Easter Weekend

What an awesome Easter weekend down in Somerset staying at Jo’s mums. Great weather, great riding, great food and great company. On each of the four days I explored a different quarter of the surrounding area. The raw facts:

Friday – 108m / 7h07 Bike
Saturday – 6m / 47min Run & 123m / 8h bike
Sunday – 151m / 10h02 Bike
Monday – 15m / 1h58 Run & 134m / 8h11 bike

We drove down to Taunton on Friday morning. Jo’s mum did us proud with a great cooked breakfast when we arrived. Then we headed out on the bikes. Jo had a route she wanted to take me on. It went out North and West to Porlock where we went up the Toll Road – this was the perfect 30-minute climb. Same gradient the whole way and the guy didn’t even charge us the £1 toll! We then went across Exmoor and back home. A great day.

Saturday we did a short run before another full cooked breakie. Then we headed down to Abbotsbury (next to Chesil  beach) to the “Big Cake Café” – my name following finding it during a Ironman UK recce weekend. This place has the biggest cakes you’ve ever seen ! It lived up to my memory – awesome. We’d thought this ride would be easier but it proved not to be the case. With a tummy full of cake we had to get up a 1 in 3 hill! Another great day.

Sunday had always been planned to be mammoth day. Jo wanted to show me a route across Dartmoor that she normally does from Exeter. I suggested we shouldn’t drive to the start but just cycle from Taunton. This made it a lot longer. We got up bright and early and made good progress. The climb onto Dartmoor was nowhere near as tough as I’d expected which was a good surprise. We made it to Tavistock for lunch after about 5 hours riding. Coming back we skirted north of Dartmoor and across to Tiverton. We belted along some awesome roads. My right pedal had been clicking all weekend, on Friday I’d tightened it but that only seemed to fix it briefly so I assumed it must be the bearings or my cleat. Anyway… coming through Bampton as I turned coming out of a junction out of the saddle the pedal disconnected from the crank and I went flying. Luckily I wasn’t going too fast so the road rash isn’t that bad but boy oh boy did it hurt. Gashed and bruised my right hip, right elbow and right knee and shin. I guess the pedal hadn’t been tightened enough. Following this we ended with an 11 mile section from Wiveliscombe to Taunton – this was out of this world. Jo kicked off at pace and I slowly pulled her back in. I then took the front and kicked the pace up to about  25mph … managed this for about 3 or 4 miles before I was wasted and had to ease up, Jo hit the front and continued the effort with me on her wheel. In under 30 minutes we were home !

Monday morning I got up and accompanied Jo on her long run. Then I headed off on my own on the bike. I decided to explore the one quadrant we’d not ridden – ie north east to the Somerset flats. Had a great time – did just over 8 hours riding with just one brief stop after about 6 hours for some food. Managed a great pace most of the time to cover 132 miles. Great end to the weekend.

This morning I really dithered around. Went out for breakie and then a coffee just so I could read my book. Once I got started on my training I really got into it. Managed a good strong 3km swim and then headed out on my  new Time Trial bike. I tell you it’s a rocket ship. It’s amazing what a difference a good bike can make. I headed out to Essex to do some repeats on the road between Leaden Roding and Great Dunmow. It’s an old Roman road so more or less straight and relatively flat. You can just get down on the Tri Bars and work hard. It’s 5.7 miles long.  I did out and back along it 4 times. I was flying. I ended up back home having done 107 miles in 5hours 44mins. Well chuffed considering the first and last 16 miles are through London.

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