A good hilly test for the Dartmoor Devil to follow in a month’s time, this audax seems to becoming a bit of a fixture in my calendar. It used to be that I’d ride the 100km Ted Friend/Kevin Hickman audax out of Charlbury at the end of September, usually riding there and back to make a day of it and often in the company of a few guys from the local TT scene, but that audax died out some years ago.
The day started very very cold, 0°C was recorded at Benson as I rode through there from home. I wore some plastic gloves under my track mitts but they didn’t do much good really and I was frozen by the time I rolled into the village hall HQ. After a few cups of tea in an attempt to warm up, we were off. The sun was occasionally peeking through the clouds but it took me some time to get going. After about 30km or so I started to reel in the faster starters, but even so, one rider remained ahead. I just didn’t seem to have the legs for the climbing today – that cold start had really had an effect on me and I was happy just to get round in reasonable time and then plod home for a warm bath, 174km clocked up for the day.