Saturday, December 10, 2016

And back at it - A Peak 50 miler

Saturday - Road ride 51 miles, 4:39:06, 1516m el.

I will not lounge on the sofa.  I will chose the best day of the weekend to go out on my bike.  I mean I want to swim / run but I also want to ride and I don't want to do it on a cruddy day... it'd be nice to swim today so I have a day off before I swim again on Monday... and go to yoga on Tuesday but I will just pick the best day and go for a ride... I so want to go out on my bike.

Excuse granted.  Saturday is to be the better day with a glimmer of sunshine and one whole degree warmer than Sunday.  So we sprung off the sofa at 9:30 and got dressed and were out the door by 10:20. 

I wasnt' feeling nearly so sprightly as last weekend as we rode up to friends to feed the cats.  Then powered out over Rhod Moor and joined the A57.  Flitting between coat on / zip up / zip down, my fleece was doing most of the work.  We took the back road to Hope where we stopped for lunch as we were a full hour now behind my progress last weekend.  

Poor choice for cold food but hey, onward to Castleton and the back-road climbs that took us up 30% climb in Pindale.  Damn that climb is hard but I coped with it better than I have done before.  Half way around and into Peak Forest and Peak Dale I am starting to realise that I try harder when TSK is around.  That's OK because I need to increase my speed.  I thought, with some hint of depression that last weekend I had not ridden my bike fast enough to constitute a healthy speed for an audax ride.  An Audax has a minimum speed of 15km/hr and I had ridden all day at 10mph average (16km/hr) but included several lunch stops.  If I worked out the miles to hours ratio, I had covered my 60 miles at an average speed of 14km/hr and this bugged me.  I'm not the fastest Audaxer but I've never been timed out before.

There have been less free miles this week and more trying not to get left too far behind on the climbs also with a little bit of battling a breeze thrown in.  Last week I'd clearly done more miles by this point in the day but was less concerned about getting home.  I was already starting to ache here today as we changed our mind about direction and re-descended a hill to take a turn towards Miller's Dale.  

I was still fighting up the hills though.  In fact, I realised that I am getting ready for bigger rides because the hill climbs no longer bother me.  Up or down or flat, it's all just a part of the journey.  I no longer seem to feel the gnawing sense of, "Oh GOD! We don't have to ride up *that* do we?!"  I just get on with it.  I dunno, maybe nowadays I am rocking a bigger gear range.

Millers dale gave and excellent photo opportunity of the dale and the bridge that we were about to pass under twice before heading back towards home.

Riding along here I realised that last weekend's ride had involved a lot of hiking as I walked my bike down to the A6 down a footpath and also as I pushed it out of Eyam.  That realisation made me feel a lot better about progress and my ability to complete a 120 mile ride at the end of February in the frozen North West of this country.

Back to today: After 3 hours of riding I was desperate for the desert that went with my lunch so I suggested a stop in Tideswell.  Since it was later in the day there was plenty of space in the slightly warmer café so, no special Ginger Pudding for me!  I had to eat apple and raspberry crumble with custard instead.  I then drank too much tea (seems such a waste to throw that third cup away) before heading back out into a slight drizzle which stayed with us all the way back.  

We turned for Litton as I continued my tour of parts of the ride I did last weekend.  TSK was enjoying himself seeing new places.  The tea partly fuelled the rest of the ride, partly hindered it by making me feel a little full!  Litton, Foolow, Eyam, Grindleford, they all slipped by in some kind of efforted riding which all felt much more productive than some of the bimbling that I've been guilty of in recent years.  If I can keep using my legs for 50 mile rides, I'd like to think I can limp through an Audax by freewheeling the other 70... something like that anyway!

The good news is, that although I couldn't be bothered to do any shopping on the way back to the house this week, I did't feel nearly as sore when we stopped riding.  Clearly my shoulders and neck are starting to get used to this again.  

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