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Published: February 14th 2016
I always knew the first day was going to be the worst, however day 2 turned into a world of hurt. The early start is now becoming the norm and after the third night without proper sleep I was out through the start gate just after 7am. On paper today was the second toughest day. However, it started more to my liking with rolling hills and the weather was still hot, but one of the highlights of the entire ride happened today. Along one of the little country lanes a family was handing out water to all of the riders: it was a fantastic moment and sort of personified the support we got all along the route.
The first real climb of the day was Cothlestone Hill where we entered the Quantocks. This was a really tough climb, 10% and above for about 2 miles. We were greeted at the top by what I thought of as the cow bell team, ringing the cow bells cheering every one of us over the top and waving flags - a fantastic morale boost. The other big climb of the day was Cheddar Gorge. This is another long climb with really steep 26%
gradients near the bottom but flattening out to about 6% for the remainder. However at some point on the climb I pulled a muscle in my leg and the remaining 20 miles were complete misery. Every pedal stroke was a world of pain. I was convinced I had done myself a serious injury and would not be able to start the following day.
Eventually I got to Bath where we were greeted by a steel band and a bed for the night at Bath University. A trip to the physio fixed my leg and I was passed fit to start the next day. A chat with Tony over a beer also helped to get my mind back on the straight and narrow and I agreed to join his group the next day
Tot: 0.1s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 16; qc: 79; dbt: 0.0174s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.5mb