Not much cycling this week in terms of number of rides, dunno why just didn't fancy it too much, there was added complication which made commuting a bit tricky as i had an engagement Tuesday afternoon which i couldn't miss.
This engagement was unfortunately the celebration of the life of friend and colleague Caroline Miller. Ordinarily i wouldn't mention such an event here but Caroline was a serious cyclist and general outdoor person. Caroline was diagnosed with suffering from Motor Neurone Design (MND) just over 5 years ago, since receiving the tragic news she seriously upped the ante on her outdoor pursuits. Caroline had the Bulbar-onset version of the disease which meant that she was still able to remain physically active until relatively recently, unlike other forms where physical restrictions can be one of the identifying symptoms. Since diagnosis Caroline reputedly racked up 14 thousand miles on 2 wheels, cycling every afternoon while in the UK, across various parts of the US and many other countries, she crammed a huge amount into a tragically short life, I am very please to have had the pleasure to have known, cycled, and worked with her and she leaves behind so many life enriching examples of ambition, determination and how to enjoy yourself in the world we live in.
My own adventures were confined to a DIY/Perm 200K with cycling buddies Tim and Ron, this was to be called "The Black Cat Lunar Cycle ride" by Tim who cobbled it together from local knowledge and other audax routes, it was so called as as half distance we would be filling our tummies at "The Black Cat" cafe and as the route started and finished at Tim's house it would also start and finish with seeing Lunar, his ickle baby girl.
The route was pretty good, using some nice fast wide main roads and lots of picturesque country lanes, certainly for the first half we cycled swiftly and talked lots of rubbish as is usual. The second half was a quieter affair, my jacket potato with coronation at the black cat was massive and to be honest i wasn't hungry when i got there, so was absolutely belly stretchingly full afterwards. This was not good, i had sussed from previous rides that i need little food, often, otherwise i go into a sluggish lull, this is exactly what happened, for quite some time too.
As time went on I lagged at the back, as has been the case on many occasions :-( Ron seems to never slow or struggle and Tim has a stubborn cycling mentality that enables him to press on regardless. I realised that as we continued and i tried to stay on the back of Ron and Tim that i had only ridden "Scotty" once in the last 3 or more weeks preferring my single speed steed, which meant that i wasn't used to being double up and continuous cranking for 12 hours, which is my way of saying i was pooped, aching all down my legs and all over my back, not too much but in places i don't normally ache, hinting at being out of practise.
We went awry about 20~30K from the end but the ever resilient Ron came to the rescue, having grown up in the area, his local knowledge dodged any hills to Bromsgrove, our penultimate control and then on to Studley, our final destination. Normally we require a "Proof of Passage" at every control, myself and Ron didn't as were using GPS units to track our progress but Tim did, for this our final destination was to be the pub at the end of Tim's road. Mission accomplished, time for a drink and some chips.....and ....relax.
There is an aspect of this ride though which will certainly be considered a triumph... A major step forward in thermo podiatry discomfort. I am of course referring to cold feet. This has been the bain of my winter cycling, 2 hours max and my right foot in particular is pretty cold. this time though, reinforcements were deployed in the shape of hand warmers.
Many other bloggers have suggested the insertion of these in between 2 layers of socks, these bloggers have generally been residing in Scandinavia and Canada so it seemed a little extreme, however myself and fellow cold footed cyclist, Tim, gave them a try, result was splendidly warm feet for the rest of the day, it's an added cost but one worth making.....Result
In light of the above news it seems timely to plug this bike ride which i intend on entering.Please support the MNDA Night ride through the capital which your loo laa or your presence by entering it.
Target for the week: 150K
Total distance Achieved: 220K