in the Cotswolds
K1, K2, Dave, Frank
Non-cycling London-based consultant
‘Struggle’ – some definitions
make a strenuous or labored effort; to
exert strenuous effort against opposition; an
energetic attempt to achieve something; clamber: climb awkwardly, as if by scrambling;
So, John was
forecasting a personal struggle – this struggle included zipping up every hill
unchallenged and taking the Mike role for a storming lead-out over the last five
miles that had a number of the peloton in serious trouble – the final Saturday
sprint was a formality. Oh, how I
would love this kind of struggle!
The Joy of the Cotswolds
easy to get to, the cycling is scenic and challenging, and there are a number of
good pubs en route. Furthermore, if
you choose the correct weekend, after some early mist you get blue skies and
warm sun – one week later it’s gales and buckets of rain. The Cotswolds – an excellent choice for the autumn ride.
problem occurred at the start when John, confused by the two Ks, failed to
locate either K’s house and had to be ‘talked in’.
The remainder of the cycle navigation relied on a conventional paper map,
with an added bonus that it resided in John’s back pocket, necessitating
frequent stops much appreciated by the genuine strugglers.
Day One Tour
early mist cleared this was an excellent ride with a sunny pub garden for lunch.
The weekend’s sole ‘mechanical’ was a malfunctioning speedo due to
your reporter’s inability to install the front wheel the correct way round.
The afternoon tea stop demonstrated the Cotswold’s ability to match
London prices; a cup of hot water and a tea-bag – that’ll be £2 please guv’.
A 48 mile spin.
brothers were billeted in The Oddfellows Arms and this hostelry provided the
evening’s base. A couple of beers
to celebrate a quite excellent world championship women’s road race won by
Nicole Cooke and then a venture out to a real ale pub with a notoriously grumpy
landlord, who turned out to be grumpy. Not
trusting his food, we then returned to the Oddfellows for dinner.
After dinner some action is required to fend off drowsiness, so a pub
with dartboard is the bee’s knees; in this case the pub actually was the
Bee’s Knees! As noted in previous
reports the standard of darts was quite appalling; Frank, after no practice for
a year and playing with borrowed arrows, was easily the best player.
The invite to return to the Oddfellows for a nightcap was politely
declined by the B and B Team; there was a hope that the Reays’ nightcap would
turn into a serious session, but their Sunday form indicated otherwise.
Fortunately Dave’s plan for an 8am breakfast (why?) was changed to a
much more civilised 9am.
For the lazy
pedaller a cycle along the river valley sounds the McCoy; mainly flat with the
occasional five foot climb. Unfortunately
this particular Cotswold river ride involved multiple crossings of the river and
a continuous series of short steep climbs and descents; K2, with a lack of low
gears, spent considerable time out of the saddle, but heroically avoided any
walking. The descents were pretty
dodgy in the dry – probably best avoided in the wet.
It has to be admitted that the scenery was excellent, a fine reward for
the effort. The lunchtime pub was really something special; a traditional
Cotswold inn with no doubt an expensive interior redecoration in the Camden wine
bar style. It must be to provide a
welcome for the metropolitan second home owners.
The final sprint was hotly contested with one minor problem – there did
not appear to be a finishing line. 38
miles of reasonably tough terrain.
of the Cotswolds – despite traffic jams, a relatively short journey, getting
home in the light….and with the roof down - it feels a bit like cycling, but
doesn’t require any pedalling!