I turned up for todays Team MK club ride which was to go to Winslow. I never normally stop there though as Its a very small cafe and the service always seems to take ages. Our fault though I suppose as there are usually so many of us there. Not only our ‘C’ group but sometimes other groups from the club as well. Thats no reflection on the staff or the quality of the fare on offer though. Its just that we have usually done about 35 miles before we get there and then its only about 10 miles back to Stony Stratford. Its barely time to get warmed up again before the ride is over. In my case its a bit different because I have usually ridden just over 12 miles to the start of the ride anyway so unless our destination is my side of Stony Stratford I have to add on nearly 25 miles to every ride.
Todays ride was as usual split in two halves, a fast half and and a not so fast half. I opted for not so fast and we left after the fast half. However I was surprised to see us head east from Stony Stratford instead of West as thats the side Winslow is. Had I known I would have gone with the other group but too late now. As I said earlier, its always a big loop round to get there but always in the general direction. We carried on east nearly all the way back to Olney and it looked like being a long and hilly ride as there was talk of going over the Brickhills. This offered the prospect of making a very long and hard ride for me overall so when the group passed the turn at Tyringham I took it and also took my leave of the group and started a ride of my own.
Plan B… I took a long loop around to the west and north making a total of 107km (66 miles) for me. It was pretty easy going to start with the tailwind and I headed out via Cranfield and Bromham and on to Oakley where I stopped at the village store and bought a big chunk of flapjack that was half covered in chocolate, delicious!!! I pressed on with my ride through Pavenham, Carlton and Harrold.
Then it was on up towards Bozeat where I made a left turn and into the wind. It ceased to be so much fun then but I was determined to do the same mileage for the day as I would have done had it been normal club ride. I could have easily taken a short cut home from there. I pressed on though, into the wind to Castle Ashby, where my back light cover fell off as I went over a cattle grid. I managed to retrieve it and replace it fortunately.
Onwards to Denton and Horton where the cover fell off again as I went over a bump. This time I took the light off and put it in my pocket. Turning left there I was now headed south west so the headwind was more or less a side wind now until I reached Stoke Goldington. When I turned left for home there for home I was able to revel in the tail wind again for the last few miles.
Just as I was starting the last climb up before dropping down into Olney a young man and lady (25- 30’ish) came past me at high speed on their bikes. They had obviously carried a lot of speed from the previous descent and had me in their sights. They opened a gap on me but I know that hill, its a bit of a nasty one. By half way up I was catching them up again, just by sticking with my usual tempo, no special extra effort involved, then there is an easier bit until it hits you again. It was on this last section that I caught and passed them, first the young lady then her partner, very satisfying after over 100km! I can’t resist a challenge.. even though it might not have been a challenge 🙂