What a Toughie
First ride on the road since Jan 31 and I was apprehensively looking forward to it as I made mention in my last posting. I was nearly but not quite clear of the cough I had but I wanted to do this hilly ride as I need to get back into training seeing as the Cheshire Cat is just 9 Sundays away.
So on a cool damp morning with virtually no wind worth mentioning six members of the North Cheshire Clarion headed out into North Cheshire on a route that was to travel some of the harder hills in the area but if deemed necessary there were slightly less steep alternatives around the two bigger climbs of The Yeld and Chapel Lane. Heading out at a fast pace Giles took off like he was on a personal race leaving us all behind but we soon reigned him in when he stopped to wait for us to catch up.
I knew within the first few miles that the fitness I had before the new year had deserted me somewhat - my heart rate was raised 10 beats over what is my norm for that level of exertion and I had real trouble on the minor hills approaching Delamere Forrest - the signs were not good for the bigger hills... We are now at the end of the top Delamere road at the crossroads where decisions had to made regarding which routes we were to take, the hilly hilly or the less hilly route, one member of the NCC who hasn't been riding long opted for the less hilly route but was unsure of the route so I took this as my very welcome cue to join him, I was clearly not fit enough for the tough stuff so it was a welcome relief not to have to attempt it and two of us became three as we were joined by another rider. All six of us climbed the two small hills from the crossroads and at the top by the armaco barrier three guys turned left to tackle the Yeld and the other three of us carried on heading into Kelsall to eventually join up with everyone else at the Summertrees Cafe atop Chapel Lane.
After the cafe stop we completed a small loop of the Willingtons then rode the reverse of the Yeld. Either way southwards or northwards there is a hill to be climbed, we traveled northwards and the hill is fairly steep but not that long so a slow steady pace got me up it on the wheel of another rider who has really improved over the last few weeks, this was to prove the story for the rest of the ride as we headed home-wards back through Frodsham. At one point heading back through Delamere we hit a 12% hill but for some reason I was stuck on my big chain ring as I couldn't change down so hoofed it out of the saddle all the way up - I thought I would be dead at the top but I wasn't so bad. I don't know why I couldn't change down but I thought it a strange coincidence that I had hit a pothole not long before with a loud bang. I did check my bike over but couldn't find anything, these RS20 wheels are really strong and can take a lot of punishment - great lightish training wheels. After the hill and back on the flat I was able to change down and had no further trouble so I was either doing something wrong which I doubt or there was a bit of road crap in my front dérailleur which I think more likely.
So to sum up Sundays ride was tough for me coming back from illness and I really felt the hills. It was a ride I needed to do to get me back on the road to fitness. Today, Monday as I finish writing this my legs are nicely toasted, I know from the times I have ridden these hills including Chapel Lane that I am not normally so tender the day after so it all points to my lack of fitness which I intend to remedy starting Tuesday when I start day 1 of Chris Carmichaels 'Time crunched cyclist' plan...
43 miles, 3hrs16min, Av Speed 13.1, 1993 ft climbing