In the frozen Gloom at 07:02 & -4 degrees C Wendy Mears, Lynn Corr & Mark Brooking set off from Great Dunmow to enjoy a permanent Audax ride known as Dick Turpins day out. It was January 31st – the last chance for a Round the year Randonneur ride for this month.
Wendy’s chauffeur Jim and Digger-the-Dog were there to see us off before early morning walkies and a planned rendezvous at Wally’s café.
There was a wonderful wind assisted blast past Dick Turpin’s birth place and the main objective for the day was in sight – to make it to Wally’s for a Full English before the Frying pan was put away at 10:30. We got there in time for the works with tea & toast £4.00 a head.
Wendy was having trouble drinking – it turned out that the water in her bottle had frozen!!! By now it was a beautiful sunny day but the next leg had some seriously frozen stretches of tarmac which were crossed Gingerly without mishap.
Wendy’s WCC ice-lolly
The pub we used at Walsham Le Willows was not that good – no food available . So it was Jim & Wendy’s sandwiches with a round of Shandies before the next stage to Debenham.
Mark and Lynn’s Transport
Progress was slow and got slower as it got dark – we were ever mindful that there might be ice so the pace was cautious. We finally found Jim by an oasis in the darkness – Ok it was only a McDonalds – but at the time it was just what we could have done with 2 hours previously. The hot food and drink cured the shakes that I had developed. The staff were brilliant an wished us well for the last 25 miles back to the finish
I led us off in the wrong direction – funnily enough it was towards Wally’s at Acton long since closed for the day. Retraced back up the hill (!) and back on course.
There is a monstrous climb out of Sudbury – and by now it was really dark. Ever wary that the time limit was fast approaching we made steady progress as the temperature dropped again. Wendy punctured 8 miles from the finish. With a bit of an Adrenaline rush and the end nearly in sight we upped the snails pace to a brisk limp along the last B road to get back to Great Dunmow and the final cash point.
207 +km in 14hrs 13min.
A full day of fun and by now the temperature was a sweltering -2 degrees C.
Now its February & another rides calls……………………….
Wendy and Lynn – Doing what Audaxers do best!
Many thanks to Lynn and Wendy for their company and to Jim for keeping a watchful eye on us when the conditions were at their worst
Only another 11 months of 200km rides to go so that Lynn can get another badge!