Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Some Days are Special..

Some days are special....yesterday was one of those days.....

Just before the weekend I had a message from Jon Joynes (one of the 10in10 riders) asking me if I would like to pop over to Somerset one day this week for a cycle ride around the area near his home town of Yeovil.
A quick glance at the weather forecast showed me that the only day worth considering looked to be the Tuesday..yesterday... all the other days of the week had predictions of precipitation over the 40% chance...
As one of my many motto's goes along the line of 'why cycle in the wet if you can ride in the dry?' our choice of day for our ride was made...as it was Jon had the whole week free of work so was as flexible as I was in choosing the driest day...and didn't we make the right choice..!!


Blue sky and strong shadows...a stunning day for a Somerset ride.
I got up yesterday morning and was greeted by bright sunshine so all bode well for a good day's riding... First though I had to drive over to Somerset..one of the four counties that is adjacent to Dorset the others being Hampshire Devon and Wiltshire. 

As I set off from home the weather was gorgeous however the moment I turned off the coast road to head inland I found myself engulfed in fog...and that was the way it stayed all the way to Yeovil.
As I arrived at Yeovil the sun seemed to break through and all looked good again.
A pretty Somerset scene on our ride..
At Jon's house I got myself sorted out..removed my bike from the back of my personal Tonka toy (4x4) and we set off...
I have cycled through parts of Somerset in the past but not much in this particular area so it was nice to have a cycling buddy show me one of his regular routes....

As we rode along we both remarked on what a truly stunning day it was... It was one of those Autumnal days that are really special where everything seems to have come together to create a  perfect day.....
Nice weather and not much traffic...perfect!
We headed north of Yeovil on a truly lovely cycling loop...there was not a great deal of traffic even on the few sections of main road that we rode on ...most of the route though seemed to use the country lanes that Somerset has an abundance of making for a very nice relaxed ride..

One of the villages that we went through was Kingsbury Episcopi...over twenty years ago some friends of mine lived in Church cottage there and cycling through the village brought back lots of happy memories of my visits and time spent there all those years ago.....
Jon's Dad with the Mercian...A great winter project..
Jon had organised our coffee and cake stop at his parents house...
It was really nice to meet Jon's parents who had organised both chocolate cake and  jam doughnuts..my two favourites....
We all sat outside chatting and enjoying the warm autumn sunshine and talking about everything under the sun including caravans..classic cars and of course bikes.

Jon's Dad showed me an old Mercian bike that he has.... it would make a first class winter restoration project... 
Although it has surface rust to the frame the bike looks solid and intact and it would be wonderful to see it fully restored... 

The problem is though, that his Dad has a number of other objects of  desire that are good restoration projects.  Like most restorers it is hard deciding which project to start on next... Caravan...Car..Bike..??
Surface rust only on the Mercian
All too soon it was time to head off and continue with our bike ride.....

As we headed back towards Yeovil we were able to reflect on what a perfect day's ride we had enjoyed...how lucky we had been with the weather....how enjoyable the route had been....how good it was to get out on the bikes and ride with a friend....

Before I knew it, the ride was over and I was loading the bike into the vehicle and then heading back home to Dorset....

One last view of the old Mercian
Today when I woke up I was greeted by rain lashing down and strong winds and it looks as if those forecast predictions of rain were absolutely spot on....

As I said at the beginning of this blog post...
Some days are special.....yesterday was one of those days....

Friday, 11 October 2013

Berghaus - Forty Marathons in Forty Days...

THE ULTIMATE TRAIL INFOGRAPHIC..


I've always been up for a bit of a challenge as regular visitors to this blog will be well aware, but here is one that I personally won't be attempting....

1000 miles is an impressive distance to run by any stretch of the imagination...
To do it in 40 days across the high route of the Great Himalaya Trail is an incredible achievement...  but that is exactly what Berghaus athlete Phillipe Gatta  is attempting to do, setting the fastest known time for the route.

Here are some of the stats from Phillipe's expedition in an Infographic to help give it a sense of scale........

Philippe Gatta The ultimate trail, great himalaya trail infographic

Monday, 7 October 2013

Il Lombardia....'The race of the falling leaves'.

Fallen leaves on one of my own cycling routes...
Yesterday was the Il Lombardia...which is one of my favourite one day classic races...In fact the race and everything connected with it was the inspiration for the 10 in 10 ride that I did way back in June this year.....
The Lombardia is known as the 'Race of the Falling Leaves' due to the time of year that it is held....

The top four places in this years race were:-
 1st Joaquin RODRIGUEZ  (Esp)     Team.. KAT
 2nd Alejandro VALVERDE (Esp)    Team..MOV
 3rd  Rafal MAJKA  (Pol)                  Team..TST
 4th Dan MARTIN  (Irl)                    Team..GRS

While trawling the net sometime ago I found a very interesting series on 'Roads to Ride' over at 'The Inner Ring'  blog website.....
It is a series about riding the famous roads/hills in cycling.....it looks at the routes....history..including race history, as well as what it feels like to ride. It also looks at travel and access to the road/climb and finishes with a brief summary....

Well worth checking out in my opinion...

The first in the series was Alpe d'Huez and the second was The Ghisallo the signature ride of the Il Lombardia...
 If you've not seen it go and take a look by clicking on this BUTTON 

At the end of the piece on the Ghisallo there is a list of links to the other iconic 'Roads to Ride' in the series..
The Inner Ring really is a blog worth following.....



A step closer to what is normal........

Over this past week our campsite has taken a step closer to what we think of as normality...  The sign that was put out at the entrance to ...