The Final Weekend

Posted: July 1, 2013 in COPD, Cycling, training
Tags: , , ,

The weekend just gone was the last weekend: the last chance for any long distance training. So with that in mind, I decided to visit my Mummy on Saturday and as we [the Wheelsforrotary riders] had decided to take part in the Hungerford Big Wheel on the Sunday, I chose go see her by bicycle.
Given that my Mummy lives in Waterlooville it did mean that I would be following most of the roads that we would be taking on the way to the Ferry for Saint Malo next Sunday so it would be a good test for my level of preparedness. As it turned out, I was pretty much ready. I may not be fast but then anybody with COPD isn’t going to be I’m afraid.
My idea was to leave at 08:00 so that I could get down early enough to get Mummy her Fish & Chips, which I know she so enjoys. But, due to my own eternal state of ‘faffing’ I eventually got away just before 09:00.
As I left I thought I’d just see what route my Garmin would send me if I punched in the address and asked to take me there! The lowest I could get mileage down to was 51 miles. The Garmin came up with 42. Having confirmed that I had entered the correct address and that it was taking me to the right place, I set off. Before long I was approaching the ‘foothills’ of Combe Gibbet and then heading skywards. In the style of Micky Flanagan this wasn’t a hill, it was a was a Hill Hill. Eventually, I reached the top, ok, ok, I might have walked the last bit but I’m not sure that walking isn’t harder so I definitely didn’t take the easy option. After that, the rewards were worth the effort: all downhill for at least four miles, His Podgeness was in heaven. Eventually, I reached Hurstbourne Tarrant. Here, I would expect to turn left and head for Whitchurch. Mr Garmin however decided and tried to send me straight through and onwards and Upwards. It was that I espied a sign indicating a 14% climb was ahead. Stuff that I thought, I’m going my way and so turned around and took the turning I would normally have taken. From here on, the Garmin had the occasional sulk as I refused to do as I was told and it had to keep recalculating the route.
Eventually, I came through the picturesque village Cheriton and I knew I was on the last leg but, I had one long slog upwards and upwards and upwards. By now the sun was shining and as beads of sweat dripped off my face onto my constantly turning legs, I slowly climbed until reaching the top iAd the most glorious views over the Meon Valley: it was, for me the most beautiful site to behold. But, time was marching and I had to get Mummy her Fish & Chips so I set off, down, down and down gain. Eventually I reached the valley and knew I just had 10 miles left. 4 miles of switchbacks to Hambledon, a gentle ride to Denmead where all traffic had come to a halt. The blue lights on police cars and ambulance was not a nice sight. The road was closed. I don’t know what happened, neither do I want to know. I just know that somebody’s weekend had been ruined.
As it happened, I needed money so I dismounted and made my was to a service till only to find it was empty, as was the next one further up. Bugger I thought as I made my way on foot through the village until I passed the mayhem in the road where I remounted and set off for my last four miles. After just two I found a till with money in and so cash in hand I raced to the last chippy before Mummy’s. Guess what? it shut at 13:30 and the time 13:38. I always have a Plan B though. There was a KFC across the road.
Two Boneless Banquets in handled I cycled the last mile and arrived at Mummy’s. Job done and, I felt good. I felt even better for knowing that Debbie was driving down so I wouldn’t have to cycle. But, the way I felt and with hindsight I reckon I could have cycled back as well. Maybe next time.
So, that was that. 58 miles! All I had to do now was prepare for the Hungerford Big Wheel on Sunday [next post].
Go Podge, Go

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