I rode the first event in my 2015 Audaxing schedule today. The Kennet Valley 100, starting at Gravely just south of Reading. The weather forecast was good, sunny and dry but with a strong westerly wind that has prevailed for most of the week doing its best to make life difficult on the outward run.
We all set off at 9am in a great big group that soon sorted itself out into the various abilities and split up. I had been in contact with Rob Brigham on my facebook page the previous night and was on the lookout for him. In his comment on one of my posts on the page during the last week he said he was entered for the same event. I didn’t see him at the start but we met at the first control point, exchanged a few words and he set off ahead of me while took a little nourishment and we met up again at the ‘Tutti Pole’ cafe in Hungerford which was the halfway control point. It was a bit small for the amount riders so after getting our cards stamped he guided me to the bakery just up the road where I purchased a nice warm Cornish Pasty and we ate and chatted for a while and set off together again afterwards. But on the way out of Hungerford we lost contact again as I had to stop for some adjustments to my Garmin.
The outward journey to Hungerford was tough going, slightly undulating and into a west wind. I passed ‘Downton Abbey’ (Highclere Castle) on the way out but no nobility was to be seen out dog walking.
The return leg should have been easier as it had a tailwind, more or less, most of the way. However it was considerably more hilly. All told there was just over 1000 metres of altitude gained on the ride. There were two controls on the return leg and after the second one I caught up with Rob again just before Theale, on the outskirts of Reading. I was grateful to sit on his wheel for the last few miles to the finish. I could have got back OK but quite a bit slower than I did with Rob, He is a younger man than me and obviously fitter, also bigger than me, he made a great windshield 🙂
This was supposed to have been my third or fourth event of the year and I would have hoped to be riding 200’s by now but life and circumstances intervened. I have just entered another 100 two weeks from now and hopefully will enter a 200 for two weeks after that.