Deciding which weather forecast to use when planning the timing of and routes for our cycle rides is an art form in itself. Cycling for three beautifully sunny hours during a 24 hour period where ice, freezing temperature, gusty winds and rain dominated the weather forecast is nothing short of a miracle! And yet, today this is exactly what we achieved.
We cancelled the usual Sunday morning cycle due to the forecast icy temperatures and a warning from a friend who had fallen off his bike after hitting black ice early in the morning the day before.
However, setting off at midday, we encountered three hours of glorious sunshine in which we could enjoy the beautiful Cotswold countryside. The weather was stunning. Accompanied by Cyclopaths Caroline, Paul and Roland and an old friend, Neeraj, we cycled 76 fairly hilly kilometres.
We took an easy sociable pace and I conquered Ham Hill for the second time in a week. Harp Hill and Stanway Hill seemed easy at this pace and we then enjoyed a beautiful ride out to Broadway Tower.
However, after our coffee stop, as the sun lowered in the sky, the temperature dropped and the cold set in. The others went on, keen to warm up. Neeraj and I took an easy pace home, meaning that we tackled Cleeve Hill, the last hill of the day, as dusk fell. It was a pleasant light uphill but by the time we were ready to speed downhill, we were in complete darkness. Avoiding the numerous potholes is not easy in the dark and was the only bit of the ride that I didn’t enjoy.
Another week’s cycle training completed, with a total of 167km cycled with 2,082m ascent. Sounds and feels like we’ve done a lot but this equates to just one day of our Raid Alpine Challenge in distance and half the amount of hills. So much more training to do………
Thanks to everyone for your great company. I couldn’t do all this training without you all.