A ride of two halves
I seem to start a new post talking about the weather and unsurprisingly this one will be no different. Over the last few days the weather has battered parts of the country, in particular we've had massive floods and gale force winds not far from our locality in the Lake district that has destroyed bridges, flooded homes and has unfortunately cost lives so a beady eye was kept on the forecast leading up to Sunday. Things didn't look promising with Metcheck issuing a severe weather warning forecasting many mm's of rain with winds of 20+mph - loony weather, a ride for the brave or is that the stupid hmmm.
Anyway come Sunday morning despite the forecast we had five turn up at Stretton ready to brave the elements. With the weather conditions and the fact we were riding into a heavy wind we compromised a little by diverting away slightly from the proposed route and chose to avoid the worst of the hills but our route took us over some anyway. We rode through Frodsham village then onto a steady climb up The Ridgeway and then over the rolling hills of New Pale Rd heading for Delamere, Kelsall, Willington and finally 25 miles in we hit the Ice Cream Farm north of Tattenhall. Tea and cakes then off again skirting the base of Beeston Castle before heading through Tarpoley, Oulton Pk, Weaverham and finally back to base.
The ride was tough as we headed west and south to the cake stop, heading into a 16-19mph wind that hit us either head-on or battered us from the side but at least the rain Metcheck had prophesied held off for the duration of the ride so that was a small blessing. A problem I have that affects my riding at times is that I have a low blood count courtesy of my condition. My haemoglobin reading is around 11 but should be between 13 to 18 and my haemocrit is 34% but should be between 42 and 54% so I will always suffer on long hills due to not being able to transport the same amount of oxygen to my muscles as the average bloke, so I pant like a dog and have to ride at my own pace. Yet another problem I have is that I sometimes get a stitch like pain in the area of my surgery whenever I hit the first hill of the day. Today that hill was The Ridgeway so had to climb it nice n steady. The funny thing about this 'stitch' is that after I have gotten it out of the way I'm fine for the rest of the ride, go figure...
So I suffered for the first half of the ride and I know I wasn't alone in this, the wind battered us and the hills sapped the living vitality out of us but after the cake stop I seemed to have had a burst of energy, must have been the coffee and probably aided by an occasional tail wind found the going not as tough... My bikes computer had stopped working - no speed readout, so when I was on the front the only thing I was working with was my heart rate and perceived effort so unfortunately I was either going too fast or too slow so sorry guys if I was working you too hard at times and boring you the other :[
The only other event of the day occurred was when I had a knocking noise suddenly appear that coincided with my pedalling, I really thought that my bottom bracket was on it's way out so we pulled over to investigate only to find that my pump had come loose and was knocking against my pedal - panic over but it's here we had another 'clip-less' moment, whereas the last time this happened it looked funny, this time it didn't - it did look like it may have hurt a little but the rider picked the bike up of the floor, dusted off and carried on like it was nothing :)
Anyway to summarise it was a good but tough ride with some hills thrown in along some picturesque Cheshire back roads, the first half was really energy sapping, the second not so bad. Sitting here writing this my thighs are a little sore but not that bad. This route will be a great route come the warmer weather...
50.1 miles, 3hrs 17min, Av Spd 15.3, 2024ft climbing