Preparation began early on a rather chilly Sunday autumnal morning, the usual meet at the school got us off on a 7 mile warmup via Gotherington. I can personally assure you that it was pretty darn cold and numb fingers were handed out regardless of your scottish roots! Chris and Ryan went with bare legs and it turned out that some of the other riders decided to do the same, myself and Digger chose not to abide by rule #5 and put some warm legs on.
After signing in and getting our stamp cards the group made their way to the start at the foot of Corndean Lane, unsurprisingly one group became two with the strongest riders ripping up a 9% Corndean leaving a small group of three musk-a-wheelers with the personal challenge of not falling to the back of the pack. I’m pleased to say we held our own and managed to get to the top … in the end!
Thinking that was the hardest done and dusted and it might be plain sailing from here on in was not the best mindset. The first 3rd of this ride was filled with ups and downs mostly comfortable with the exception of one particular climb roughly after Cowley, not brutal but an unexpected creeper!
The first check point was a welcome sight where we were met by our superb support team and club treasurer Neil, who took some pictures and replenished us with liquids, energy snacks and reports of slick tandem dismount talents. At this point we’re getting familiar with the group and recognising faces, faces we would later discover we’d pushed pass and that they’d be waiting for us at the next check point?! Somewhat baffling to begin with we soon realised due to our inability to navigate that we might have taken a detour!! Not just one detour but many!! You can add an extra 4/5 miles in-fact!!
The majority of the middle ride was pretty flat, the three musk-a-wheelers (Mik, Ryan and Elliott) managed to gain some ground between check points and stay fairly grouped with the other riders until we started hitting some of the later climbs which slowed us down a little due to lack of energy levels but, we will all improve on this as time goes by. The main reason for staying with the other riders was to reduce our ability to get lost on route! Perhaps we should also suggest the Winchcombe CC should lay on some signs next time for the numpty’s who managed to get lost this time around!
So the final stretch was down Campden Lane leading to Castle Street which was a welcome and rapid decent wheeeee…. then to the Scouts HQ to hand in our cards and get a nice cuppa with a biscuit or some cake.
Respect to Chris who managed to get in a cracking time, same goes to Digger who decided to stay on his bike after the finish and put in another 20+ miles pushing his total riding distance just over 100 miles, good going Digger and well done for completing your Gran Fondo! All in all it was a really good day, apart from the chilly start the weather was pretty good to us and we look forward to the next club event – happy and safe riding.