Four Shires Sportive
Four Shires sportive
Date: Sunday September 23
Distance: 50mile and 100mile
The ride started on the edge of Moreton-in-Marsh but soon we were in open gently undulating countryside - even passing the historic Four Shires Stone, where the four counties of Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire used to meet before boundary changes in 1931.
With participants a nice mix of North Cotswold CC members, CFC supporters and unattached local riders, a mutually supportive ‘Blitz Spirit' formed in the face of rapidly deteriorating conditions.
While we could all appreciate the quaint cottages rolling past, longer-range sightseeing soon became tricky.
As the route headed up to the Cotswold Ridge, hardy riders had the option to break off and head on the 100-mile route, while the rest decided 50 was plenty in the circumstances.
More classic English villages came and went, before one final climb and then a soggy descent back to base.
In truth, while it was a shame the extreme weather upset things, that's often when you see the best of people. From the organisers to the riders, this was the very zenith of cycling spirit. And this year the sun will shine.
Total ascent: 50-mile route: 600m; 100-mile route: 1,050m
Terrain: Nice flat first 20 miles before things ramp up a little.
Best bit: Whizzing through beautiful Cotswold villages.
Worst bit: It was just a tad damp.
Try it yourself...
Although at the time of going to press the 2013 event wasn't listed on the website, we've just had news that it's all set to go ahead on September 22. Entries cost £18-£22 (50/100miles).