DaExeterRide20080427

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Merry Monk 100 km Audax

27th April 2008 - Debbie Ironside-Smith

High Ham

Robin Wheeler at the start

Arrived in Somerset for my 4th Audax - getting quite keen on these I must say!! Having looked at the weather forecast before I left the Met Office said no rain until 4 pm - as it happens at 4 pm the rain did start how wierd is that!

Couldn't believe how many people were there when I arrived it turned out that there were 120 of us on this ride that is the most yet, there was a good turnout from the Exeter CTC with Kirby, Robin, David, Martin, Linda & Yvonne and Geoff Sharpe from the Torbay Section - we were sent off the start in batches to avoid too much lycra in one go I guess or to give the motorists a chance on the lanes!!

I rode off with Robin, (while Kirby took pictures of everyone starting!) and a fair few others, we did very well on the undulating course! Until we came to a very steep hill which I am ashamed to say I had to get off and walk by the time I got to the top I was on my own with no signpost and having lost my place on the route sheet whilst panting up the hill - I was standing scratching my head when a very nice man came up behind me and shouted "Left" - which was very convienient for me! So off I trundled on my own as voice man stayed behind to wait for his mate, Coffee was at Forde Abbey which had a wonderful down hill to get there which left me wondering which way was after coffee!! The Loos had wonderful doors into them - very cute!

Forde Abbey

Rob Lake's fractured down tube

After Forde Abbey it was off up another hill, we were wondering why the ride was called the "Merry Monk" when Robin came up with the idea that to get up all the hills with a donkey and cart the Monks would have had to have been very, very Merry indeed!! (The home brew must have been excellent!). Through some villages with wierd names like Mosterton (I think they left out the "N"!, Bradford Abbas ( I thought they came from Sweden), Drimpton then onto Sherborne for Lunch!

Unfortunately Rob Lake's down tube fractured on a bump just before the lunch stop - fortunately he wasn't going very fast - and was able to limp into the lunchtime control where the marshals were able to arrange a lift back to the start.

Sherborne

After lunch we came across the following - I don't know what they have against cats in Somerset!

Cool or what!

We also met a very friendly chap in a recumbrant - who let me take his photo as my Father-in-Law (Gavin) is looking for a bath chair - maybe Johnnie could rig a motor on the back for him to get up the hills!! Think this would suit you Gavin!

We then cycled on to Mudford, Limington past various more broken signposts ( they have a lot of vandals in Somerset all down the route sheet it was one broken signpost after another!!) Eventually we found the hill that would take us back up to High Ham for the finish which wasn't as bad as I had been led to believe!! Maybe it was the thought of tea & cake that got me up there in double quick time!! Robin & I arrived at the hall just as the clouds turned black having done - 66 miles in 5 & a half hours and average speed of 13.71 - Max speed 32.46 so I was very chuffed with that - how many jelly babies would that be Kirby? I wonder if Pippa has stocked up on fig rolls yet as there is a national shortage of them - race you to Sainsbury's first!!

Kirby & Geoff came in shortly after us and sat down for a well deserved cup of tea!!


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