It's been a while but Jake and Nic got on their bikes and whizzed round Bredon Hill (16.5 miles). As we went anti-clockwise a whole host (collective noun?) of cyclists passed us on the clockwise circumnavigation of the Hill. It was plenty hot enough but there was enough of a breeze to stop the complete melt-down and we averaged 12.4 mph (happy with that), despite a few mardy moments as Nic managed to out-pedal Jake on a couple of the hills.
The week, however, has not been a catalogue of back-to-back cycle rides - far from it. Jake has had other calls on his fitness (as ever). A schools' country dancing festival on Friday - sweltering, followed by fund-raising at Nic & Philip's school which meant how far can you pedal on a static bike? Jake managed 0.72 miles in 2 minutes and was comfortably ahead of all other children (quite a relief, the training works!)
On Saturday, Nic and Jake spent a day by the River Avon. Idyllic, peaceful, calming -that would certainly be true if it wasn't for the fact that it was a bell-boating festival with 50 teams, adults and children,
competing throughout a very long day of cheering and shouting.
What a fantastic event!
Competing parishes were ultra-competitive, a theme not particularly replicated by the parents' event later on but there was an awful lot of water in the boats if that is an indicator of effort!
Jake had a row in the 'A' team for Year 5 and they won their first heat which was a thrill and set the level for the day. Eventually, with Jake returned to boat 'B,' they placed second twice and qualified for the 'C' final.
It is tremendous fun and highlights superbly the total lack of rhythm and timing some people possess. Whilst the occasional clash of oars and lifting of volumes of river water into the boats would be understandable in 9 and 10 year olds, this did not prove to be the case.
It was, in fact, the adults who paddled their boats as if bailing in water was a pre-requisite and who managed two spectacular crashes in the heats of the parents races. Boats with
experienced helms were propelled across 3 or 4 lanes 'taking out' fellow competitors and opening up free -water to others. Nic's team profited from one such incident and by some bizarre timing fluke found themselves in the 'A' final. Nic was required to row again having just dried out from the first race - thank goodness for the bikes because she and Jake had cycled down and a change into dry lycra, even in the heat was a relief.
If you ever get an opportunity to go bell-boating - GO! Great fun, excellent team spirit and a really recommended way to spend some time - just remember a towel & a change of clothes.