Home Forums Sunday Rides Sunday 25th March 2011 Ride Re: Sunday 25th March 2011 Ride


The Waiting Game

Lies damned lies and statistics.

A casual glance at my bike computer when I eventually arrived home showed a moving time of 5:52 and a stunning average speed of 12.9mph. This meant that the remainder of the group (apart from the valiant Smurf who stuck by me) spend about an hour waiting for us to catch up.

I would have felt a bit guiltier at keeping everybody away from the arms of their loved ones if it had not been such a lovely day. As you can imagine it must have be an absolute joy to be waiting for 18min (and 12secs according to Huw) for us at the Morrisons roundabout in Havefordwest.

I think Andrew hit the nail on the head when he suggested that I had perhaps peaked too soon this season (November) but the impending nightmare of the Training Camp in Majorca required a step change in my training regime. I just think this was a bit of a big step from a few 30ish mile Sunday rides to 76 miles and 5,000ft of climbing.

Not having ventured to the North of the County much before, I thought that once we were over the Preselli’s it would be all plain sailing, after all, we were following the Gwaun Valley to the sea and my rudimentary knowledge of geography suggested it would be a nice roll downhill. However, for some inexplicable reason, our (well your, I’m English when it suits me) forefathers decided to take the road up the valley side without any thought of future generations on two wheels. More was to come climbing up out of Goodwick…

We did have a brief stopover in Fishguard in search of a toilet and for Richard to deflate and reflate his tire a couple of times giving Roger the opportunity to berate me about not shaving and the opaque nature of the Club bottles.

The trek south from Fishguard to St Davids was mercifully (mostly) flat as my legs had just about had enough (with only 40 miles to go…) and until the first steep hill out of a valley I managed to hang onto the back of the Peloton. It was during this brief break from self imposed solitude that Andrew, distracted by the little fluffy bundles of pound notes (coins just doesn’t sound right) gambling around the adjacent field, came across a car around a blind bend. With consummate bike handling skill he launched himself into the hedge. Not sure if that took some of the shine of his sparklingly clean bike.

There may well have been other incidents of note, but I was nowhere the action.

Refuelling and regrouping took place in St Davids and then off to Haverfordwest. As time was marching on, the direct route was taken rather than along the coast to Broad Haven. I think that was good news. Smurf and I were now enjoying our own sufferfest; him with cramp and me just being unfit. It was between Newgale and Haverfordwest we lost the 18mins (and 21 secs). Smurf called in the cavalry and got a lift home and then it was back to Narberth by the most direct route along the A40; a pleasure I had not enjoyed before.

Ace Routemaster Huw came up trumps again suggesting that Cox Hill could be avoided by carrying on up the A40, advice I gratefully followed.

In hindsight, I did make the distance without hitting a wall thanks to a diet of gel sachets and sports drink and it was a stunningly beautiful day to the extent that the back of my right leg got sunburnt. Next week can we cycle clockwise to even things up?

The lesson to take from this epic adventure is that you can’t service two mistresses and I clearly need to lavish a bit more attention on the bike to the exclusion of the polytunnel. Lesson learnt, and working from home this week, I can get three mid-week rides in but is it too little too late?