Today I decided to be indecisive

Yesterday I made all the decisions, what to wear, which bike and when I would bail out. I had studied the map most carefully and much though I wanted to cycle to East Meon, as I had once visited a school chum who used to live there and I have never been back, I thought that the ride back to W Horsley would get me home long after my elder daughter had departed following her flying visit. And as teenagers like lying in bed I would have been long gone before she surfaced.

Today, I put one top on but a few minutes later changed my mind having felt the chill when I let the chickens out of their house. I was aiming to leave by 7.50 but my indecision meant it was 7.55. It is 16.8 miles to Elstead so I was going to have to get the wings on. I had chosen the grin machine, currently sporting the power tap hub so I have all the stats to see how the legs were shaping up. One hour and 5 minutes at an average speed of 15.37 mph and an average (normalised – see one of my earlier blogs which defines normalised power or look here,-intensity-factor-training-stress) power output of 198 watts including the climb up the Farnham Road to the Hogs Back from central Guildford and into Elstead via Shackleford.

To my great delight John W joined us for the ride making excellent progress in his recovery. Lead by Nick and with a host of regulars, seven of us set out for Lasham. Nick definitely finds interesting routes around Farnham – via Rowledge – and enjoys taking the wrong turn somewhere north of the A31 on the way to Well. In deference to John the 21.9mile to Lasham took 2 hours 8 minutes, an average speed of 10.2 mile and an average (normalised) power output of 123 watts. Don J was just leaving as we arrived and Dane was finishing his drink. Do I have the lemon meringue pie or cake? There are times when even a choice of two things is too much choice. Cake wins.

Bailing out, as the was the original intention, means about a 70 mile run, I get to see my daughter but I would like to see East Meon again. I phone home and say that I have changed my mind. I am going to East Meon.   We climb on the bikes, the sun goes in and I get those nagging doubts. 2 hours to East Meon, an hour for lunch, almost 50 miles home, easily going to be well over 100 miles and a very late time home. As we set off from Lasham airfield I change my mind again – I am going to bail out; even the suggestion of a train ride from Petersfield back to Guildford doesn’t sound like the right option. Catch up with Nick and share the news.

33.2 miles to home, average speed 15.6 mph and average (normalised) power 154 watts (no big hills). Home by 2:30. Yes it was the right decision.

The power tap hub always draws comments so for the record the actual power stats were:

Instantaneous peak: 708 watts

5 seconds sustained: 625 watts

30 seconds sustained: 430 watts

1 min sustained: 356 watts

2 min sustained: 291 watts

3 min sustained: 273 watts

4 min sustained: 266 watts

5 min sustained: 263 watts

10 min sustained: 244 watts

15 min sustained: 232 watts

20 min sustained: 214 watts

30 min sustained: 205 watts

40 min sustained: 205 watts

60 min sustained: 202 watts

Not my personal best; maybe Paul is right – you slow down with age and I won’t catch up with the 25 year olds.

Suspect I would have to get a therapeutic use exemption for my asthma drug to enable me to claim I was drug free but Chris Froome won’t be loosing any sleep over my stats



Dorset Delight – G2’s Gone West

Eleven riders (Hilary, Roger, Dave, Carol, Sue and Paul, Brian and Helen, Nick and Marion) headed West on the Bank Holiday Weekend. Our base was the Rising Sun Pub in Middlemarsh a very popular local watering hole, which is midway between Sherbourne and Dorchester. We were joined by Paul G, who came up from his Dorset cottage.


Saturday turned out to be a lovely day after a dull morning. We headed out to Yetminster, which is a very pretty village with stone cottages, for coffee at the On the Boil Café and Gallery. Then South via Rhyme Intrinseca on the NCR 26, which became a track through farmland as it crossed the Dorset Downs where we had our only puncture of the weekend. Eventually we picked up the Frome valley and a quiet Roman road, which led us into Dorchester where we arrived at the old Castle, the scene of hangings in Hardy’s time. After a café lunch we headed back North along the Piddle valley passing signs to Tolpuddle the scene for an agricultural workers revolt.

Sunday was a bit cooler and we headed North to Sturminster Newton where we visited the old water mill which is celebrating its millennium this year. We had a coffee and cake in a local pub and then headed for Blandford Foum along the Trailway, which is an old railway track encountering a marathon running event for the first mile. Beaton’s Tea Shop was our posh lunch stop in Blandford Forum. We a passed over the Stour near Bryanston Private School and headed up onto the Downs, where we were rewarded with fine views North. The climbing was overcome by the promise of tea and cake at the Hambro Arms in Milton Abbas. This is a very pretty village with two rows of thatched cottages built by the local aristocrat in Milton Abbey. A cricket match was in progress on the playing field in front of the Abbey and house, which is now a private school. We almost made a detour to pass through Folly and Plush, not to mention Piddletrenthide, but headed for Mappowder instead (what is the origin of these amazing Dorset names?!)


Monday’s forecast was not good for the afternoon so six of us headed North West to the National Trust’s Tudor Montacute House for coffee. The house was built on the edge of a very picturesque village and was the setting for Greenwich Palace in the TV production of Wolf Hall.

We all agreed the weekend was great fun and are planning next year’s venue already.

Paddy Shea’s funeral, Monday 16 May

2.45 at Woking Crematorium

Paddy’s son Paul writes:

“Past and present members of the club are most welcome to attend, my dad’s one big passion in life was cycling and he successfully transferred that to me, although my fitness has dropped off in the last couple of years following the arrival of our daughter Nuala – time is too short.

“I can recall the last time I cycled with him. It was his birthday in the late 90’s and we cycled down to The Haven on a beautiful July day. On the way back we cycled up Newlands Corner from Albury – I waited an age at the top but eventually my dad’s bobbing head appeared….he assured me he hadn’t walked!”