Deep sea cycling

The weather has been challenging recently, wind and rain.  Floods.  A lot of people are coping with flooded homes, loss of property, and some are even coping with loss of loved ones.  The short days and dark nights are quite depressing.  I took my wife out for a ride yesterday and it ended abruptly when the absence of friction between her tyres and the road brought her crashing down.  We sheepishly headed home.
Today I headed out for a brief ride, a figure of eight with Seamer at the center   This is not a difficult or challenging ride, it’s only 30km and took just over an hour.  The scenery was worth commenting on though, the flooded fields reflecting the bright sunlight made it difficult to see occasionally.  There was run off water across the roads and twice this was deep enough to submerge the bottom bracket of the bicycle.
Outside Seamer, near Low Fields farm there used to be a Ford.  This was replaced with a proper tunnel under the road for the stream to use, but they never removed the sign.  Today the Ford was back as the stream flowed both under and over the road surface.

Cycling really lifted my spirits for a while – getting out of the house into the sunshine and forging ahead through the wind and deep water gave me a sense of achievement to my day.  So I’m home looking at the Audax Calendar for 2013 and wondering if I’ll be strong enough, or have the time to meet any of these challenges.  I’d also like to see my wife complete a Randonneur 500 award, which requires she complete a 50km, 100km, 150km series and also a 200km ride at Brevet Randonneur pace (minimum of 15kph).

The goal of supporting Carol takes priority over any other goals I have for cycling in 2013… but of course, if the opportunity presents itself I’d like to get a couple of longer rides in.  They may be hard but I really enjoyed the challenge.  So the list I’ve drawn up for one or the other of us is:

  • 200km “When I’m 64” from Aldbrough – quite early in the season so may be a big ask for Carol.  It will be a challenge to be “BR pace” ready in time.
  • 103km “Killhope Grimpeur” from Lanchester – has a tough sounding name but is really only AAA1.75, so eminently do-able.
  • 110km “Spring into the Dales” or the 53km “Leap into the Aire” from Hebden Bridge – Chris Crosslands events are scenic, well organised and exceptionally friendly – either of these would do, but both will be tough.
  • 200km “Red Rose Ride” from Halifax – sounds like it is part of the Way of the Roses sustrans route and relatively flat, so perhaps a mid-season go at a 200km.
  • 200km “Chevy Chase” from Consett – I want to do this, I love the look of the Cheviots and would like to do a tour round there.
  • 600km “Bryan Chapman Memorial” from Chepstow – AAA8.25 and probably “Bloody Hard”.  Another I would like to ride, but maybe I won’t get the chance this year and I’ll have very little in the way of long distance preparation in my legs.
  • 200km “Good Companions” from Mytholmroyd – riding with the last section of the 3 Coasts 600.  All the climbing in the final 100km but a really friendly way to spend the day keeping the 600km riders company.  Also, Carol would get to descend “Cragg Vale” on her Ragley “Cragg Vale”.  Has to be done!
  • 300km “Alston and back” from Galashiels – anything that rides near or around Alston is a good ride in my book.
  • 400km “Old 240” from Sowerby Bridge – death on legs – but worth it.  I’d like to do this every year if I could.
  • 200km, 150km, 100km “Dave’s Dales…” selection of rides from Richmond.  Close of the season and some hilly rides to finish off the year.  It would be nice to ride in company on these.
  • 100km “Season of Mists” or the 50km “Mellow Fruitfulness” from Hebden Bridge.  Starting off the 2014 season with some AAA points.  I’d like to ride these instead of Gerry’s Autumn Brevet this year.
  • Not in the Audax calendar, but on the fringe of my mind, is the Fred Whitton Challenge.  Not to ride it as a Sportive either.  I’m toying with the idea of riding it with a couple of friends as a tour, just to feel the Lake’s best passes give me some pain.
There is the possibility of an SR series mixed in there – and one which comes with AAA points, so an AAA_SR for 2013?  As I said before, it really depends on how fit and healthy Carol is, how the work and family calendar works out, and how good a husband and Dad I’m being in between.  Audaxing is fun, but not at the expense of wife and family. I hope others are finding the time to ride through this awful weather.  Winter miles = Summer smiles.
I also pray for those suffering much more from the wind, rain and flooding.  I hope you find safety and recover quickly.

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