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They don't get much better than this. Enjoy them.

The day the clocks go forward. A morning that calls for a gilet and armwarmers, a forecast that calls for pocket space to stash them later. An easy spin to Long Ashton, a good espresso at the start. A leg-warmer through the estate, a decent clip to beat the worst of the queues at Hill, the finest cake stop in all of cycling. Pavlova, energy food of the gods. Gilet in the back pocket.

Onwards. A lung-buster up to the Somerset Monument, wine gums at the top, remembering last time, a year and 17°C distant. Winding up the pace again. An impromptu sprint across the common. There's a group in front and we don't say that we're chasing it down, but we both know we're chasing it down, so we chase it down. Pea and ham soup at Doynton. Armwarmers off, lying in the sunshine, thinking about tan lines.  A couple of wrong turns but it doesn't matter cause it's sunny and the legs still feel good. Easy miles heading North, the kicks up start to sting a bit, a nice kind of pain.

Sights set back on Long Ashton, obscured by the mass of Dundry hill. It kicks, then kicks again, then kicks again, then kicks again. It hurts, but the reward is the astonishing view over the Bristol Channel, as far as the Brecon Beacons. Scream back down grinning and before we know it we're back at base. More cake.

A swap of bikes, just for larks, which necessitates a swap of shoes. Roll through Bristol and dodge the fair-weatherers on the railway path as the wheels start to fall off a bit, gently. Ice cream and more espresso at Warmley station. We get a free one because the machine made two and he'd rather we drank it than it went to waste.

The very last leg. It feels like a headwind but it's mostly because we have nothing left. A slow drag back up to the two tunnels, turn off onto the final climb that we know inside out but it doesn't make it any easier, not today. A shake of hands at the lights, back home, collapse in the garden properly broken, share the rest of the wine gums with the kids.

These are the days we wait for, the perfect days. Make the most of them. Steve would have done, sure as eggs is eggs. Ride on, Mr Worland. Ride on.

http://www.strava.com/activities/125313081

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

13 comments

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enrique [2255 posts] 1 year ago
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Dave Atkinson wrote:

These are the days we wait for, the perfect days. Make the most of them. Steve would have done, sure as eggs is eggs. Ride on, Mr Worland. Ride on.

A beautiful sentiment, Mr. Atkinson. You made me cry. Touching. And here we are in the forum arguing over 50 points in a Fantasy Cycling game. Thanks for the perspective!  1

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SamShaw [264 posts] 1 year ago
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A fitting tribute, Dave.

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 1 year ago
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I didn't get out over the weekend, but that sounds lovely. RIP Steve.

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Mr Agreeable [166 posts] 1 year ago
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That was such a cracking day. 130 miles and I wanted it to be longer.

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Angeld [16 posts] 1 year ago
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I can remember being inspired to get my lazy 14yr old butt off the sofa from in front of the idiot box as a lad by the writings of Mr. Worland in MBUK, the fun and freedom that his words and an active imagination caused that chased me to the top of that hill, just to see what was there, and of course then to scream down as hard as my legs would take me to find the next one!

And I continue to enjoy it now, into my 30's, and hope I'm still riding when I take that last bunny hop of this mortal coil as well.

Ride safe, ride smart, but always ride hard and keep smiling.

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Martin Thomas [376 posts] 1 year ago
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It would be nice if road.cc blogs & articles etc had their own like buttons. I for one would have pressed it for this post. Great sentiment, beautifully expressed.

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giff77 [1191 posts] 1 year ago
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Great tribute. This is why we ride. The friendship, the vistas, the cake. RIP Steve. Roundly remembered.

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harman_mogul [208 posts] 1 year ago
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+1 for Martin Thomas's sentiments

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Neil753 [447 posts] 1 year ago
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A well written piece that epitomises what it's all about, and a fitting tribute to Steve Worland. I'm sure he was with you in spirit, Dave.

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step-hent [718 posts] 1 year ago
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Days like that are the reason I ride a bike. And pieces like this are the reason I read road.cc. Top stuff.

Like so many, Steve Worland was also a big part of my early cycling life - I started off a mountain biker, an avid MBUK reader and a tech geek because of people like Steve writing articles about cool stuff that I could only aspire to own. Now I'm a roadie, but I was thrilled when I saw the first Steve Worland piece on this site - a familiar name and style, with an authority on the subject that many wish for.

So thank you, Dave, for a cracking piece, and thank you Mr Worland for your contribution to the sport that gives me so much enjoyment. May the sun shine on you and the wind be always at your back.

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STEVESPRO 79 [531 posts] 1 year ago
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Simply and beautifully put...... RIP......SW.

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Alb [124 posts] 1 year ago
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Nicely put Dave - you summed up what so many of us have found tough to put into words.

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cidermart [486 posts] 1 year ago
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Dave  41