The back is definitely on the mend but going out to Berrow to meet the Old Gits on the last leg of the Great Weston Ride was a bit of a mistake. Felt OK at the time, but the next day it was a bit sore. Had planned on taking a short cut to Caffles Coffee spot but it was ambitious to be honest. Have been taking the pills and this afternoon it felt a lot better so took Lincoln down to Marine Lake. Just took it easy and seemed to have benefitted from the 4 mile easy ride.
This is the highlight of Lincoln's ride out after school, going through the standing water at the side of the Marine Lake.
The Great Weston Ride, from Bristol to Weston super Mare, is an annual event of 57 miles taking in the heights of the Mendip Hills and finishing across the Somerset Levels. Seven of us Old Gits had entered for it and since November, had been training hard including climbs and distance. Unfortunately, due to a back problem over the last three weeks, I was unable to take part which was very disappointing. Fortunately, the old back was getting marginally better, so a cunning plan was devised and I met up with the riders on the Weston side of Burnham on Sea and it was a privilege to ride in the last 6 miles into the finish with the others.
The OG Team
Taken at the finish, the riders are l to r, Andy, Simon, Me, Jim, Ian, James (guest rider), Pete and Steve. Fair play to them for completing the course in very hot conditions.
A bonus at the finish was I was handed a medal. One more to a modest collection. There was a twinge of guilt receiving it but 6 months of hard work and paying £25 to enter cancelled that almost immediately.
Nearly 14 miles for me, the others did at least 57 miles, a couple added on an extension at Cheddar and completed 68 miles,
Going OK still. Took Lincoln out for a little extended ride, for him anyway, and went along the promenade to Birnbeck Pier.
I suppose when I was seven I would be the same. Part of the path around the victorian Marine Lake gets flooded after high tide and having gone through it once, the grandson needed to go back through it again. A bit childish by my way of thinking.
The causeway turns this little cove into a safe place for toddlers to swim and paddle. Built by the Victorians when Weston became a popular holiday destination, it ensures 'the sea is always in'.
Another Victorian building, the pier was very popular in its heyday with fairs etc, it has now been derelict for 24 years. A shame it has gone to wrack and ruin.
Time for a cuppa
At least there is a little cafe on the land side of the pier. Manned by volunteers trying to raise money to save it, it was an opportunity for Lincoln and me to have some refreshments before riding home.
A fraction under 5 miles today, a personal best for the grandson.
Out again for a little ride down the prom. Taking it a little further as feeling pretty good on the bike. The back does seem to be getting easier by the day, but still sore when walking or sitting for too long. The medical professionals do seem to be right, the position of the body when cycling does seem to give relief and helps strengthen to main back muscles. It was a lovely day out there as well which was a bonus.
The tourists are in town
Quite a few tourists on the beach today. Quite a few schools as well had bought classes down to enjoy a few hours digging in the sand. Some of them are very well organised with stacks of equipment to keep the kids amused and gazebos to keep them out of the sun.
Included some little hills today on the 5 mile trip. Getting there slowly.
After 12 days off the bike with back and other related issues came back Tuesday from an MRI scan with a definitive answer what the problem is. An inflamed fractal joint. The advice from those that know, was not to rest and take it easy, but gentle exercise will be far more beneficial than binge watching 'Breaking Bad'. (A brilliant series if you have Netflix and this is the second time of viewing it). Yesterday afternoon, went a 600 yard walk on the prom and today, after a short ride around our drive, decided to venture out for a cycle down the prom. It went brilliantly, in fact it was far more comfortable than walking, no pain at all. Took the youngest grandson with me and we hunted Grommit down, found him on the pier. So excited to be out again I forgot to turn Strava on until part the way back so the recorded 1.45 miles should really be 3. A good way forward this, will try and keep it in perspective (the Old Gits are doing a 45 miler tomorrow, not yet thank you).
Grommit and Lincoln
Definitely try similar tomorrow, must do what the doctor ordered!
A bit of an easy one to end the week. It's been all about testing the old back and pleased to say it has got through fine, well almost. Still feel the odd twinge but with a couple of twenty milers and a thirty covered without any problems it would be good to think that injury problems are all sorted.
Had an pleasant circuit out to Puxton and back through Banwell. The weather was warm but a lot duller than of late. The only thing to report of significance was the sighting, near Wick St Lawrence, of a tiny mammal scampering across the road, almost under the front wheel. Back at the ranch, out come the wildlife books and a browse through the inter web and the conclusion is, it was a pygmy shrew. Cant be certain of that, it moves so quick but you have to make an educated guess about these things.
20 miles today taking the week's mileage to 78, much more than was expected.
Back is getting better by the day so ventured a bit further today. Another glorious sunny day so need for any layers. Taking the standard route down to Burnham on sea for a quick tea stop and back.
It is days like today that give this month its nickname. Certainly very hot, upper 80s possibly, but the slight breeze makes it tolerable. Hard to believe just a few weeks ago travelled around this area with loads of layers on plus long johns! Stopped for a few minutes on a little bridge which crossed this rhyne that runs along the Pill Road at Mark. Never realised that there are fairly big fish to be seen, possibly about a foot long. My knowledge of the species tells me they are - fish! Saw loads of blue dragonflies hovering around as well. (Wickapedia puts me right on this; they are damselflies. More precise the common blue damselfly.You live and learn, for 70 years I have called them dragonflies).
On then to Burnham on Sea. Stopped for a cuppa at Lizzie's Diner in the corner of Apex Park. Nice to sit outside and have a snack. Just had to have some of Lizzie's excellent bread pudding. Forget all the Lucozade (other brands are available), gel drinks and pick me ups. A slice of this will give you all the energy you need. At 90 pence a portion it was tempting to have two slices but there was a danger that the return journey may have been more difficult.
Clocked up 30 miles, well pleased with that and the fact that the back seemed OK. Knees were a bit stiff mind. A bit down on the week's total, 58 miles this week.