I wrote the blog entry for day 1 before we all headed out for an evening meal (read about it here). We didn’t go far, just to the Beefeater next to the hotel, but work paid for it and most of the drinks. All was not well though. The organiser, who also happens to be a regional director for the company, was checking his emails in the bath at 6pm on a Friday night, which I guess is what regional directors have to do. He promptly slipped climbing out of the bath and badly hurt his ribs. At the bar of the restaurant we literally sequestered one member of staff to continually pull pints of Doombar. Two of us joked about painting the Forth Rail Bridge, which of course they no longer do.
The following morning it was still raining, but almost exactly as we set off it stopped. Once again the route was excellent, generally on quiet country lanes. Disaster struck again when someone’s crank arm fell off and had grab a lift from the support car to the nearest bike mechanic. This meant that the three of us who had pushed on missed the lunch stop and had to back track a couple of miles. Our own fault really.
The route then cleverly managed to avoid the large hill out of Chipping Camden, winding our way northwards. Various bits of road on this section I had ridden before, but not the very deep and wide ford we encountered just before the afternoon pit stop.
Funnily enough we all opted to use the bridge, although we did see two cars driving across. One was a 4×4, so no problem, but the other was a regular car and the water was over the bonnet. Not something that I would attempt.
The route then detoured onto traffic free cycle paths and entered Arrow Valley, where me and my beautiful wife had completed the swim part of Isoman last year (read about it here). The roads here were fairly amazing this close to Birmingham, in that they were so quiet, although there was one last monster of a hill.
Before I knew it, we were back at the car park and I was driving home. A brilliant two days riding, meeting some great people and having a blast. The two day route can be seen below.
Finally a big thank you to Phil for organising everything, and hopefully I will return next year for another great ride.