Today's stage report will be series of unconnected fragments, because all available energy has to go to my legs, leaving no extra for my brain.
Bullet point #1: when Mr. Cook spends a lot of time talking about nice downhills, he's hiding something. And that something is ridiculous hills that pop up put of nowhere at 15% or more. He did vaguely mumbled something about grippy sections on the line this morning. I will take this under advisement for future briefings.
2: my ankle took quite a while to warm up, but then was pretty good, with the assistance of ibuprofen and some good blue gel stuff that made it all tingly at the pit stops. Treatment regimen will continue.
3: I was prepared for rain today, and I was not disappointed. That is all I will say about the weather.
4: we rode through some gorgeous countryside today, and climbed some pretty serious hills. We also managed to duck into Wales for a brief stretch, just to cover all the Great Britain bases.
5: apparently, Bath is built on seven hills, including the one which holds the race course. This led me to make snide comments to myself along the lines of "who do they think they are, Rome?". It took until lunchtime for me to remember the Roman origins of the city. Again, energy going to legs, not brain.
6: today was my first time wondering if I could make it up something. And the answer to that, so far, is yes. I'm so glad I changed the cassette on my bike however. The biggest concern I have now is that my ankle makes it really painful to climb out of the saddle. I'm hoping the 28 tooth cog on the back means I won't have to.
7: as we get farther south, there are more and more day trippers (people doing just the day's stage). You can tell who they are every morning because they are very clean, and very energetic. R and I entertain ourselves with snark about them, but I find myself quite seriously scornful. Particularly when they talk about how they're "doing the Ride Across Britain!" Excuse me, you're doing one day of RAB. Have a good ride!
8: I have been thinking today about why I'm doing this ride, particularly in the context of trying to explain to the girls why I spent so much time doing something so hard that hurt so much. I'm still working on the answer, but it is, in part, because doing something this hard by choice means that I know I'll be able to do the hard things that come along that I don't have any control over. And that is a very important thing to know.
9: I never thought I would ever say this, but I am really, really tired of eating All. The. Time. It was fun for a while, but now it is just a chore. Bah. Also: trying to take pictures of yourself while on the bike is really quite difficult, as evidenced below.
Right, enough disjointedness. Day 7 done, on to day 8 and the lovely (ha ha ha) hills of Somerset.
Day 7: 91/741/~953