Thursday, 23 February 2017

More runs and a Park run

 Tuesday 21st February 2017

Wednesday [15th ] is normally Wobblies day but last Wednesday dawned wet, the forecast was to improve but there were heavy showers as the start time , so I bailed out, disappointing but didn’t fancy a wet ride. The afternoon seemed to improve so I decided to run and did my 12 mile road run round the lanes and the local reservoir. Lovely as the sun came out, and it felt quite warm, I seemed to be setting myself a good pace, at 9 miles the weather suddenly deteriorated and it poured down, even though I had my jacket and hat I decided to push on, the roads now running very wet! As I approached the local estate there was a fantastic rainbow, which I managed to capture on my phone!



I managed less than two hours for my run, which I was pleased about, thinking I might be getting a little fitter after all! Legs tired, but still managing to avoid any injuries.
Thursday was a rest day, the weather still not good although considerably milder than the previous weekend.
Friday [17th] I met up with Rachel to do my Neroche off road run, 7 miles, good to have company as all my running is on my own, R will be my running mate on the Grizzly, but! She was suffering a heavy cold, and with her hectic job as a teacher struggling to get out running, my experience of R is that she will be fit by the time of the race! She always is!!!!
The local cycle club usually meet on Friday afternoon to ride up to Langport, as the weather was really good, so as Mrs IanB was out I met up with them, [was this a good idea after an eight mile run in the morning?] there were eight of us, several Wobblies there but also some younger riders, we set off at a high pace, and I struggled to stay with them, I noted 25 mph on my Garmin several times!!! on the way to Langport, I did try to do a stint at the front [but on the downhills or flats] soon drifting to the back when the road went up again. I was glad to see the café!!! To recover, the ride home was just as hard except that towards the end we all came back together I think I was feeling the eight mile run I did in the morning, well that’s my excuse 37 miles of hard cycling.
Saturday my daughter was keen to do the Park Run down at Seaton, this was the first time either of us had done one. We drove down and parked on the front and walked down to the start, a briefing for us ‘newbies’ before we lined up for the start.
We were soon running down the esplanade with about another 150 runners. The course is two laps of the Esplanade that also includes two short sections of the dreaded shingle beach. We kept in the latter end of the group, my daughters running over the winter has only been once a week so she was doing really well. The weather was really misty with a light wind from the East creating a headwind. It was a good morning out and the 3.1 miles went quickly, we recorded 34 minutes for our first Park Run, something we can build on, interesting the Garmin said we had a total ascent of 99ft! Which seems odd along the sea front? We really enjoyed the run, and as we finished the mist lifted and the sun came out!! The rest of the day was lovely and warm with good sunshine.
Sunday [19th] I cycled with Mike, temperatures were still mild, but it was a very grey day with a light wind. A steady 31 miles round the lanes, again dodging the hedge cuttings, lots of lambs in the fields now, catkins and some pussy willow, loads of snowdrops in the hedgerows, hopefully spring is on its way, there is some warmth now back in the sunshine, so hoping we have escaped the worst of winter weather and so far only a light sprinkling of snow last month.
Monday [20th] was long run day, an early start saw me parked on Seaton sea front, and running by 7:45 am!! 


                                A grey dawn on Seaton seafront


The weather was mildish, but very grey again. It was lovely running down through Beer, no tourists yet, too early in the year, over Beer Head no dog walkers and descending to Branscombe it was deserted, I was moving well, the trails not too muddy. I climbed up past the school, which is perched on a hill overlooking the village, I got there just as children were arriving for the day, one parent commented ‘it must be Grizzly time as you’re the fourth runner we have seen this morning’  I was soon descending down to the Fountains Inn. The climb up to Branscombe cliffs was now starting to sprout the bluebells and garlic shoots.



                             steps down to Branscombe beach, the suns out!

 I ran down the steps to the steep field before the beach, just as the sun came out, a ‘proper’ spring day. I ran the beach, just as hard as ever, never gets any easier no matter where you run, each foot fall sinking in, like running on marbles, the climb out of the stairway to heaven made my legs ache. By the time I hit the steps out of Beer my legs were really aching, and the final climb out of Seaton Hole was even harder, even though it was very short. The sun was shining as I ran back to the van and a welcome mug of coffee.  I did try harder to make sure I ate and drank today, it was as hard as before, my time, no quicker! So another 12 miles towards my training, I must up the miles to ensure I can complete the 19 for the grizzly as well as the 3500 ft of climbing that’s twice as many feet as I do in my 12 miler. I will try to head to the Quantocks for a longer run at the weekend as it’s difficult to get the distance in along the coast without much more climbing!
Wednesday[22nd] dawned damp and wet, but the promise was it would clear later, so I out in my Paramo and headed to meet up with the Wobblies for the Wednesday morning ride, five of us headed over Combe St Nicholas and out to North Curry, started off wet, but by the time we reached Bickenhall the sun came out!!! Round through Five Head and Barrington before Tea and cake at the Community café at Seavington St Michael, lovely service, lovely tea and good banter! The start from the café is a steep uphill out of the village, but we were soon over the top and heading back along the cycle track and back into the wet weather!!! Apparently it had rained all morning at home so we were lucky and had the best of the weather! 35miles.
Thursday, 23rd, Morning spent doing my bit at school hearing the children read, the drive over the Blackdowns made a little scary at times with Storm Doris!!!!!  After lunch I headed off into Doris again, a hard head wind for the first couple of miles of my run and uphill, an 8.27 mile run round the lanes, made much harder by the strong wind. But at least the rain held off.

Mornings are drawing out and so are the evenings light at 6:45 am and 6:00 pm, spring is on its way.

Monday, 13 February 2017

A cold week, More miles running, more miles biking!

13th  February 2017

Sunday [5th February] dawned frosty and after the overnight rain left the roads in an icy state, so a text from Mike put off our cycle ride till after lunch.

The lanes over the levels hatch Beauchamp direction gave us a 32 mile ride, roads were again wet and dirty after the ice had melted, this along with hedge cutting once again left us open to the ‘puncture fairy’, but we were lucky this time with no visits from her!!! We stopped at Westport to look at the remains of the old Langport to Westport canal, the bridges still constructed out of dressed stone etc, the canal although overgrown, still carrying water. The wharf warehouse buildings converted to holiday homes. The canal was built in 1840 and served the area bringing coal in and taking vegetables/produce out until 1874 when the railways started to eat into the trade. Ironically, the old canal uses the River Parratt for some navigation, which a couple of years ago caused much of the big flooding across the levels and all the pictures on the TV, I think perhaps the people who built the canal, had a better idea how to control water flow etc. and use it to an advantage.

Overnight again the temperatures plummeted to give a very heavy frost. I had planned to do my 12 mile run down at Seaton, I jumped in the campervan, to find the battery flat!!!! So reverted to the car. Roads from Axminster usually running with water were a skid pan, I negotiated carefully, there was a lovely temperature inversion in the Axe valley with a beautifully blue sky sunny day above it. Parking on the front at Seaton was difficult as the debri was still there from the storms. I kitted up and was away running by 7:45, dog walkers for company on the front.

As I climbed over Beer Head, the frost had melted making It quite slippery in places as was the Great Seaside descent to Branscombe. Branscombe was still in the icy grip with an icy path, very cold down here!!! Up past the school, the temperature rose again, I was enjoying the run, with only my heavy breathing for company.

I was soon running the ridge above Branscombe and dropping down to the shingle beach once again, as hard as ever, managing to run most of it, using the walk to have a snack.
Up the STH and back over Beer, the clouds had now started to build up, rain was forecast, would I get back before the first drops.

As I climbed out of Seaton Hole the legs etc were now feeling it, and by the time I ran along the road back into Seaton, I was very tired!!! Will it ever get any easier!!! The good news I don’t seem to be suffering any injuries this year, so fingers crossed, maybe I overdid it last year??

Another 12 miles in the bag and I was pleased to get a text from my partner for Grizzly saying she had run 11miles on her way home from school!!!!! In the pouring rain! And wind ! And it started raining just as I got home.

Wednesday Wobble was eight of us over the levels to Langport, via Long Sutton, a beautifully sunny but cold morning, but no ice, a ‘Langport bun’ and pot of tea in the ‘Bows Wharf’ café put the energy back for the twenty mile home ride. A lovely morning out in good company 38 miles covered, no punctures once again.

Thursday 9th February – the weather was dull, cold and dreary! But not doing my school volunteer bit today gave me an opportunity to get some more running miles in, having not been running since Monday. A 12 mile road run taking the lanes over Crock Street, and returning along the cycle track, round the local reservoir and back up through town. A reasonable pace [for me] taking a few jelly babies and Dextrasol tablets along with an ISO star drink.

Friday, trying to build up miles I had read somewhere the benefits of doing back to back runs, the theory that you are running on tired legs the next day, I am not sure it works for me feeling quite tired from the previous run. So another 8.27 miles round the lanes, starting with the steep off road bridleway, another very cold, dull day, just above freezing.

Saturday was a rest day, Mrs B was feeling under the weather, it was snowing, only very light, but a light covering none the less, and bitterly cold again. So a rest day!

Sunday was another very cold day, not my sort of day for cycling so I cancelled the usual Sunday morning ride, there were also signs of frost around, again not the best cycling weather. But as an alternative I drove up to Neroche and did my 6.5 miles off road run, I started well wrapped up and never really warmed up and got hot! Even though it was early Sunday morning there were a few dog walkers about, it was relatively dry under foot. I was quite slow! My time being greater than my last few runs up there. There was even a sprinkling of snow left in the woods.

Monday [13th February] is long run day, it was really good as the weather had changed to be a sunny warmer day, even though there was a chilly East wind.

Seaton again this week, I had thought about the Quantocks but decided that exposed ridge would be too cold. The usual route, saw a few other runners out, possibly Grizzly training! As I descended above Branscombe into the cold East wind I made the decision to run back along the undercliff, rather than the beach as it would be more sheltered. I found it hard today, and didn’t feel great, and although I seemed to walk a lot my time for the twelve miles my time was better than before. 12.25 miles covered as I parked at the far end of the Esplanade to give a few more metres in each direction. As I got back to the van and had my coffee and flapjack, I was surprised to see how busy the town was, a few years ago the place would have been deserted. 

Saturday, 4 February 2017

A wet week, some running, some decorating, bit of cycling

4TH Feb 2017

It’s been very wet week this week, not great for an ageing athlete!! Spent too many days out in bad weather in my younger days, don’t need to do it now.
After the Wednesday Wobblies ride from the last post, I decided I needed to get more running miles in so managed another 12 miles on the road around the lanes and local reservoir, timing although not great was considerably better than the off road 2 hrs 10 mins compared to 2hrs 40 mins for off road, admittedly there was considerably less climbing a 1000 feet to be exact. Although it did seem harder on the feet.
Sunday was a complete washout with heavy rain setting in early in the day, Monday was off road day once more so another drive to the coast, this time Seaton Hole for the 9 .5 mile run over to the Fountains Inn via Hole House etc. and back along the beach. It seemed a very hard 9.5 miles today!!! And I got back to the van just as the rain started to get heavy. I ran the half mile beach this time; it kills the legs on the shingle.
Tuesday was a wet day again, so some decorating in the bathroom to spruce it up a little for when we eventually do put the house up for sale.
Wednesday, was Wobblies day, the day started with a fine drizzle, but soon brightened up and five souls headed over Drimpton, Cheddington, Halstock pas t Sutton Bingham reservoir to ‘Goose Slade Farm’ at East Coker  for coffee. Very nice it was before the return over the hills to West Chinnock, Merriot and Hinton St George; 40 miles covered, on very dirty roads, only one puncture, which was good as there is much hedge cutting at the moment, the farmers’ last chance before the bird nesting season starts.
Thursday afternoon I managed to get a 5.4 mile run in before the rain set in again. I felt it was a hard 5.4 miles at a quite slow pace; I did seem to struggle and did cut the run short. My plan was for 6+ miles.
Friday a very wet and windy day, so much so that the Park Run at Seaton had to be cancelled on Saturday because of debri on the sea front. I drove over to meet up with a Friend at Dunkewell Aerodrome for coffee. Dunkeswell is on the top of the Blackdown Hills and played a significant role in the D Day activities in WW2.  So the car was somewhat battered by the wind and horizontal rain.
Saturday was much calmer [today] so a trip to Sidmouth for coffee on the front, and lunch in the Whitehorse café. The sun was very warm as we sat drinking our coffee on the sea front, no wind and few signs of the storm, unlike Seaton. The afternoon, trainers on and 7.5 miles round the lanes before once again the rain came in!!! I was pleased with the run and felt much better than Thursdays run, although it was hard work and doesn’t seem to get any easier and I don’t seem any faster. My confidence for a good time in the Grizzly is shrinking, in fact at the moment the 19 miles and 3500 feet of climbing seem out of reach, even though I did it last year. My thoughts of another crack at Exe to Axe have all but disappeared. I will do my 12 miler on the coast again on Monday and see how I go, I am struggling to see any improvement in either fitness, stamina strength etc. I have also still to lose the weight from Christmas!!!
Tomorrow will get out on the bike for 30 – 40 miles to keep up my twice weekly ride and 3 times run each week.
So this week 22.5 miles run and only 40 miles cycled

Lets hope the weather is better this week to give me more opportunities to get out.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Grizzly training or training for the Grizzly


25th January 2017
After my Thursday run and feeling very tired, Friday was a rest day, but! Saturday was another beautifully sunny but frosty day so I couldn’t resist getting out for a run, my 7.5 mile route I did on Thursday but, it’s incredible how the body and mind changes within the space of a day or so. I felt I ran really well, setting a good pace and finishing feeling good, much better than Thursday!!! What is it??? Food, rest, motivation, mental approach? Who knows?

Sunday looked a promising day, but the forecast was for severe frost, a quick text to cycling mate Mike that it would be slippery in the morning, but the afternoon was looking good. It dawned very cold and frosty, so me and Mrs IanB made a coffee, sorted some shortbread and headed down to Seaton for coffee on the front. The front was quite busy, many people enjoying the Winter/spring sunshine, now quite warm as there was no wind. Avocado, tomato and cheese toast  for lunch before kitting up for a ride out over the levels with Mike, the temperature according to the Garmin 5 degrees, but! As we got to about 3 miles from home the temperature started to fall and t was down to 2 degrees by the time I cycled into the drive. 31 miles covered on a cold, but dry afternoon. The roads were quite clean compared with ones of previous rides.

Monday was long run day, Quantocks or coast??? I went for the coast, I took the van as a changing room, it was frosty and sunshine as I left home, but as I got to Axminster the fog crept in, staying until I was parking up at Seaton, then it was a miracle, the mist started to lift as I kitted up and set my watch. By the time I left the van it was brilliant sunshine, but! Freezing cold as I jogged along the front, I started to climb out of Seaton over to Beer via Seaton Hole, It was quite warm in the sunshine, but as I hit the dips the temperature plummeted.
 View over a cloud lifting Seaton, frost on the grass from above Seaton Hole
 Seaton from Beer Head
 Half way up the Stair way to Heaven
                                     Beer
 Branscombe from the school
 Shingle beach at Branscombe looking East
 Shingle beach at Branscombe looking west
 Looking up the Stair way to Heaven
looking down to the beach from Beer Head

 I walked up out of Seaton Hole, the views at the top of the cliffs stunning, down into Beer before climbing up again to Beer Head, views were outstanding, however, the ground surface across the fields was now melting making the running surface quite sticky. Over Beer Head to Branscombe down through ‘seaside’ before running up the Grizzly route up through the village. There was a large group of walkers, booting up as I got to the bottom of the climb to the school, I met these later on the cliffs, it was a very large group [more later] I walked up past the school, a handful of jelly babies’ as I went along with a  swig of my energy drink.

 On to Hole House before the steep path over to the Fountains Inn, now very muddy. Down to the Fountains before a slow plod up to the cliffs above Branscombe, here I met the large group! Lots of ‘excuse me’ as I ran past in the rough grass, it’s good to see people enjoying themselves out in the sunshine.
Down to the beach, time for more energy food as I walked along the shingle beach. I did run some of it!! Nice to get back on firm ground, even if it’s up hill, the shingle is like marbles!! The Stairway to Heaven was soon reached, a definite walk! The sunshine in the sheltered spots was quite hot, hopefully summers coming. Down the road over to Beer and the last climb back to Seaton, but there is a steep little path called ‘Clintons’ which at the end of the run does make the calf muscles  pull a little [a lot actually] last bit down the road and through the park 12.13 miles covered .

 A well-earned coffee, Christmas cake before changing and home to a sandwich lunch. The afternoon was spent driving off to Wellington to train a School Crossing Patrol.  A really good day, a good run, a sore toe and tired legs but I am 12 miles closer to the 19 miles needed to complete the Grizzly.

Wednesday was ‘Wobblies day’ a very frosty morning, with clear blue skies once again. We delayed the start to 9:30 hoping the temperatures would rise sufficiently to melt any frost on back roads. Five hardy souls headed down to Bridport and Washingpool Farm, as last week’s ride. The roads were dodgy as we cycled down to Winsham, but the sun was at least on some roads and making it much safer as we progressed. After Winsham, the roads were good, if wet and dirty, making cycling in line a dirty position to be catching the back wheel splatter. Washing Pool was the usual high standard, Dorset apple cake and tea again for me. After lots of banter we turned to head for home deviating through Shaves Cross and up the steep and long Bettiscombe Hill. We started to doubt our choice of route as the roads were plastered in mud and muddy water, bikes were taking a hammering!! The lanes back through Forton were also a challenge as there had been hedge cutting leaving lots of debris on the road, unfortunately one of the group succumbed to the ‘puncture fairy’ only 2 miles from home. A lovely ride out, weather wonderful again 32 miles covered. Just got to get 2 more runs in this week, but probably only 7 to 10 miles.

Grizzly number dropped through the letter box today 1816 !!! It’s getting closer.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

A sad week but the first lambs, daffs and snowdrops


Thursday 19/1/17
This week has been a hard week so far. But it’s now Thursday evening so the weekend is approaching fast and hopefully some of the gloom that has descended on me will clear over the weekend.

After my bike ride on Sunday it was down to the laptop to pull together the tribute I would have to read out at my cycling friend’s funeral on the Wednesday. I did 2 drafts before deciding to leave till Monday for another go. Each time I read it, it was hard to believe that Dave was no longer with us, the times we cycled together, shared a tent on stormy nights on Dartmoor, North wales and the Lake district, not to mention some hard Audax rides, when Dave always seemed the stronger rider at the end of the day. We even had the same frame as Dave was so impressed with my Qoroz titanium frame.

Monday I was awake and up very early, the tribute on my mind. So I worked on it some more getting it down to 6 to 10 minutes. Dave had done an awful lot in his lifetime. It was late afternoon I got out for a run to clear my head, it was cold and damp but I covered 5.5 miles at a good pace for me just over 9 minute miles.

Tuesday I had arranged to cycle over to the café at Goose Slades farm at East Coker to meet the Yeovil CC members to talk through their proposed cycle cavalcade to the Crematorium and also to share my tribute with them, to get their approval I wasn’t missing anything. Tues dawned very damp, very chilly and very dark with low cloud. I nearly decided to drive, but felt it wrong. I put on my new Paramo waterproof coat, and set off along the lanes vis Hinton St George where I saw my first daffodil blooms of the year, Merriot and West Chinnock, it was a head wind, the roads were really muddy, cold at 3.4 degrees and it was raining, so the 20 miles took longer than I thought and they were all halfway through their coffee and cake when I got there.

A cheery welcome, a pot of tea and large piece of Tiffin in the warm air of the café soon cheered me up, but I wasn’t looking forward to the journey home, another 20 miles in the cold and damp!!! We had a good old natter and shared memories of Dave around the table; I had full approval, except I had missed out that Dave had been on a cycle tour of Mongolia!!!
I set off back home in the company of the others, this time over Ham Hill, riders peeling off until I was left on my own with 17 miles of drizzle. I joined the ‘old Fosse way’ which was somewhat less hilly than my route of the morning. I dug in, and pedalled away just turning the pedals. I was pleased when I finally turned into my drive. Nice mug of steaming tea, dry clothes and an egg mayo sandwich followed by Christmas cake once again. 41 miles covered

Wednesday the ‘Wobblies’ had agreed to meet at 8:30 as several of the group were going to the funeral in the afternoon. Although it was frosty the roads were clear, the morning was bright blue skies and clear sunshine, a great day to send Dave off on his final journey and an excellent morning for a bike ride before suiting up for the afternoon.
The 10 of us made our way down through Winsham and Broadwindsor to Bridport, not West Bay today, we had coffee at Washing Pool Farm, an excellent farmshop/café, a large piece of Dorset apple cake for me, thick toast, and of course beans for others. Well-fed we went home the way we had come, as it’s a relatively quiet ‘B’ road it as quite clean, the sun was now on our backs, the down side there seemed more hills on the way home 32 excellent miles covered. Home for a shower and change into my suit for the afternoon.

We arrived quite early for the funeral, a nice celebration of his life. I did my tribute to Dave outlining his success cycle racing career and his other sporting achievements in running and triathlon as well as his travels around the world. I did have several moments of ‘wobbly’ voice as emotions got in the way. I survived, met loads of friends, lots of memories etc. It was good to meet Dave's family, he had a good send off with lots of friends around him; he was an outstanding cyclist and a genuine good bloke, sadly missed already by the cyclists in the area. The sunset was stunning and ‘Venus’ shone bright in the sky, or was it Dave looking down!!!!


Thursday was a contrast with my volunteer work at the primary school hearing children read, another beautiful day, but more frost. After lunch I fell asleep in the chair, the emotions of the week catching up with me and even though I had cycled 100 miles already in the week and run 5 miles I decided to get out and run as the weather was so nice, I intended to try for 8 or 9 miles. I set off round the town, up over Snowden Hill, by a steep muddy bridleway, by the time I had got to the top after 2 miles I knew I wasn’t up for it and decided to shortcut back home, I struggled on and finally managed 7 .5 miles, a hard 7.5 miles and I was pleased to get home. Just as I entered the lane I live I saw my first snowdrops of the year. I think I have overdone it this week and should not have run today. Think my next run will be on Sunday to give myself 2 days rest and try to catch up on sleep etc. the other downside is still am not losing weight despite all the exercise, I must be eating too much!!!

After a sad week it was good to see the beginnings of spring, the first Lambs at Hatch Beauchamp, the first Daffodils at Hinton St George and the Snowdrops in Chard. I know Dave would have enjoyed them!

Cycled 100 miles
Run 12.5 miles 

I have put a copy of my tribute to Dave in the 'other' list.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Weather, children and a bit of running


16th Jan 2017
Last week was a mish mash of lots of things happening, as well as still coming to terms with the loss of a dear friend.
Sunday I went out early to get a few miles in before the rain came 32miles covered round the lanes of Somerset, but time was spent after trying to wash the bike down, as well as noticing a very soft front tyre when I got home!!!

Monday was run day a steady 6.2 miles over Neroche Forest, I have not been there since the Herepath Half in October, lots of dog walkers out, fortunately, sensible ones that controlled their dogs. The running was really pleasant even though it started to rain after about 3 miles, it was good to have the wind and rain behind me as I returned to the car. It was nice to be running off road once again, I do notice it on my legs and feet, must be the soft mud!!

Tuesday was long miles day so 10.5 miles round the lanes late afternoon, now the evenings are starting to draw out. I found the first few miles quite hard but it seemed to get better after about 7 miles, which is unusual as I am normally tired by then!!

Wednesday saw us driving up the M5 at 5:30 am to look after grandchildren for a couple of days. Extra sleeping bags etc. were stored in the van in case the poor weather that was forecast was as bad as they said [ it wasn’t!!!]

Thursday night was cold on the site, but we were cosy in the van, the oil radiator nicely keeping the van toasty, and once in the sleeping bags we were very cosy. It did snow overnight so it was hard work walking round to the toilet block in Crocs for a wash in the morning. The temperature in the van said 4 degrees! Fortunately the roads were clear except the road where my son lives which was quite icy.

Friday driving back at teatime the traffic was quite good so we got home in good time, a great 3 days playing with grandchildren and watching the twins continue to develop.
Saturday was another run day, 7. 5 miles this time, quite a good run at a decent pace by the end, although starting off was hard after a large cheese pie and chip lunch at the Hungry Horse in Exmouth!!!

Yesterday [Sunday]The forecast was for poor weather again, but it never happened, I even went out early to miss the rain later, at least the weather has gone mild again, but that means wet and dirty roads, so more bike washing. But 28 miles covered and I even saw my first lambs of the year over at Hatch Beauchamp, strangely they were there last year as well!
Cycled 60 miles
 Run 24.2 miles

The Grizzly gets closer !!!

Monday, 9 January 2017

Good start to the year, but! Some sad news


8th January 2017

New Years day ended with the shock news that a very close friend Dave Pitman had died suddenly on New Years eve. Found at his home after failing to turn up for a group of friends for a walk on Exmoor.
I have known Dave for a number of years and we were planning to share a room on the CTC Manche to Med ride we had signed up for in June. I first came across Dave in the late 60s early 70s when He beat me by 2 seconds on the Monsal Hill, Hill climb! That’s when we both lived in the North, I didn’t know Dave in those days, he was in fact runner up in the National Hill climb twice, as well as being an accomplished road racer both in Britain and the continent. He was also a very good runner achieving high placings in races such as the Grizzly.  I have shared walks on Dartmoor and Exmoor preparing students for the Ten Tors event. I partnered him on several Polaris MTB Challenges in the Lakes and North Wales, he even built me an MTB frame [only 2 in the world]. Dave was a good engineer, a great wheel builder.
Recently I had shared cycle rides with him, and we rode a number of Audax events, which Dave particularly enjoyed. He did suffer a major accident a few years ago when he was in a coma for several weeks, this did affect him, but not his resolve to get out into the outdoors to walk and cycle, and above all enjoy his retirement. Dave will be missed by the cycle groups he was part of, the regular Tuesday coffee rides, the Sunday morning social rides, always taking his turn at the front.
RIP to a genuine bloke, who would help anyone out at anytime I hope he enjoys his ‘next great adventure’. I will certainly give Dave a few thoughts on my next adventure on the Manche to Med !

I was planning to cycle on Monday but, the weather was quite poor so a 10.2 mile run around the lanes, a good start to my Grizzly training. Tuesday was very cold and frosty, but lovely blue skies and sunshine, I waited till after lunch, before venturing out for a 22 mile ride on my bike, some of the lanes still had frost where water had run out of the fields. Wednesday was Wobblies day, a good turn out of ten of us heading out to complete 32 miles including a very nice coffee stop at the Community café in Seavington St Mary.

So round to Friday once more, Mrs Ian B was hairdressing so on a grey but mild morning I was in the car driving down to Seaton Hole to Park to run along the coast over to Fountain Inn outside Branscombe and back a total of 9.6 miles. The trail was quite dry, and there was a chilly wind as I reached Beer Head, I dropped down through ‘Seaside’ to Branscombe where I saw my first people 4 miles in up through the village on the Grizzly route, without the river crossing though, up past the school, climbing through fields before dropping down to the Fountain Inn, I walked up the other side  to reach the ridge. It was a lovely run, I felt ok, no niggles anywhere, I kept sipping from my bottle of ISO energy drink, but didn’t eat anything. I went back over ‘Seaside’ where walking was the order once again. I the views towards Portland Bill were stunning, the coastline, showing in varying shades of grey.  Down into Beer before the final climb over to the car parked at Seaton Hole, I still felt quite good, and reached the car for my coffee and Christmas cake 1600 ft climbed and 9.6 miles covered, my only injury seemed to be a sore big toe on my right foot!.

So a good end to the week

19.8 miles run and 52 miles cycled