Monday, May 29, 2017

Peak Practise

Every year there's a day or a weekend that comes along to remind you it's still spring, it's not summer yet, in fact, it's almost still winter. It will be different for other people who have managed to train through the darkest days that April can throw at you but for me it came today and I felt shite as the rain lashed sideways in to everything that matters to me. Here are the positives I take from my experience of this late May Bank holiday weekend.

It is entitled "Peak Practise" because this was part of a ride named, "The Peak 200" which I aim to complete at some point - potentially this year.  In the meantime (as this weekend demonstrated) I will need to practise a lot and I will do so on short sections of the ride until it all starts to make sense to the rest of my body.

Had a lie in and got the knitting out.

Went in the garden to do my Legsercises. Had to come inside when it started to pour down on me.

Went back outside and tried to continue yoga in between trying to catch either a cat or a frog to cease the annoying squeaking noises.

Walked over to Gertie's with TSK for lunch. V. Nice.

Loading our gear and bags on to bikes took the entire afternoon during which we lost and found TSK's gear harness and found my sunglasses that have been missing since March.

Tea at the Hawkins' new kitchen. Nom nom.

Both of us were too tired to ride into the sunset so we went to our own bed to leave it for tomorrow.

Out the door before 10am, finally leaving the road and traffic at Rod Moor.

My front wheel started making disturbed knocking noises from the dynamo hub but by the time we got to Ladybower I MESSED = I had righted it. Only once we were kind of committed, did I realise that in the confusion we had missed out the 10 or more miles of my planned route around the Derwent reservoir. Still, there were 90 others to choose from.

Ladybower was quieter anyway and we dealt with the pass over to Edale pretty well, arriving at the station cafe for lunch where the proprietor had taken to glibly advising tourists, 'we sell coffee, not parking tickets'. She was harassed three times by motorists seeking parking advice ("Will I get a ticket if I park in the bus lane") whilst I delivered my order. Poor woman.

Climbing out of the Edale Valley and clearing litter off Rushup Edge.

Finding new and beautiful lanes and through-routes we didn't even know existed, right here in our own back yard.

After the pub in Elton failed us, ad-libbing the route to include dinner in Youlegreave then taking a chance on a lane that wasn't marked as a right of way. It started life as a dead end lane, plummeted down to a tiny packhorse bridge over the river in the middle then thankfully ended as a woodland path on the other side.

TSK not knowing where I was heading and consequently neither of us knew what to expect next.

Long Dale - long, beautiful, trending down hill to tricky, bouldery rough stuff but still, undeniably special, when you have a national nature reserve to yourself on a bank holiday Sunday at 7pm when all the 'normals' have gone to the pub or are sitting on the sofa watching tv.

Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and, literally, pints of lemonade. Sitting at a table in the car park so you can watch your bike and to minimise the risk of drunken questions (and other conversations) about cycling.

Riding along bridlepaths through the Chatsworth estate and mistaking it for Switzerland.

The fading light

9pm.  Sitting outside the pub in shorts. The best, most fresh mint and lemon tea from the Devonshire Arms in Baslow and exactly what I wanted and needed.

Riding towards bed time, riding the fine grey line between fatigue, progress while things are good and not getting rained on.

Putting the finishing touches to the tent pitch as it starts raining. Brewing up inside while rain lashes outside.

Waking up with the skylarks at 4am.  Getting up to pee in grim, grey skies. The next 3 hours - the best sleep of the night.

Being disappointed that it's just as grey and foggy 3 hours later.

The joy of riding along new rights of way. The horror of the top of Froggatt on what turns out are legs a lot more tired than expected. Deciding to do the wise thing and bin off the plan for the sake of our happiness and sanity (it's been raining for the 7 hours since).

Weather so bad that you can stop for a pee in the long grass and listen to the traffic passing but no one would know you were there.

Working with my husband to come up with things to laugh about regardless of the weather and our atrocious condition. Building a plan for second breakfast and executing the plan.

Enjoyed the Lama café before the staff become over-run, they are still well stocked with change in the till and most sensible children are still at home with mummy and daddy eating their breakfast.

There was nothing good about the ride home from there. It was suffered.

Climbing into the shower to wash away the shit, clam, sweat and rain and to warm up then running away screaming as Sunday's sunburn stung.

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