Monday, 30 May 2011

Tour of Wessex - Day 3.. almost

I woke up early this morning and spent a good hour tentatively peering out the window at the grey clouds. The weather report had not been promising but I could see puddles on the ground and it wasn't raining so I thought maybe, just maybe, that huge band of rain had swept past early.

As I waited at the start there was only the slightest hint of moisture in the air and I had a feeling it was going to be my lucky day. Ten minutes later the water was dripping from every part of my face, my jacket was so wet it was completely stuck to me and I couldn't feel my toes.

Grumpy Egg!
I ploughed on and tried to find the balance between spinning my legs enough to stay warm whilst managing to maintain forward momentum. The route took us over the Quantock Hills where the rough, skinny roads were lethal in the wet. The first big climb helped to warm me up but I was already struggling to change gears with my cold and numb hands. On a dry day the 25% descent would have been exhilarating but today I was gripping the brakes and doing everything I could not to skid out of control.

At the first feed station there was the option to head back towards Somerton, cutting out the Exmoor loop and making the route a 50 miler instead. I was surprised how many were taking it. I weighed up my options whilst munching chocolate flapjacks.

I wanted to carry on and do the whole route, but I was absolutely sodden and feeling pretty chilly. I was torn! Sensible Egg was telling me to bow out, take the short route and go home to get warm. Normal Egg was reminding me that I love a bit of wet, muddy stuff. Plus, I could almost hear Dunkery Beacon calling out to me, "come and try me Egg you big, wet wuss!" I had almost made my decision to go and do battle when I saw a man ride in who had obviously come a-cropper in the last section. That one cyclist with his torn shorts, tattered jacket and bleeding limbs appeared to help me and several other cyclists make our minds up. I headed for home. 

Be a while before they're dry I reckon!
I couldn't change gear at all for the last ten miles so I was pumping the legs hard up some very sneaky last-minute hills that had been thrown into the route. I arrived back and after ditching the wet kit I was snuggled up with a blanket and a cuppa in front of the fire. Though slightly disappointed not to complete the whole route, a few conversations with some hardcore cyclists on the way back had made me feel better. I'd had a really successful first two days and a hilly 50 miler wasn't to be scoffed at. I definitely wasn't going away empty-handed.

This time next year Dunkery, you're mine...


  1. Very Well done, a magnificent achievement. Looking forward to seeing you soon. :) x


  2. Nice one Egg, we had a chat on the return leg, hope you didn't get too lost, it appears someone removed a sign. Made the wet 50 into a 56. I'm on your side with the "there's always next year" approach. Well done.

  3. Hiya Guy, cheers for the chat! Fortunately I was following the route on the GPS but there was a sign missing on the Somerton turn off.

    Maybe I'll see you out there next year (or on Tour of Dartmoor if you man up :-D)