Sunday 30 December 2012


Rapha Festive 500

Yesterday's ride hurt and my legs ached this morning, so it was a relief to see the weather was good with gusts of only 24mph.  I wasn't going to make the same mistake as yesterday so my planned route today was out into the wind with fresh legs and a return with a good tail wind.

Since it was going to be a dry day I decided to save the bib-longs until tomorrow and wore my Rapha bib-shorts, knee warmers, jersey and soft-shell jacket.  The most effective piece of kit today: embrocation, specifically chamois cream.  I planned to ride another 70 miles and (let's be honest) you should look after your contact points.

Shaw's corner

My ride initially followed the route from Christmas eve but at Codicote I continued to Welwyn village and then climbed up to the Ayots and Shaw's corner, the home of George Bernard Shaw until his death in 1950.

“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” - George Bernard Shaw.

From the Ayots I cycled up Wheathampstead hill to No Man's Land common and across to Harpenden.  My destination for today's pedal was Simon Barnes' superb cyclists' cafe, The Hub, in Redbourn.

The Hub was suprisingly quiet today and whilst sitting enjoying my double shot latte with a slice of coffee & walnut cake I perused the selection of books and spotted The Cycling Anthology.  I had seen the 5* reviews of this before Christmas and, since I knew Lionel Birnie (the joint editor of the book) frequented The Hub, I had emailed Simon to ask if he planned to arrange a book signing event.  I mentioned my email to be told that Simon was out cycling with Lionel that morning and that he'd signed a copy of his book for me earlier. Result!

My return cycle route took me over Dunstable Downs and then home via Leighton Buzzard and Woburn deer park.

 A topiary Christmas pudding. Excellent!
39 miles left for tomorrow to complete the 500km challenge. And the weather forecast - more rain :-(

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