1st May 2017
Tuesday was a rest day, but we managed to get out for a pleasant morning down at Sidmouth, a chilly wind from the north kept the temperature down, even though sat behind the sea wall was lovely in the sun, drinking our coffee, eating shortbread fingers. A walk around the town, fairly quiet before a visit to the white horse café for egg, chips and peas, slice of bread and butter with a mug of tea.
Wednesday morning was wobbly day, a sharp drop in temperature had 8 of us turning out, most of us dressed for winter as it was very cold when we set off! Although several hardy souls still had shorts!! We headed over towards Langport , Drayton and Muchelney to stop after 24 miles at the community café at Kinsbury Episcopi, good food at good prices, good to support the community run café. It was clear blue skies but the cold northerly wind meant we sat inside. Back through Shepton Beauchamp and Kingston to finish back along the cycle track, where I sadly managed to puncture my rear tyre, a pinch I think? As I could find nothing in the tyre. A great ride at a nice pace, lovely group of people, lots of chat as we cycled. 40 miles covered
Thursday, I decided I needed to keep up my running, so a 6.14 miles road run around the town, The last couple of runs I have been working to keep my heart rate low, below 145 BPM quite difficult, but I did manage it and I must admit, I felt better when I finished and my times are not as bad as I thought they would be, usually 1h and 5 mins for the 10 k run!
Friday was fast cycle day!!! I met up with the wheelers after lunch, usually the ride is very fast due to the youngsters in the group, fortunately they were absent today, so I was hopeful I would be able to keep the pace a little more today. 8 of us headed out on the usual Friday afternoon run, Langport, via Muchelney and back through Martock for tea and cake before climbing back over the hills and back along the cycle track. The pace was good, by the tea stop, the average was 17.5+mph and I easily kept to the group, it was reasonably warm, with very little wind. A good ride once again. 38 miles covered.
Saturday I wanted to get miles in to keep up the miles for my coming Manche to Med trip. I headed for the hills on a chilly and windy morning, over the Blackdown hills to Dunkeswell and back, it seemed hard work and I always seemed to be in a head wind! And it was cold despite the tights, thermal vest and Gore Windstopper jacket. Still another 44 miles covered and many feet climbed. The views were very good on the top of the hills, the blue bells and garlic once again beautiful, but there were no skydivers today, too windy!!! I found it very hard, my legs ached on each hill and I had to work really hard to get up them, I never really warmed up again! I was glad to get home.
A great mileage week with 222 miles cycled this week, and my legs felt it! Only 6.14miles run though, still I need cycling miles.
Sunday I fitted my new cassette and chain, but found my chain is a little tight as I didn’t realise I ordered an 114 links when it should have been 116 links, so may change that again, I swapped my tyres round putting the rear on the front and the front on the rear as it had less wear, I want to hang on putting my new tyres on till I go to France, the front tyre now does look a little worn!
I also received an email with all the information for my French trip today, it’s now all looking very daunting! Looking at the mileage, over a 1100 km with an average of nearly 100 km a day for the 15 days, a couple of short days , a rest day but a couple of back to back days of 110 -120 km, into the Cevennes region, which is hills, I hope by then I will have the miles in my legs to cope.
I have now started to think about clothing etc. even though it’s going in a van behind us, I ned to take enough but not too much to cope with 4 seasons of weather as we head south, as well other things, sore bums! snacks, money etc. . I am also thinking I may take a travel bag instead of panniers as I am unsure I will get it all in. As I am hiring a car to drive back I only need to get from the ferry to the car hire place, which I think is at the end of the docks? I have also been trying to download some of the maps to my Garmin to save taking maps, much of the time I will be riding with the group, but a route would be handy!!!
I am hoping to cycle at least every other day leading up to the ride, approx. 40-50 miles a day, this should build up my stamina and fitness for the ride. Running will have to take a back seat for a while as I don’t really see a lot of benefit from running in my cycling.
April was an excellent month I cycled 576 miles and ran 42 miles, so pleased with that compared to 400 cycled and 29 run last year. I have also signed up for the 1000 mile run challenge through ‘Trail running’ magazine , as I have already run nearly 350 this year. I should just be able to do it!
Monday [bank holiday] after a rest yesterday, the weather was very wet! I needed to get out and do a few miles on my bike, sadly it was raining before lunch but! There was a weather window just after. The sun was shining and it was much warmer, but I still had three-quarter tights on and a thicker winter jersey. I went for hills again and seemed to go well, the day off has done me good. I went over the hills to Chardstock on the Blackdowns, a couple of long steep ups and a couple of long steep downs before I got to the village, hedgerows now covered in Bluebells! I continued on to Tytherleigh and Holditch, more climbing and descending and finally back through South Chard and Perry street, well over 2000 feet climbed today in 20 miles.
I have entered the Exmoor Spring Audax, which is 110 km over Exmoor taking in the Porlock Toll road , which is a little less steep than the main A39 which has so many arrows on it, its like the wild west!!!! It will be a good test for me in my build up, I am hoping to get out at least another three times this week and do about 40 to 50 miles so again hoping to hit the 200 mile mark.
The weather has broken after a very long spell of very dry, but cold weather, I just hope it settles down again.