It's Feb already and this is my first biggish ride of the year, this stinkin weather has a lot to answer for - keeping me cooped up inside on my turbo just ain't cricket!!!
Nine of us set out from Stretton on a pre-planned route that would take us around 52 miles of North Cheshire countryside with the climb of Artists lane being literally the highlight of the ride. Three punctures along the way (none of them mine) - it was just the one rider that had the misfortune of being singled out for special treatment by the puncture fairy, must have really took a fancy to Phil J the poor guy.
The route was fairly flat with just under 1400ft climbing according to Bikehike but there were a few hills to be found along the way and I'm glad to say that I enjoyed them all, I felt really good on them and unlike my last ride I was able to keep up with the stronger riders. Artist lane was a different story though, it was a 'proper' hill, not especially long or steep but it was winding and pretty and did give the old ticker a good working over, here my special tactics of slow plodding came into force, didn't matter what everyone else was doing I just went at my own pace just as fast as my desperate breathing would allow - thats my excuse and line of reasoning and I'm sticking to it!!!
Oh yes the virginity bit, would you believe it I have never ever needed to traverse a cattle grid! but on todays route as we traveled through Tatton park we had to bounce over three of them!!! wasn't as uncomfortable as I tought it would be but there again these grids looked even and well maintained. Adopting a light but firm grip on the bike and approaching at 90' with a moderate speed was enough to do the buisiness. I wonder, was there a three theme on todays ride? three cattle grids, three punctures and three huge birds of prey (buzzards) spotted...
52.8 miles, 3hrs 37min, Avg Sp 14.6mph, 1389 ft climbing
Total Mileage for the week
111 miles. My target of 100 miles has been achieved.