Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Life's Little Ups and Downs (mostly downs)

Saturday 31st dawned, Ray cried off. Another lonely 200 beckoned.

At least on this occasion I had cobbled together a route that contained some new roads, and therefore a bit more interest. Sure, I would be riding some roads well travelled on Audax events during the year, but the roads joining them together were new to me.

A 7:25 start was a little later than anticipated, but I was trying to keep riding in the dusk to a minimum as I am currently without my nice SuperNova Dynamo Light. That semi-died on the Cider with Rosie Audax when its capacitor blew. It's currently (subject to the foibles of the mail system) in Germany being repaired (and upgraded) free of charge. Love it.

The first sections to Market Harborough were lumpy, and it took until 10:30 to do the first 65km, but at least that meant Subway was open when I got there. The road to Southam was a "curates egg", good in parts. The section before Rugby was good, and largely quiet, the section afterwards maddeningly busy with dangerous traffic. I was even forced onto a cycle lane for a short section.

I made Southam by 12:45 and Stratford by 14:15, only 60km to go and the 5,000km award was in the bag! I know the road back from Stratford well, but it rarely takes as long as the three hours it took that afternoon. Such, I suppose, was the payback for being ill earlier in the week.

Nevertheless, I checked in at the local cashpoint for the finish receipt with an elapsed time of 9 hours 50.

I retreated home feeling chuffed. After eating I dragged together the receipts to attach them to the Brevet Card and despatch then to our local organiser, Danial, and get my official ratification.

The way that such rides work is that you obtain receipts/proof of passage at commercial establishments along the route to prove you were there, adding up the pre-ordained distances to get the allowed ride length.

Imagine my horror to discover no receipt or proof of passage from Stratford on Avon, and therefore no verifiable 200km to add to my running total and get the 5000km award. Like a wally, I had not picked up the receipt from the garage in Stratford, had no proof of passage and, worse still no more days on which to do another qualifying ride.

I have never felt so utterly dejected and miserable.

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