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NEARLY STONEHENGE 200

Outside Whitchurch control

Her first audax – a quick learner!

Plaque outside the Whitchurch control indicating that it was the birthplace of former Master of the Rolls, Lord Denning

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Arrivée Summer 2016 • No.133

how some will do it and some won’t) and a few biscuits at the HQ, I decided it was appropriate to take the opportunity for serious food intake – yes, despite how much I had stocked up the evening before! I didn’t have the full English but I had something very similar, as did a number of others including a lady on her first audax – obviously a quick learner! On coming out of the control I spotted the plaque on the wall indicating it was the birthplace of the former Master of the Rolls, the late Lord Denning. I decided it was worth a photo. I also decided it was time to remove longs and long-sleeve top. Actually it had been time for it some miles back and most had sensibly already done so, but being me I don’t like stopping any more than necessary between controls. The next leg was just under 15km to the info control at Wildhern (68km) and then to the next info control at Ludgershall war memorial (83km). This involves a particularly nice few miles through lanes partly wooded and with nice views around Chute Forest. Very pleasant even though you had to suffer for having had a fast descent! Onwards from Ludgershall along the A3026 to Tidworth, it was on turning left onto the A338 that I studied the route sheet carefully as this was the point where I went off-route in 2015. I managed to avoid a ‘repeat performance.’ The route goes past Bulford army camp and then there are good views of Salisbury Plain for the final 10km to Amesbury control. It’s an exposed road so I was pleased there wasn’t the headwind there was in 2015 – particularly demoralising having lost so much time going off-route! Just before Amesbury is the one short part of the route which perhaps isn’t so great, involving a big and quite busy roundabout and passing industrial and retail outlets. However, it didn’t last long and parts of the centre of Amesbury are very nice. I decided the old-world buildings were worth a photo. The control was the Friar Tuck cafe and considering what I had at Whitchurch I was amazed – yes, even for me! – to feel hungry enough for more than a light bite. I hesitated wondering if I was thinking I was more hungry than I was. However, as there was still 108km to ride in a hillier area than normal for me I resolved I was worrying too much – lasagne, chips and salad went down well. Having emptied a pot of tea, I decided to have a banana milk shake. I had done that before at the Oundle control on the Cambridge Pork Pie 200 and it really hit the spot to get me through the final 50 km or so. I’ve been pondering why that is. I’m sure it’s because of the milk, which is supposedly isotonic and particularly so if they have ice cream in them, which also has milk in it (I’ve mentioned before that ice cream seems to go down well on tough rides, at least for me). Getting out of Amesbury was quite busy. A number of main roads converge there and closeness to Stonehenge might be another factor. Being honest, I also lost a bit of time by initially misreading the instruction and starting to go towards Stonehenge, climbing a bit of a hill before realising my mistake.

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Arrivée 133 - Summer 2016  

Arrivée is the free magazine of Audax United Kingdom, the long distance cyclists’ association, which represents the Randonneurs Mondiaux in...

Arrivée 133 - Summer 2016  

Arrivée is the free magazine of Audax United Kingdom, the long distance cyclists’ association, which represents the Randonneurs Mondiaux in...

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