Countdown…7 days!

Picture of author's green Dawes Galaxy touring bike leant against the sign for Forde Abbey.

Galaxy in full touring trim at Forde Abbey

Today the weather was bright and sunny but with 25mph of westerly wind. I decided against my original idea for a long ride. Although it is tempting to ride as many miles as possible with one week to go before I start riding from Lands End, I suppose it’s more important to be rested and uninjured. Realistically I am unlikely to gain much more fitness now.

The weather forecast looked as if the wind would drop a bit in the afternoon so I waited until 15:30 before going out but it was still very windy. I did a few other LeJog related jobs. I am still tweaking the route and every time I go through a section I get a bit more familiar with it. I adjusted the straps on my helmet so it is a snug fit now that (hopefully) I will not be needing a beanie. I brought out my new Ortileb back roller panniers and packed them up with the things on my packing list and put them on the bike. I am keeping things as light as possible and the panniers weigh 6kg. A grab bag of Walkers Cheese and Onion crisps only weighs 50g so I can take plenty of them! I also use a front box for stuff I might need easy access to.

I set off at 15:30 without a plan and headed into Bridport. I had to stop and move the panniers back as my heels kept touching. I then headed out through Broadoak and felt myself drawn to Mutton Street, the hill that rises out of the Marshwood Vale to the village of Marshwood. The hill is about a mile long, 500 feet of ascent and a conservative estimate of the steepest bit is 18%. So it was good to get up that on the loaded bike. I wound my way up and down on small lanes lined with primroses and wood anemones to Forde Abbey. There is a magnificent fountain in the gardens which can offer entertainment on a hot sunny day.

I continued on to Winsham, Drimpton, Broadwindsor and then cut across to Loders before returning via the Bride Valley. 35 miles and just over 3000’ of ascent. Half a Lejog day – hopefully without the wind.

Husband had been busy buying gifts in my absence. There is a nifty cable lock for bike security.  It has taken him 10 exasperated minutes before I mastered how to use it.  The second gift is a flexible waterproof Bluetooth keyboard.

Gifts from he who must be obeyed.

Gifts from he who must be obeyed.

This is so I can type the blog easily when I am too tired to use the keyboard on my iPhone. The third gift is some Finishline ceramic wet lube – a small bottle to take with me. (For my bicycle chain)  Husband is keen on lube.

The Ride with GPS track is here.


5 thoughts on “Countdown…7 days!

  1. Peter Main

    Hi Barbara – You are right about not getting any fitter between now and when you start, best to arrive at the beginning fresh and rested. We are off to Edinburgh Sunday to look at more houses and see ‘the boys’. Then next weekend it’s Spain for a week and after that it’s up north to meet you and Steve. I can’t see myself being very cycling fit by the time we’re in position at Kylesku. I’m about to get out my summer bike now the salt is off the roads at long last. Anyway, good luck with the preparations and lets hope the weather is kind, especially to you and Steve.

  2. Ian Post author

    No Ian. The Bat and Steve start on the morning of Friday 26th. Time to start crossing fingers for decent weather.


  3. Ian

    Very good. If any emergency supplies are needed, I carry a decent range of spares and live quite close to the Day 2 stop at Tiverton Parkway – it would be no trouble to nip over. (Though looking at the packing list I think it’s more likely that you/they will be looking to offload gear than take on more!) All the best, Ian


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