Sunday 07/06/2015 Training with Simon
50 odd miles around outer Coventry
50 odd miles around outer Coventry
Sunday was the best weather ever for cycling. Started off rather cool, but the sun was up and warm, with a slight cool breeze.
Out plan was to ride around the outskirts of Coventry, we planned a route on Strava that would bring us very close to 50 miles. We had our pack lunches, water, energy bars and tools with us. Tried to be as light as possible. I even took off my front mud guards, not that it saved weight, but more that it dragged less.
The ride got off to a good start, solid pace through Bedworth and into Bulkington, along the way we started seeing more and more riders out for the day, and why not it was so lovely after all. But after a couple of miles it dawned on us that we were actually in the midst of another Bikeathon hosted by Leukaemia Research.
Simon had his red Leukaemia T Shirt on and before long we realised that we might end up leading people up the wrong roads, so we had a thought to speed pass a group before we resumed our course, and as we powered through and passed a small group we turned off to our route only to realise that a couple of riders turned behind to join us, we felt a bit embarassed so we powered up the hill. They must have thought we were twits, powering on a bikeathon and then getting lost!
We stopped in Brinklow for a nice lunch at the World War 2 commemoration square, where we saw plenty of riders of varying degree ride round us, again probably thinking "these 2 lazy charity riders!" Good job Simon took off his Tshirt by this time. Less embarassing.
Better get going we thought. So we set off for Wolston to finally lose the main event that was going on around us. Once we passed Wolston we headed down to Ryton on Dunsmore to go to our next stop at Ryton Pools for a nice coffee break.
We then set off for Stoneleigh and Kenilworth to join the Greenway there. At this point we thought we must have done at least 40 miles, but far from that, we only did 30 odd!
We joined the Greenway to ride it up to Burton Green, where we peeled off to head up to Berkswell and my territory! Can't get lost round here.
No more powering through now as we got more and more hills in front of us. By the time we arrived and started to head out of Meriden I started to feel quite hungry again. so we stopped for some food. I was starting to get a little worried as I was seriously running out of food.
So we set off again for the final quarter. Headed up towards Fillongley and another long hill climb and after some hard efforts got to the top and spinning down to Fillongly, and noticed that I was still hungry, an so another quick break to dig into the last energy bar, where we saw a field of cows. Immediately after we stopped there, the cows stood up and was staring at us. I never qitnessed such behaviour with cows, as they always seemed to ignore me, but Simon explained he hated/scared of cows! He mentioned they look a bit evil and then they started to walk over. At first a few, then more and more joined. Dunno if they smelled fear from Simon or our food. Either way it was looking quite intimidating. So we thought better leave now before they charged at us and the metal fence wouldn't really stop them at all. As we rode off I noticed they really weren't following me, but it was Simon they followed. Good job we didn't startle them otherwise we might have a major road blockage with stampeding cows on Fillongley Road! Imagine that on the local news, "Traffic caused by Cows chasing cyclists"
By this time, heading out of Fillongley we had a long climb again, and I was feeling spent, need to use my mental strength to get me up Tamworth Road to peak it and ride the drop down back into Coventry. But it was tough now, the food hadn't kicked in, and wished I had an espresso right now. Eventually we made it up, last of the power to speed up asap before I give up.
So at Corley it was spin down but even that felt tiring, maybe I should have pumped my tyres up pass 100 psi next time. Simon peeled off at Sandpits lane and we waved goodbye, feeling rather good on the home stretch. As I left him I powered the rest to really finish it off, only to get to Waste Lane and felt like I had nothing left to give, so I slowed down and took it very easy to get hom before I really had to stop.
So in total I did 48.9 miles on Sunday, was lovely and challenging. Not done such distance since I was a teenager. Time was not great, took 4 hours of riding time. But it was positive to know we can actually do the distance, but will need more food for the 52 mile ride Bikeathon.