Well finally, on the eve of the 12 week countdown, after the washed out bank holiday, this evening we finally got a leg over the saddle, got our butts into gear (not a reference to the lycra cladding) and got on the road for a cycle. We agreed a meeting point and it was off into the new forest. For me that meant a short jaunt out of Ferndown, past the airport across the A338 (that bits a bit hilly on a bike) and into the outskirts of the forest.
I have to admit that as I saddled up the clouds went a bit grey dropped a few spots of rain and the wind picked up a bit and I wondered about the sanity of both the end objective but also going out this evening. These doubts evaporated quite quickly, and I had a sense of smugness as I sailed past the queuing traffic around the airport. A little waver as I crossed Avon causeway on some windy roads (that were also a bit windy) and then to meet Matt at the agreed RV point.
Matt uses the forest roads on a regular basis so he had a route in mind and we set off into the forest, what a glorious piece of countryside it is and you see some much more from a pushbike than you do in the car. There was very little traffic. The hills came and went the downhills were fun and the KM’s quickly racked up, its much more fun cycling with someone than it is on your own and we had a great hour in the forest before we reached a good point to go our separate ways. I’ve just noticed that when my watch tracks the route it colour codes sections, I can remember pretty much every turn of the pedals on the bit that is red, but that set us up for a nice downhill bit that is green.
I’m really getting used to and enjoying my new (to me) bike it is so light it pretty much flies and I still find myself wondering if theres not an extra loop or circuit that I can add to the route. As I came to the end of my route theres an uphill section, whichever way you go you have to gain some elevation and I mused it over as I approached Parley crossroads. Straight ahead, the climb is longer and less steep, swing right and the climb is shorter and steeper and with around 30km behind me I briefly wondered about taking the easier route. But then the steeper climb beckoned and the Ribble chose to go that way. A quick down shift on the gears and we were off, the climb which looked daunting at the bottom melted away and I was on the home straight. Two hours to cover 34km, that will do as a start.
Don’t forget that the point of the exercise for me is to raise funds for Planets, so if you can please do visit my page and make a donation, every little helps.