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08/09/2013      The Flashy Venetian Audax 215k
Another hilly 200k ticked off the list well, I say ticked off, it was a lot lot lot harder than that...
This time the Audax "permanent" event called "The Flashy Venetian". 215k altogether, 2750m climbing.
We started from Wirksworth, headed NW to Macclesfield, obv taking in rather a lot of upwards incline
before a big long descent from the Cat and the Fiddle. Then we headed into flatter areas (bloody headwind mind you)
SW through Middlewich to a small place called Bunbury with a *fantastic* cafe.

Next stretch strayed back eastwards and stayed flattish to begin with before hitting us with some serious hills
in the second half (I only remember a warning of a 1 in 7 but that's only because they couldn't be bothered
to warn you about the others) - finishing at Tittesworth Water just N of Leek. From there things took a dive for the worse,
first time in a long time I have had to stop on a hill for a breather - and I needed to do it TWICE (aaagh).
It was about 7pm and I was seriously beginning to wonder if I would make it back in the time limit if they were going to
hit us with many more hills like that.

Across the Roaches, remote, unfamiliar and getting dark, to the "Highest village in Britain" (Flash),
across to Longnor, hit Crowdecote hill in the dark, which might be a good thing,
although I do know that hill from previous encounters (only one stop required for a breather - seriously tired by this point
but we were at around 180k). A welcome (flat) if surreal 10k stretch on the High Peak trail in the dark before heading to
Matlock, then up that bloody hill from Cromford back to Wirksworth to finish 215k, 2750m climbing.

We did over 1000m less climbing than two weeks ago but I wasn't feeling it when we set off,
and it was a hard day in the saddle. Bloody hard, felt much, much harder than two weeks ago.
Start time 8:25am, finish time 10:25pm (an hour to spare in the end, phew). Not commuting by bike tomorrow!
Great weather in the end though, and great company as always - thanks Matt and Chris for babysitting me
and putting up with my Roaches and self-doubt.

25/08/2013      The Dark & White Peak 200k Audax
This is the ride I did on Sunday with Matt and a friend Chris. 200k, about 4,500m climbing
(ignore the Garmin stats for elevation, they are, as often is the case, wrong). Possibly the hardest ride I have ever done
as it includes Winnats, Holme Moss, Mam Nick, loads of sharp climbs in the white peak, then finishes with our beloved Cressbrook

(I did the dog-leg Cressbrook, not the straight-up super hilly one). The bang down the hill from there was what
brought my average speed up to just tip over to 20kph! I knew I'd finish the ride, but I was up against the Audax time limits
all day and didn't think I'd make within the limit at times, but in the end finished with 25mins to spare (phew)
after 14hrs total.
With those stats, I'm glad I didn't attempt the longer Sheffrec Monty ride in early April in the weather we had then! - but
if anyone is up for the Full Monty next year (200k, similar elevation stats) I'm game...

30/06/2013      The Alfreton 400k Audax
Well I finished the 400k. Started at Alfreton yesterday 06:20, finished 05:00 this morning.
Summary stats : 405k, ave 24.1kph. Overall in parts the best and in other parts the worst ride I've ridden.

The last 60k definitely in part the hardest thing I've done, although hitting a long 17% climb at the 225k stage
straight from the control wasn't nice either! Had 4 hrs sleep, looking forward to an early night!

5/05/2013      The Skegness 300k Audax
Did a 300k Audax yesterday, Alfreton to Skeggy and back. Nice to enjoy some sun at last,and so the kit was out all day,
but now got some seriously dodgy cyclist tan lines that will no doubt last all year... Don't laugh!
Did the ride with Matthew Hallam and our friend Chris so the ave speed is higher than normal
as for once I had some prolonged periods of help, aka wheel sucking.
Obligatory wheels-in-sand photo at Sutton-on-sea.

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