Monday, 15 July 2019

The Great Western Ride III. 63

I never thought I would do this event again, but thanks to Sparky, it was relatively easy and completed it, along with 5 other Old Gits, in a reasonable time , in excellent weather and with battery to spare!  Below shows the route from Bristol, transversing the mendips and down onto the Somerset Levels back to Weston via Burnham on Sea.  Just below the map is the ride profile, rather lumpy at the start and flat for the second half.
Screenshot 2019-07-15 at 09.00.21
The day started with a lift (£15, cheap at half the price)) in a coach, with Sparky travelling in the back of an old Luton Van. Rather undignified I thought.  At the start of the event at the Long Ashton Car Park met up with the other OGs and waited to be released onto the public roads.  We set off in batches of about 50 after a short route guide talk from a Marshall.
I wasn't too sure how Sparky's battery would cope with a 60 mile trek so the first 20 miles were treated rather conservatively and I did more pedaling than I would have liked.  That paid off though, because when The 'big one' arrived, Burrington Combe, there was still well over 3/5 power left.  No problem climbing up that one so the worst of the route was over. A hairy drop down onto the levels and through Wedmore for a well earned break at the Hugh Sexey school at Blackmore.  This is some of us enjoying a bacon bap and a cup of tea before starting the last, very flat, leg.
Going through Burnham on Sea we cycled past one of our favourite summer watering holes, Lizzie's Breakfast in Apex Park.  Could not resist stopping there for another cuppa.  The below was taken by one of Lizzie's little helpers.  From there back to Weston was into a bit of a headwind but there was plenty left in Sparky to cope with that.
Here we are just at the finish line, taking up all the road for good effect in case Sky Sports news were waiting for us.  They weren't!
And a group photo, after the medal presentation, minus one Old Git who had gone off doing extras, like taking in Cheddar Gorge as an 'add on'.   The final mileage at the finish was 57.4 but, not content with that, I took the long way home to make the final mileage for the day 63.1, the longest distance covered in one outing.
Completed the 63 miles and still had a bit left in the battery.  If nothing else, the GWR has demonstrated the capabilities and capacity of the power supply.  Need not have been concerned about its longevity after all.  One negative aspect of the day was that Sparky lost the left hand handlebar plug that holds the bar tape on.  I suspect it is in the back of that old Luton van.

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