Breakfast in Bampton Audax – November 2019 – floods, smiles and stoicism!

This was our route – with some of us completing 102km (Geoff, who had been struggling with his asthma, has asked me to thank everyone who waited for him and supported him round the shorter route) and some completing the full audax at 113 km:

IMG_0824 (2)

But just where were the promised sunny intervals for this ride?  Nowhere in sight yesterday, that’s for sure :).  We have managed a few pics at the very bottom of this report but they do not begin to do justice to what we witnessed on our ride.  Significant flooding from the off and cyclists having to decide whether to risk seriously deep water (certainly above pedals and wheel hubs) or wading knee deep with bicycles held above the head, or turning back, over and over again … and a landscape either side of the road transformed with extensive lakes where meadows and arable land would be more normal.  Liskeard Velo was a group of nine but within five minutes of the start we were split up by the flooding and found it tricky to keep in touch (phones didn’t want to work in the heavy rain) and to continue to navigate the unfamiliar route.  All of this sounds pretty negative, which I don’t mean to be because, of course, it was a day of adventure and by the time we were sitting down for supper, warm and dry in clean clothes, we were thinking we had all had a lot of fun.

Breakfast in Bampton 1

Lots of lessons to learn – and for me, when your phone just says, ‘no thank you’ in periods of very heavy rain, perhaps the most important for any audax is to learn the route properly!  Maps, instructions, phones and Garmins all become redundant in very poor weather.

We all had a great time – memorable but great (and I haven’t even mentioned Geoff’s brakes, lack of; Keith’s puncture; or Anna’s great achievement in tanking round her first 70 miler) – and will look forward to repeating the adventure next year.  A big thank you to David for putting our Liskeard Velo group together and for Sarah and the organisers for all their work in delivering the event.

 

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