What an amazing weekend! 37 of the 80 women doing the first cycle [I think 37?] all got together this weekend for a training weekend. We arrived Friday night for what was to be a 2 day training session of 40 miles per day in the Cotswolds. Ho ho. Stupid English weather fixed that plan!
Check out my lovely hat…
Friday night we stayed at the Volunteer Inn in Chipping Campden. Great place – absolutely spotless! Loved it.
I drove up after a manic days work, through such heavy rain that I had the fog lights on all the way – visibility was about 10 yards! I was nervous about meeting lots of women all at once, and terrified about having to cycle 40 miles per day…my training has been non existent. So we all met up for drinkies [and CAKE!!] and some dinner [do not have an omelette in a curry house – yuck. Curry looked fabulous though!] Then rather decorously went to bed at 11.30 with plans to meet for brekkie at 7.30. We had to be at Vicarage Farm by 9.00 for a 9.30 set off.
Saturday we all sprang up, had a full English, nicked a few bananas and tootled off behind the extremely organised Anita, bikes sticking out of every vehicle. We had an introduction to the day, met the man on the ground, Ed [he was support – and so chirpy as we slogged up the hills that we wanted to kill him heh heh], Calum – our first port of call for all queries, his mum, and Reg the support vehicle driver. We had Nicky Jones, our very own tri-athlete too. She raced up and down like a maniac giving advice and directing us. Then we had the awesome Trisha, who is coming on the cycle – she did the route and made sure none of us got run over by a bus, tractor or car. She also adjusted our bike seats etc so we were more comfortable. A very useful person.
Organised, and off we went. We stopped at the Fleece Inn for a rather interesting lunch of tomato soup, chips and bread rolls. All morning we had sun and it was great, but as we left the Fleece the weather closed in. The upshot of which was that we did 48 miles!! In ONE day…as we left, the rain arrived. But we were lucky and it didn't drown us.
Here is Vicky and me leaving the Fleece. Why we look so cheerful I can't begin to imagine!
I really struggled with the hills. One of them I am sure was actually vertical, and I had to get off the bike half way and walk – I was crying with rage! But, with a bit of advice from the girls, I made it up a really long hill with a 12% gradient – I am so pleased!
Saturday night we had dinner and mistook one of the girls for Aggie! I still have no idea who I was talking to, but it was not Aggie. Here I am in full training mode on the way to the Red Lion for my dinner.
All told, a fabulous day because I am now confident I can do the Kenya cycle. I am amazed that I managed to cycle a whole 48 miles – I really didn't think I'd do it.
Plus we met up with loads of amazing women who, until now, I've only been in touch with on Facebook. The camaraderie and support were amazing. It was great fun – unfortunately, Sunday's weather was a nightmare. I didn't see any point in putting myself through torture, plus risking a cold, so I bottled it and came home on a high.
The drive was awful again – and some of the girls stayed and cycled in the horrible gales and rain! All credit girls, I had enough trouble keeping the car on the road!
So I have just booked up for a 50 mile cycle for Force – good practice and I need the saddle time. I do rather wonder if I've lost the plot ;)