Saturday, 27 December 2014

Bad things come in threes...or do they? #festive500

So I had a plan and that plan was a 40 miler this afternoon to add to the Festive 500 tally and start burning off the Christmas lard fest. The execution of the plan started poorly, got worse, got reevaluated, changed, shortened and then ended up longer that the original plan. Finally it ended in a disaster that turned out to be not an issue at all!

Before I left the house I found my gloves in the washing machine. Not a great start but I revisited the tactics of my youth and employed a trusty hairdryer to solve the problem.

With that sorted I headed out. I noticed there was still some snow under my car and it was very cold but the roads were wet not icy.

 Out of Rothwell I headed to Loddington via Orton. There was a Christmas tree in the church doorway which I thought made a nice pic so I took one. I headed out of Loddington and promptly noticed I'd forgotten my drink. Well there's bad thing number 2!

So I ditched my planned route and headed home via Harrington. As you can see the 7ft snowdrifts were a bit of an issue.

Once home I also banged on some more layers. I'd put on two base layers and my winter jersey along with bib shorts, leg warmers and overshoes. I had my buff up over my ears nose and mouth. So I also put on my medium weight cycling jacket for the first time in a very long time.

Feeling cold and a bit annoyed with myself my revised plan was just to do a few more miles. So I set off on a regular little loop round Rushton, Pipewell and Desborough. Then in Desborough I decided to take a detour to Braybrooke so I could take in Griffin Road Hill. I then headed to Arthingworth and planned to go back to Harrington and home but changed my mind again and instead went to Kelmarsh.

From Kelmarsh I went to Maidwell, crossed the Brampton Valley Way over those glorious hills around Draughton and off to Old. I used the best country lane I know from Old and used Orton Green Lane to get me home. 

As I came into Rothwell I guessed I needed a few more miles for the 40 I originally wanted. Why guess you wonder? Well it won't be a surprise to learn I didn't reset my bike computer until after I noticed the drinks issue! So I thought I'd done 36 and needed four more miles. Up Bunker Hill I went round to Rushton and back home again. Why not eh? Well I was wrong but at least it was in the positive and I got 43. Weirdly it was a slow average with a load of PRs. 

As I came back into Rothwell I had the chance of one last good picture of a low sun over the fields. My Virb had been annoying me because 1 it kept freezing and 2 the bracket despite being very tight was slipping forward. As I pulled it up once again I suddenly had a camera in my hand. See the pic above. One broken bracket! Initially I thought this was an expensive mistake. When I got back I looked at the bracket and wondered why it had so many bits! I took the broken bit off and put the bracket back together. It looks better and probably will rattle less. Alls well that ends well.

The big question now is: will I complete the festive 500? Well, it's still weather dependent but I have a chance. It might take a big last ride but then I need at least an 80 miler for the Fondo. After today anything is possible.

Happy Peddaling 

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