Enduroman 1st - 10th June 2012

Come on, you know you want to.

601 to 620 of 1,459 messages
Monique    pirate
15/04/2012 at 09:01
Day 3 we had rain until Kidderminster. We met dave's friend Ben atGloucester train station as he was riding with us to home. He slotted in perfectly with our pacing and meant we had an extra person to do 5 mile stints on the front. Food stops were tea and blueberry muffins at Gloucester and chicken selects meal and hot chocolate in Kidderminster. With big cooked meals in the evenings this was an eating fest.
Lovely riding through Shropshire and once we got on to recognisable roads we could smell home and so picked up the pace a bit. But hasn't shifnal got a lot of pubs for such a small place? Another short run along the canal tow path at home, so didn't get lost.
Distance 115.92m, riding time 7.47, avg. 14.89, ascent 4435ft

Day 4
Ben and his wife Susan came down to see us off from audlem in the morning. This was a bit of an event as photos were taken of us being presented with a big cheque from the local theatre group who had donated their Christmas panto raffle proceeds to Teenage Cancer Trust (who we have raised about £ 4000 for so far). Also audlem cycling club who we ride with joined us for the first 30miles to Warrington. The weather was wet, so another tea cake cafe stop was welcome. Then we pressed on into the industrial north. Through Warrington,Wigan and Preston. The average dropped as it was all stop start at traffic lights and junctions. Lunch time stop was at a new garden centre cafe in Leyland it was brilliant, really warm, and a decent cheese and ham toastie. Once out towards garstang the going was easier and the weather dried off a bit. Our night stop was in Kendal , a short run round the town, before showering and a chinese.
Distance 100.17m, ride time 7.54, avg. 13.96mph, ascent 4540 ft.
Monique    pirate
15/04/2012 at 09:38
Day5 kept expecting real tiredness to kick in but once in the saddle we were both ok, typically for the lake district it was raining and Shap summit was bathed in mist. We caught up with a trio of end to Enders a family from fort William, I was very impressed as their 11 year old was cycling lejog they had chosen longer time and quieter roads so didn't expect to get all the way to John o Groats before the school holidays were over. I wonder how they got on? Our first cafe stop of the day was a brilliant one in penrith, lunch was in the worst cafe of the whole trip at an outlet village in Gretna, but Dave knew the choice was limited once you got to the remoter areas in Scotland. I have to say the stretch from Gretna to Lockerbie was not pleasant, we were getting rained on and the places we passed through were deserted. We did see a lot of under 50cc motorbikes heading the other way doing Jogle and were in time to see a major bike race pass just north of Gretna. Think I may have inadvertently shown my lady parts to a lorry driver while having a wee on this day. Once again it dried off later on and the scenery got more lovely as we rode towards Abington, short run, and Chinese with dave's mum and dad in Biggar .
Distance104.19m, riding time 8.43, avg. 13.8 mph, ascent 4801ft.

Day 6
The day with the snow! Started out in full waterproofs, and in heavy rain. As we climbed through Dumfries and Galloway it then started to snow. Wouldn't normally choose to cycle in this weather. I was pretty chipper though as at least it had stopped raining. We descended into Whitburn where we met another end to ender who had done 20 miles and had decided to stop for the day Three days later we saw him pushing north as we drove down from Inverness so the weather hadn't beaten him.. We had per booked hotels and a time scale so Had to press on. fOrtunately the little cafe in Whitburn was staffed by the nicest ladies you could meet and told us to dry all our stuff off on the radiators, they even dragged Dave up the ramp from the toilets when he was falling about in his cleats. Only lentil soup would do. Dave's mum and dad weren't far away and joined us supplying us with dry clothes and latex gloves to go under the other gloves which meant Dave was now wearing 4 pairs, but it did the trick.above Linlithgow, we blogged the use of the poshest toilets ever in a steak restaurant, they were flowery mock victoriana,very nice. I suppose they were concerned I might wee in the car park. We did photos on the FOrth road bridge which is disconcerting as it vibrates as the lorries rumble past. Our lunch stop was just past Cowdenbeath in Kelty- eggy bread, yum!
We had to ask directions in milnerfort as the road is a bit tricky there, luckily it was the local snp mp sandy Baxter, who unusually for a politician told the truth.
Onwards through Perth after which we wereon the busy a9 and it was rush hour not nice. Tried out the cycle path which I have to say got me more sweary than the snow, only fit for mtbs and a time scale of several weeks.so we hopped over the central barrier back onto the a9 to finish in pitlochry for the night, because of the snow delaying us and the fact that everyone stops doing food in Scotland after 8.30 I missed my run.
Distance 11.45m, riding time 8.43, avg. 12.76mph, ascent5246 ft
Edited: 15/04/2012 at 09:43
Monique    pirate
15/04/2012 at 10:20
Day7 we were starting to feel fit, and not feeling any worse for the days done so far. But this was the longest day in terms of miles on the trip. After disappointing boiled eggs for breakfast we were off towards aviemore. This was one of the best days of the trip,lovely scenery, not too much wind and a dry start for a change. I think the number 1 cafe of the trip was Ralia about 20 miles south of aviemore a fantastic muffin, decent sized pot of tea,free wifi, warm and art on the walls. Although the one on the last day runs a close second. Lunch in aviemore the recommended cafe was full but we ended up in papa rock diner and I had hot chocolate with all the trimmings. The rain had started for the day, the descent from schlod summit was wet and cold and the most unpleasant part of the journey was through Inverness during rush hour. I had to eat awhile bag of foamy bananas to get over the experience. Overnight stop was at the excellent Carnegie lodge in Tain,any hotelier that puts a dish of sweets in your room gets my vote, plus we could ramp up the radiators to dry the kit.
A short run round Tain,legs feeling a bit more tired on the run.
Distance 122.9, riding time 8.44, avg. 14.07 mph, ascent 5403ft.

Day 8
The last day, we got an early start as we had to get driven back to Inverness after the finish and find food. It ended like it started 24 mph head winds which picked up through the day. The road followed the coast so my main concern was being able to have good views, which because for a change it wasn't raining we did. Beautiful countryside, but so so remote, think I would go stir crazy living there. The hardest climb of the trip, but we were feeling pretty good and it was certainly nothing on the Fred whitton scale so I was pleasantly surprised. We even got papped on the way up. The highlight of the day was the tearoom at the croft museum,about the only cafe for 30 miles. I had Cullen skink because the scots always cook it on Come Dine WithMe and I needed to know what all the fuss was about. It was ace, we heard that a group of 15 had passed through about an hour previously but by the time I had had home made fairy cakes our chances of catching them were slim. Still worth a try, we pushed on to wick,by then they were 40 minutes ahead, so not enough miles left to catch them. Never mind we could enjoy the gentle descent into John o Groats. Erm there was a lot of irritating headwind climbing before we got the last bit of downhill with the sea ahead it looked like you could ride off a cliff fortunately there was a car park souvenir shop and numerous people milling about to prevent that happening.
Distance 85.92 m, riding time 6.59, avg. 12.3 mph, ascent 4478 ft.

In conclusion, now I've bored you to death, we had a great time and just wanted to keep going, so you really do ride yourself fit. There are different ways of doing this trip, we had the lite speeds, minimal luggage and support at the end and sometimes during the day. Others we saw took less direct routes, took their time and had panniers and tourers. If I did it again, I would like to take longer do different roads and be self sufficient. I rule out camping though. I,ve already seen a titanium Dawes that would be just the ticket.
purpletrilady    pirate
15/04/2012 at 15:46
Monique - I am in awe, absolutely fabulous riding and it sounds like you enjoyed it too.

Seren - I hope the bike gets sorted soon.

I had two rest days following my minor op. Yesterday I had a PT sess followed by what was supposed to be a four hour recovery ride. I got lost and was out for 5 hours. Was exhausted when I got back.

I got up today planning to do a very slow 26 miles. I was so tired though, I went back to bed and woke up at 3 o'clock. So I guess that was my body telling me something !!

Fingers crossed I'll be back to normal next week.

seren nos    pirate
15/04/2012 at 15:50
Mon.a brilliant report ...and great training for the deca.....LEJOG is on my wish list of things to so....but over a few more days......
15/04/2012 at 16:53
Loved your report, Mon, especially the details about the food stops
15/04/2012 at 22:09

Great report Mon, don't think I'd do it myself without back up and probably later in the year, especially with some of the weather you had.

Did my longest EVER today. 14.3 miles in 2hr 18mins. Stopped at the house very briefly twice to practice putting some food in. Just a couple of slices of malt loaf with proper salted butter!! I bought a Camelbak Delaney the other week to carry fluid on a longer run which I am sipping on every 10 minutes. I quite like it. It slips a bit on the waist strap when the bottle is full with it bouncing a bit. I'll have to get the needles out and a bit of velcro and I'm sure it will sort the problem.

Back to work tomorrow, it does get in the way I find!!!!

16/04/2012 at 11:12
Great report Mon. Sounds like you have your Bike legs well and truly sorted now.

See you in 7 weeks time!


Bouncing Barlist    pirate
16/04/2012 at 11:14
Great report Mon, looks like youre coming into cracking form
16/04/2012 at 11:21

Just read your "who's taking what kit" question.

Take everything.

For the Deca
2 wetsuits
3 pairs of goggles
Crocs (for march to T1)

2 Bikes
4 wheelsets
2 helmets
2 pairs of shades (clear/yellow/dark lenses)
Overboots (2 pairs)
3 Rain jackets
5 pairs of longs
5 pairs of shorts
long cycle tops
short cycle tops
Thermal baselayers (5)
3 pairs of cycle shoes (including an old pair that I don't mind cutting the toe box off in case I have swelling issues)

4 pairs of trainers (again an old pair that I can canibalise)
4 vests.
compression shorts (4 pairs)
compression tops (2)
Long sleeve fleeces
Head torches (2)
Technical t-shirts (lots)
Run Socks (lots)

Half of Tesco's cake isle.
Other half of Sainsburys Cake Isle.

Symes    pirate
16/04/2012 at 11:51
Barley - seeing Dave's list there, have you tried cutting the toe out of the front of a pair of trainers to ease the pain in your toe or isn't it an impact pain?
16/04/2012 at 12:35

"Mon's Cafe Tour of Britain".
What a lovely read! Fantastic training and a lovely report. Thanks!

Bouncing Barlist    pirate
16/04/2012 at 13:02
Symes, it isnt really an impact pain but I may just try it for experimental reasons, cheers.

In other news, and in terms of 'the challenge' I have lost 6lb in the last two weeks and now down to 16st 4lb
Edited: 16/04/2012 at 13:02
Bouncing Barlist    pirate
16/04/2012 at 13:07
I was thinking about my weight the other day and given im roughly 220lb, lets say 2lb is 1% of body weight.

I know there are a lot of variables, muscle mass vs fat and everything, but if 2lb less weight meant im 1% quicker, every 2lb lost could save about 20 minutes.  Thats quite an incentive to loose as much as I can.
Symes    pirate
16/04/2012 at 13:40
Certainly is, every reason to stick with it
seren nos    pirate
16/04/2012 at 15:01
wish i had read your inspiring post before i ate all that lunch plus a cream cake........

bike in the shop being serviced and having new wheel...........

M...eldy    pirate
16/04/2012 at 17:56
Fab report Mon!   Sounds just perfect the way you wrote it .. so much so I dont need to go and do it myself 
Holly_Golightly    pirate
17/04/2012 at 10:38

Brill report Mon.  And yes, Melds. We don't need to do it now. 

Can I add a pair of tweezers to anyones kit list please?  Or a designated first aider?

I still suffer the after effects of a tick bite I got last year at AT that ended up as Lyme disease.  Not nice at all. And there were no visible signs warning of the problem which is getting more common in the New Forest.

Monique    pirate
17/04/2012 at 10:42
Holly, I heard about that, it's a very serious illness, so worth making sure everyone's aware.
Monique    pirate
17/04/2012 at 10:43
Meldy, It's rather like I say to my brother, I do all the exercise so you don't have to.
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