On Thursday the forecast for Friday didn't inspire me to cycle to Fowlmead again. By Friday morning the forecast had improved slightly but there was still likelihood I'd get wet. By the end of my shift the forecast for the afternoon said no rain until five pm, but by then I wasn't finding the prospect of cycling to Fowlmead appealing anyway.
This morning when I got up, and although I didn't feel as tired as the morning before (after cycling to Fowlmead Wednesday) I decided to skip breakfast in order to have more time for the ride to work. The morning felt definitely cooler and my legs felt not up to pushing for speed so I kept to a steady pace and for once barely broke out into a sweat (in comparison). I had the usual banana and snacks once at work.
By the time I'd left work I had decided to cycle down to Monkton via Cliffsend and Minster. The new-ish dual carriage way from the top side of Cliffsend down to Monkton runs parallel with the backroads, and in between these two routes are country lanes and bridleways which I would use to get some hill climbing in. They're not particularly steep or long hills however, and to top it all off, the wind assisted me up them all on this part of the route. Some of the bridleways I ended up climbing twice, once on the outbound to Monkton, and once on the return to Minster. One of the bridleways along there is unfortunately always overgrown and despite my hopes for it to be otherwise, today was no exception. My legs will be tingling from nettle rash for a day or so, and both times I had to stop at the end to pull dry wild oats out my socks and shoes and de-clog the rear cassette. On the second run the rear brake became clogged and it appeared as if the disc surface had corroded and braking using it sounded as if the rear pads had worn away to the metal. A couple of miles later it was fine however.
From Minster I took to the roads that would lead to the bridleway which ends at the top end of Shotendane road. From there travelled South-East and then North-East before heading West along the clifftops.
I haven't replaced my Bryton GPS computer which stopped working several months ago (which was a replacement under warantee for the one which got damp inside it and stopped working - this one does not locate satellites any more) so I didn't know how far I'd been and was eager to map it out on the computer using Viking GPS so I could get an idea of the distance.
I was expecting the route to look quite convoluted (imagination while cycling), as I had taken various detours to deliberately cycle off road and up hill. My second run up the bridleway climb out of Minster felt good as if it was doing something, but from there it was quite some miles before any further climb of any substance. I was pleased to find the second off road climb I took in Thanet also felt like it was doing something, but on the whole, there weren't any climbs in the ride which were as challenging as I need them to be.
Having drawn out the route I was also slightly disappointed to find it only twenty two miles, still, I rode twenty six miles on Wednesday from work to Fowlmead and back again, plus an estimate of eighteen miles while at Fowlmead, plus the week's commuting distance which leads me to believe I've cycled roughly one hundred and ten miles this week. Not bad, my legs acknowledge they've done something, but I want to do better in the weeks leading up to the Brighton Big Dog.