An almost perfect day

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

by Dave Atkinson   March 30, 2014  

Doynton tea stop

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.

13 user comments

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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! Smile

Vive Le Fantasy Cycling Game!

posted by enrique [1514 posts]
31st March 2014 - 0:15

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A fitting tribute, Dave.

Twitter: @velosam

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posted by SamShaw [250 posts]
31st March 2014 - 9:09

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I didn't get out over the weekend, but that sounds lovely. RIP Steve.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2940 posts]
31st March 2014 - 10:24

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That was such a cracking day. 130 miles and I wanted it to be longer.

posted by Mr Agreeable [131 posts]
31st March 2014 - 11:00

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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.

posted by Angeld [6 posts]
31st March 2014 - 11:09

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It would be nice if 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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posted by Martin Thomas [567 posts]
31st March 2014 - 15:44

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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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posted by giff77 [1036 posts]
31st March 2014 - 15:57

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+1 for Martin Thomas's sentiments

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posted by harman_mogul [114 posts]
31st March 2014 - 16:34

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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.

"Hey..... Let's be visible out there."

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posted by Neil753 [451 posts]
1st April 2014 - 1:58

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Days like that are the reason I ride a bike. And pieces like this are the reason I read 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.

posted by step-hent [650 posts]
1st April 2014 - 12:07

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Simply and beautifully put...... RIP......SW.


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posted by STEVESPRO 79 [479 posts]
1st April 2014 - 22:08

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Nicely put Dave - you summed up what so many of us have found tough to put into words.

posted by Alb [77 posts]
1st April 2014 - 23:15

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Dave Applause

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posted by cidermart [456 posts]
2nd April 2014 - 13:36

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