I was due to update you on progress yesterday but I’m afraid the brief sunny interlude in an otherwise autumnal wet and windy day saw a trip to the great British garden centre and the fact that a ride in said weather had sapped me of most strength meant a slight postponement. To my avid reader I apologise and I hope the suspense wasn’t to much. Yes, yesterday was truly aweful for the cyclist. It was big ride time and having consulted various meteorological soothsayers online was convinced it would be dry, warm but a little breezy, mainly coming from the south east. As riding into the headwind would also mean riding into Birmingham I’m sure you will agree that neither is an attractive proposition on its own and together a positive nightmare.
So, starting out under overcast skies I headed south to south-west towards the Severn valley and a rendezvous with Bewdley. So far so good. Until I reach Alveley and as I approach a motley crew of club runners some shelter under a tree, others scatted on the side of the road as a fellow pedaller fixes a puncture, what should fall from the sky but some mild precipitation. Only the mildness doesn’t last and as I descend some otherwise fast, smooth roads into Arley the rain just gets heavier. By this time I’m drenched. I’m half tempted to turn around with saddle pack between my legs and beat a sorry retreat home.
But no, my stubborn streak or determination, depending on your perspective, sees me through. Into Bewdley, over Habberley Hill, past the secret tunnels of Drakelow (as featured in Bollocks to Alton Towers no less!) and back through the soaked lanes of South Staffordshire. Three counties in three hours. And all the time the broken cloud and watery sun toyed with me, tantalisingly close yet never quite reaching me. And so I returned home wet. Very wet.
Still I shouldn’t complain – if I do I’ll end up sounding more and more like Eric Olthwaite – having been to the Newport Nocturne on Saturday night it could have been a lot worse, as illustrated below.
A great night out and a slightly arty perspective on the night can be seen by clicking on the picture above (it takes you to my Flickr set so it is safe!).
So, less than 3 weeks to go now. Its all getting too close.