Monday, 10 March 2008

Rides over 1/2 March

A bright but blustery day greeted us with a 20mph NW wind made conditions more challenging than usual. We started out as a group of 5, Andy M, Paul, Mike, Tim and myself on the 55 mile route via Berko and Ivinghoe Beacon. The first few miles stretch north then to the west, so we were into the teeth of the wind. We managed to keep together for the first half of the ride then Mike and Andy got dropped as Paul pushed Tim and I on at more challenging pace than usual. It was clear Paul had put something extra in his porridge that morning. I had pushed ahead on some of the earlier climbs, but Paul started to move head as he smashed us over Bison. The last 10 miles along Gaddesden Row back to Redbourn were noticeable down wind and Paul again decided to press the pace, leaving us on one of the short dips pumping out of the saddle to create a break. I gave chase but only managed to keep the initial break from lengthening. By time we reached the last 3 miles into Redbourn, the wind was clearly right behind us as hit 35 mph at the bottom and kept up 29mph for the rest of this leg. Just to humiliate us further, Paul stood out of the saddle all the way up the final hill from Redbourn which I could just not match, however he appeared to slow when the gradient flattened out up to the White Horse where I just caught up, but I think he had just felt generous and slowed down to allow us bridge the gap. Anyway the pace Paul set meant this was our fastest trip over this route in under 3 hrs 30m with 4000 ft of climbing.

Tim, Paul and I waited in Café Nero after for Andy and Tim, but after half and hour we had to give them up. We later discovered that the pair of them had done another Ivinghoe Beacon run to finish with 64 miles and 4500 of climbing.

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