Lincolnshire Cross 200km Audax

Looking for a bit of a warm up for the Moors and Wolds next weekend, and fancying trying a local event that didn’t start from Alfreton this this 200 looked perfect. Billed as a tour of windmills across lincolnshire (the term lincolnshire cross refers to a specifc type of mill common in lincolnshire which could have more than 4 sails (http://www.lincolnshiremillsgroup.org.uk/)) heading towards the coast at grimbsy. Though not quite to grimbsy itself, so I didn’t get to add another seaside town to the list.

Spent Pretty small field this time, gossip put it at between 23 and 26. The run out to Gainsbrough was pretty familiar as the route was a combination of a couple of the Alfreton runs, no stopping at Rosie’s this time though. Teamed up with Mark (morning if you’re reading) for most of these first 2 legs so got setting a good pace. Then it was onto new teritory as we headed up the first control at Mount Pleasant windmill. Unfortunately noone seemed to have warned the woman running the cafe that we were on our way and she went into panic mode. Tea and cake were obtained, and everyone self signed their Brevet cards for good measure.

The route now rolled across to Waltham just outside Grimsby. The roads were a bit more rolling, with a couple of unexpected steeper bits towards the end. The good pace set up till now really started to be felt and I dropped off the back, though ended  up getting to the control only a few minutes after the others. Control 2 was Waltham Windmill and again didn’t appear to have been warned we were coming. Luckily I got there before they ran out of beans so could have a ‘traditional’ audax lunch.

After lunch the route climbed onto the wolds and headed towards Lincoln. On the climbs I just couldn’t get into a decent rhythm and just settled into a decent plod. Then things got worse on top. I’d remembered how to pedal in circles, but the headwind had really picked up and was going to stay all the way to the end. Lincoln took a long long time to appear and I just about grovelled to the CoOp where everyone seemed to be free controlling. A quick picnic on the pavement seemed to put some more fuel in the tank.

Followed a good set of wheels out of Lincoln and up the A57. A decent pace line soon formed up behind the strong lads, but eventually even hanging on the back got a bit much. So dropped off the back just before the Trent toll bridge, and let them get out of sight so there wasn’t any stupid ideas of chasing them down. From here on I just pootled back to base at my own pace. The traditonal greeting from the Yoofs in the bus shelter at Tuxford was duly acknowleged and ignored. The rolling road through the woods at the end didn’t offer as much protection as I’d have hoped. Rolled back to Arrivee to find a decent sized group still sitting round with tea and rolls, so hung on for a bit of a natter before loading up and driving back to Nottingham.

The wind effect shows on the garmin stats, average pace for the last sections was about 4mph below the first 2!! The ride felt harder than the skeggy 300 thanks to the relentless grind. Hoping that it’ll pay itself back with a little bit more strength for the Moors and Wolds 400 next weekend. And I’m going to have to set some alarms on the garmin for that to really make sure I don’t blow up too early. But overall a good ride, though wasn’t too keen on the big run on the A57 on the way back. Nice to get a GPX file from the organiser as well, meant that getting everything sorted took  a bit less time.

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