It was overcast but the relentless wind that had tormented us all week had lessened somewhat as we set out to take on Enmore hill near Bridgewater. After a quick dash up past Banwell bone caves to start the hearts pumping we ambled down the Winscombe valley and then across the levels towards Mark. The sun came out and all was well until Duncan was caught by one of the many patches of subsidence, punctured and fell heavily. He was soon back on his feet displaying the classic cyclists injuries, a badly scuffed knee, elbow and shoulder. Less than twenty miles from home having left several square centimetres of skin on the road and bleeding from his injuries most normal humans would have understood if he had chosen to head for home but Duncan is a cyclist as it was hardly a surprise that he opted to fix the puncture and carry on. The pace was fairly brisk with the usual halts to allow the peloton to rejoin the breakaway, nobody thought to made allowances for Duncan, and nor did he require them; even by cyclists standards he is made of stern stuff.
We endured the brief horror of the A39 through Bridgewater before taking the turn towards Enmore. The road climbs for just over 4 miles although, officially, Enmore hill is the last two miles. Andy had dropped us several miles back and reached the summit some time before the rest of us tackled it. Katie, resplendent in her new kit, and having chosen to ride her black and white Canyon with tastefully matching socks, gave a demonstration of effortless superiority as she blatted past everyone to set the second fastest ladies time and reach the cafe whilst they still had coffee; she is a remarkable rider and it is a privilege to see her in action. Paul C, recently back on his bike after a romantic distraction, despite dreading the climb, reached the top without too much pain and completed the whole of his ride successfully. Pete G, recently back from some hilly rides in North Devon was in fine form. Most of us put our heads down and ground out the miles.
Coffee drunk and cakes consumed we dropped down from the top at a cracking pace to endure another section of the A39 to and through Bridgewater as we retraced our route across the levels before diverting towards Weston-super-Mare. Pete G and Merrion had the energy for some hard charging down the flat mile beside the railway as we approached Weston, but most of us were happy to let the mile roll by. Another splendid ride with the Wheeler’s; a great bunch of riders, a couple of hills, pleasant scenery, some good flat sections, coffee, cake and plenty of chat as we went along. You could ask for nothing more on a Sunday morning, to join us, check our website for the route, and meet us at Priory School at 09.00hr next week.