then caught a stone on the side of my tyre and pinch punctured, a quick change of tube whilst the group waited, but! A couple of miles down the road saw me puncture once again!!! So another tube change to get me home. A really nice ride out with a nice group of people, my first ride with them I hope to meet up again next Wednesday and hopefully not have the embarrassment of another puncture. Another 38 miles covered.

Thursday we took the van down to Seaton for a morning coffee by the sea, a lovely morning, sat in the park on the cliffs, many sailing boats out from the small bay at Beer, the sunshine and brisk wind giving ideal conditions for them, even though we could see several go over in the stiff breeze. After lunch a visit to the dump and a little garden tidying it was a deckchair session under the parasol.
Evening, I did my first run after the Jurassic, a steady 6 miles round the town, a steady run but still came under an hour , I have my eye on another Jurassic Coast run next week, this time at Budleigh Salterton , another 10k and I know most of the route. I will see how I feel next week and hopefully enter on the day.

My son his wife and Twins and Grand daughter will be down this evening to spend a few days with us. This should be exciting to see the children again and I have no doubt we will spend sometime at the sea side!!!