Cycle 315km. The Dean audax

Cycle 315km, inc. The Dean 300km audax (11h34, inc. 34min stopped), HR130(160), ascent 3055m

Home -> Peartree ________9.9km
Peartree -> Stow __________ 44.5km (28.1km/h) __ HR129(158) asc. 462m
Stow -> Newent __________ 56.5km (28.6km/h) __ HR138(160) asc. 592m
Newent -> Chepstow ______ 50.3km (26.6km/h) __ HR135(159) asc. 788m
Chepstow -> Malmesbury __ 48.6km (27.2km/h) __ HR132(160) asc. 425m
Malmesbury -> Membury ___ 54.5km (26.2km/h) _ HR128(153) asc. 576m
Membury -> Oxford _______ 45.8km (27.0km/h) _ HR123(143) asc. 221m
-> Home ________________4.9km (overall moving ave. 27.1km/h)

Route: http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/267258

Another 5am alarm call.

Random thoughts from today:

  • Nice big, chatty, bunch rode to Stow – must’ve been 25 of us together scrambling up those last couple of climbs to Stow. Made it a bit of a bun-fight for cashpoints/garage.
  • Some new tarmac around Farmcote.
  • Descent at Sudley Castle didn’t seem too bad at all (probably tricky on fixed).
  • Very foggy in the lowlands of the A38 – I switched my lights back on for an hour or two here
  • Strange dead hairy piglet (wild boar piglet?) at the side of the road in The Forest of Dean.
  • On the way to Littledean, I got a snakebite puncture by riding straight towards a rock in the road – the thing you’re looking at is always irresistible to steer towards! Bah, but the sun came out shortly afterwards.
  • After 10 years they’ve finally re-surfaced that horrible climb into Bream, yay!
  • Cold wind on the Severn Bridge.
  • Wet roads and the smell of rain in the air around Ramsden.
  • Slight headwind home, annoying over the Lambourne climb, but not too bad.
  • Apart from some sticky bottle cages, my bike doesn’t need a wash, yippee!

A very comfortable ride this, the increase in mileage since the start of the year has evidently been beneficial. I enjoyed the bunch ride out to Stow, although after bouncing that control I was on my own for the rest of the day, only seeing two riders coming into Newent as I was leaving. I used the texaco garage at the top of the long climb out of Chepstow as a control this year – saves dragging two full water bottles from the Tesco at the bottom. They had some nice flapjacks and so on to munch.

Got home to find my cycle computer had under-recorded the distance by about 3% (I’ve re-adjusted them for the stats above). It’d gradually been lagging behind the GPS distance all day, although whenever I looked at them, the speeds seemed to match. Downloading the computer’s speed trace it was obvious to see the speed leaping about all over the place. I’d swapped wheels in this bike in the week and clearly hadn’t quite got the magnet to line up correctly with the sensor. More fettling…

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