A rare thing happened this weekend (well 2 weekends ago now – I’m getting a bit slack with this blog sorry). It was a British bank holiday weekend and we had three full days of decent weather. Luckily I had at least one of them put aside for a bike ride. And what a ride it was.
Calne MTB, our local group of riders, had decided to get up early for Afan. I haven’t been to Afan for ages and really wanted to go, but after a busy week of work I didn’t fancy a 7.30am start. Also the other riding option was more suitable “training” and preparation for my upcoming French trip.
Tom Stickland (www.mbtom.co.uk – thanks for the photo of me below) of MB Swindon had planned an epic route on his home turf on the edge of the Cotswolds starting and ending in Nailsworth. The ride was described as being hilly, a long 50k+ and over a 1000m of climbing. This sort of ride was much needed by me and delivered a heck of a work out.
Altogether there were 18 of us and based on some recent rides I was confident that I would be in the slower bunch. The pace was pretty fast. With a lot of ground to cover and climbing to do there was no hanging about. As you can see from the graph plot above it was unforgiving. In total we covered 58km and climbed a little over 1200m. With a lunch stop, a brief pub stop and a few pauses waiting for the group to catchup we were out for around 7 hours.
There were some great descents – the switchbacks in the bluebells was both picturesque and a highlight of the day. Coupled with some fun fast sections, plenty of mud and the usual splattering of twisty single track this was a great day out and given the time in my schedule the sort of ride I would like to do every weekend.
And being a Bank Holiday in May in Wiltshire, its compulsory to go to the West Woods near Marlborough and photograph some bluebells….