Sunday, 24 October 2010

Lent in November?!

Abingdon - just for the record - is uphill from Salisbury. In a very unusual turn of events it turns out that Salisbury is also uphill from Abingdon. Despite this elevation perplexity, my weekend cycling adventure was absolutely marvellous. Fresh, cool, clear autumn days made the journey through North Wiltshire and the Cotswolds a joy, even with all the uphill.
On the way up there on Friday I discovered the Pewsey Hill, which a little bird named Sarah had warned me about. I was nervously anticipating something horrific as I approached and after an extended but very friendly gradient of climb into Pewsey I was almost a little disappointed at the lack of effort I'd had to put in. I thought maybe I'd had a tailwind or something that had made it easier, or maybe Sarah was just a massive wuss?!
A mile or so later and my heart sunk as I realised it wasn't the climb into Pewsey, it was the climb out. It isn't a regular occurance for my face to bead with sweat when out cycling but good grief this was a climb and a half, made all the worse by a ridiculous set of roadworks that had me wobbling into a traffic cone in front of a line of traffic as I attempted a steep hill start.
After this hill however, the rest of the journey was fantastic. I left the smooth, tree-lined A4 early and got myself lost in some fantastic single-track roads through the Cotswolds. Thankfully I didn't meet any traffic. In fact, both my journeys were surprisingly car free - wonderful!
We celebrated my safe arrival with curry and wine, which I definitely felt was justified after 65 miles and 2200ft of elevation gain. With that cycle on Friday and my slightly shorter, more direct journey back today, I'm feeling a lot more confident about tackling the Exmoor Beast next weekend!
The other news to report is that in a crazed moment of excitement, I was sucked into a bonkers pact with Liz to give up chocolate and all chocolate-related products. It was all her idea and she barely gave me a chance to agree before she had written it (in ink, no less) on the calendar. She wanted to go until the end of November but as my birthday falls on the last weekend on November I managed to negotiate going to the 26th. In the midst of this negotiation we managed to egg each other on and added in cake, puddings and biscuits! So basically no treats for just over a month. No happy eating days. She even hid my chocolate horlicks.
I'm going to try and embrace this unseasonal lent in the spirit of Egg Goes Healthy of course but it's going to be tough. Now I'm off to hide something Liz loves before she gets home..

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