Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Day Ride

I can't remember the last time me and TSK went out for a ride together and the last time I got into double-figure miles in one road ride was October, or Mildenhall 200k in August, if you count over 20 miles as double-figures.

Talk about specialising.

I got pretty pissy with myself, climbing out of Sheffield on account of a roaring headwind and Andrew chewing at my back wheel or riding off in front, nothing in between.  It was my own fault, I was tired and hung over.  I eventually put him on the front when we got exposed across Moscar so a least I had the wind to slow him down and the draught to speed me up.

Going down to the Ladybower was satisfying though a little scary as I was riding my narrow timetrial wheel and tyres in my 'cross bike - lots of clearance on those brakes.  I only really needed them at the bottom and even then the lights were on green.

Headwind behind us and we rocketed through to Bamford where we sat on the benches around the tree in the centre of the village and ate our packed lunch and drank coffee from a flask.  Although it was cold I was OK wearing just baselayers, a fleece and my gilet.  This is possibly my new, improved cold resistance on account of all the weight I have gained.  It feels good.  Just as we started to get cold we set off again and soon warmed up on the tt section into Hathersage.

We turned right and headed over to Grindleford, enjoying the long straight alongside the swollen river and battling it out on some of the climbs.  TSK eventually surpassing my initial flight of fancy.  Then we were at the bridge and it was time to head home on the long climb up Froggat, which I churned out in my middle ring 42/28 ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP, including past the Fox House where yummy mummys unloaded their mammas and pappas-wrapped kids in time for dinner with granny served by some underpaid gurning student waiters.

Not many others out on the bikes but we said hello to a few.

The descent into Eccleshall was dreamy.  Out in the road, no traffic.  By now, most are eating their Christmas lunch in the mid afternoon.  No potholled bus lane for us.  The best of the tarmac.

We follow the road straight into town, up to Devonshire green where we sit to finish the last of our coffee with a bunch of international students drinking beer in the park.  I put on TSK's waterproof to keep the wind off and set off up to home.  Our toes are cold when we get in but it's a great excuse to sit down for more coffee (the last cup was only the size of an egg cup) and relax before cooking the beef.

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