Puttering around North Oxfordshire this morning, checking in for the Rapha Women’s 100 (which has been moved from July because … who knows?)
Early morning fog, chilly arms even with the rain jacket, and the mist rising and falling with the hills and valleys. I cleared Oxford quickly and got into country lanes with almost no-one else around.

It was oddly serene – the angle of the sun was low, saturating colours, so that the blackberries in the hedges were a vivid purple-black against scarlet-turning leaves. Kites wheeled overhead (well, some sort of bird of prey. I know that there are kites in Oxfordshire so I’m extrapolating).

The course rolled steadily upwards for the first 40km – it’s something I pulled together, with the only real aim being to pass through the Rapha store in Bicester to get free coffee. Then levelled out and got a bit busier; still not really warmer.

I coasted back into Oxford after the free coffee & noodled for the rest of the day. Looking through twitter and other hashtags, I wonder a little at people’s packing for this. Gels, more gels, food … maybe there’s something weird with my system, because I just don’t need that for one ride of this sort. I took a nut/dried fruit bar and ate less than half of it.

What I should have focussed on was water: I drank a couple of bottles but it obviously wasn’t enough, judging from the quest for “something to drink” that recurred throughout this afternoon after I’d finished.

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