Last night I was falling asleep in Browns by about 9.30pm, although I think that was more due to an extremely long Friday than the 103 miles on Saturday. Bed was a welcome sight and this morning I woke up not quite feeling ready to do it all again. Its not good lying there with aching legs and no desire to cycle all day, but I have experienced this a few times now and know that the solution is a shower, breakfast and a good cup of tea. The worst thing was having a dodgy stomach, presumably from the copious amounts of Tangfastics and chocolate bars the day before, but after a fair bit of faffing I got back on the bike and headed off. The first thing I noticed was that my behind knew it had done 100+ miles the day before, and wasn’t too keen to do another 100, but not having much choice it soon settled down. My legs were surprisingly OK.
Tasha really liked Marlborough so we decided to meet up there again today. The route plan was much the same as yesterday but in reverse, and with a few additions and changes to make it a little longer and more enjoyable. The first cock up was getting to Wytham and realising the road I was going to take was private (perhaps I could have got away with it). I had to backtrack a little and ended up taking a detour through Botley. Many pretty villages later I got to Aldborne and decided to take a safer route than the track I went for yesterday. The result was a few more hills, but it was good not to have to push the bike through a field.
Found another great cafe in Marlborough and hatched a plan to meet up at Bradford on Avon. Because it was such a nice day I had figured it would be a great opportunity to add more miles to the route, so this seemed to make sense. I’ve discovered that the first 1-2 hours after lunch is the most difficult, with general sluggishness, a very dry mouth (lots of water needed) and slightly dodgy stomachs. However, eventually you punch through and its all good again. Met Tasha at a canal path we knew and had a break involving some chocolate brownies and a smoothie. Very enjoyable. I decided I would head to Frome, then perhaps to Bruton and back, to increase the length.
Headed in Frome direction, and was feeling good at this stage – a few too many main A roads but at least the miles got covered quickly. Once past Frome I headed south to Bruton, which was when things got difficult. At spot on mile 100 I started getting an attack of exercise induced asthma, and remembering how bad it was last time immediately took a break in a field looking over some fantastic views. A gentle start again and lots of careful breathing seemed to eventually fix the problem, but then i hit a mini-wall and had to scoff an army of Tangfastics, a tracker and some fig rolls to keep on going (Tangfastics are a life saver). It was a tough half hour, though going through Bruton and (stupidly you might say) I had decided to aim for 120 miles which meant going on to Castle Cary then up to Shepton, rather than going to Shepton from Bruton. I soldiered on and gradually the energy from the binge took effect and by the time I was cycling through Everycreech junction I was back on form again. Shepton came along with its hills, and I checked the mileage as I rolled towards the Oakhill turning – 118 miles. That just wasn’t good enough 🙂 so I turned right towards Stoke St Michael and went a mile or so along that road, and turned back again, finishing with a mileage of 121 miles. Average was just under 16mph.
Total weekend milage was 224 miles, average just over 16mph. Pretty pleased and I reckon I could do another 100 tomorrow if I needed to. So I think it bodes well for the JOGLE when there shouldnt be any days more than 90.
Oh and I finally found out its possible to get sunburn through your helmet, making a teenage ninja mutant turtle style pattern on my bald head. Impressive. That’ll be fun at work tomorrow.
Here is the (epic) route: