Chalke and Cheese 2024

Ride Details

Series 5 Audax Season 2023-24, Ride number 3

Ride Stats

Ride Notes

The forcast was benign if rather cold and I set off early to Warmley with lots of clothing options.

Because of all the recent rain the main tunnel at Bath was closed - so after the usual blast down the Cycle path we diverted ‘over the top’ to Midford meaning a brutal early climb rather than the run through the tunnel. From there things went pretty well - I hooked up with a small group and on the run into Ginny’s got chatting with and experienced Audaxer, Gordon. He’d not entered C&C before but decided to go with my usual plan… which is to not stop at Ginny’s, except for a card stamp, and press on to Broad Chalke.

There was plenty of standing water in the Wylie valley and the river had burst its banks in places. The run from Wilton to Broad Chalke was great - with a nice climb to warm us up. From there it was also lovely all the way to Gillingham - where we picked up a tow from a guy who had a better engine than both of us. We couldn’t hold him so the section to Bruton was a bit of a slog. There we stopped at the garage in prep for the triple climb between Bruton and Shepton - which I moaned about the whole way (gratuitous it is - you could go on a lovely route via Pilton without the #willshills).

Then onto Wells, and a possible stop at the Wookey Hub which was derailed as it was closed, and then Wedmore. The Pumpkin cafe was open - so after a card stamp in the shop I suggested a stop for a coffee and Gordon joined me. I’d been flagging on all the climbs so the Gorge was a bit of a trial, and I was worried for the last brutal climb towards Keynsham. Once we got over the Mendips the temp dropped a lot so the climb came as a bit of relief from the cold. It was as feared - steep, muddy and generally horrible…. but I didn’t do the walk of shame and managed to hold Gordon to a few metres.

Back to the Hollybush where we were treated with fireworks on the run in as there was a display going on.

A good day but pretty slow… much slower than both 2020 and 2022, although a little faster than 2023.

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