Monday, 9 January 2012

Revving It Up.

Was back at the Manchester Velodrome on Saturday, sadly not riding but there to watch the latest round in the Revolution series. I was the lucky recipient of a pair of free tickets after I won a Twitter competition run by Richard @PedalPrecision. Not only was he kind enough to run the competition, he then went to a lot of trouble to help solve the potentially disastrous problem of the tickets being lost in the Christmas post! So many thanks to him, he really did a lot more to help than I've come to expect in situations like this. The racing itself was fast, furious, engaging-everything track racing should be! Saturday's round had the addition of a tandem omnium with 2 Brit pairs squaring off against 2 Dutch crews. Now that was fast. Really fast. My Mum and Dad ride a tandem (as did I when a was younger) so I know first hand how fast those things can go; but bugger me. A tandem match sprint is definitely something to put on your 'to see' list! Luckily there were no mishaps-as you can imagine-they can be a bit hairy:
It was also an opportunity to meet Mr.danoh1 and Mr.lougo98 and have a chat. They were kind enough to give me some food, which as any self respecting student will tell you, is never something to refuse. :D 

Onto the second part of this rather interesting weekend. I met some team mates bright and early Sunday morning to ride into Preston to meet up with a group that normally does a ride from the Withy Trees pub. We ended up meeting the rest of the team there...and about 25 others. Honestly the biggest normal Sunday club run I think I've ever been on. Too big really, considering the traffic and road system up here. But still, always an experience being in a massive group.  Good to see @1leecarter again as well, even if it was just to exchange a few words. I always find it weird riding with people you race against, all too easy to forget they ride normally as well! 

I knew it was going to be a fairly big ride, as I'd already done an hour before getting to the Withy Trees and knew it would be at least the same again to get back-wasn't quite expecting it to be quite what it turned out to be though! Let's just say, name pretty much any decent sized hill in the Trough of Bowland area and we did it. Jubilee Tower, the Trough itself, Waddington Fell, Birdie Brow, Jeffrey Hill...quite a bit of climbing to say the least. The height gain itself is quite impressive, working out at over 4000ft vertical ascent but that coupled with the small group that forged on to tackle the second half of the ride after Dunsop Bridge made it sting a bit! It was good to to the Bowland climbs again, and it finally do Birdie Brow. Those of you that know it will know why I chose that word. For those of you that don't, trust me when I say this (as someone who really rather likes climbing): it's horrible. Unrelentingly steep, it just goes on and on and on and on and on. It's been said it's reduced grown men to tears...or maybe that was just sweat, either would be applicable. Good to tick it off mentally though. 

Oh I nearly forgot, we stopped at Bashall Barn for a break. Bit of a mistake that. We were wet and a bit cold and they appeared to have left the thermostat on low :( that wasn't my biggest problem though, £6 for a coffee and beans on toast!!! :O Now, I wouldn't complain if it was Cedar Farm level coffee, or the Best Beans on Toast ever (I do that by the way if you were wondering :D) but it wasn't. Sadly. Not even close. I'm not sure when toasting a (yes, one) slice of bread and dumping about 10 beans on it warranted charging £4, but I obviously missed the memo. Not impressed at all Bashall Barn. Big black mark against your name in my book. Speaking of which, how cool would it be to do a Beans on Toast almanac? I could tour the cafes of the world (or is it just an English thing?! Say it ain't true!) and grow old and fat off the royalties! Or not. Probably not. Where was I? Ah yes, Bashall Barn. To be honest, Hugh did get a decent looking bowl of soup, but where's the fun in soup? Exactly :(

Garmin file here courtesy of the Soupmeister himself: I completed 102.20 miles in 6:07 minutes. Pretty decent average considering the climbing involved, it only dropped below 17mph for the last couple of hours. Good way to kick start the body again after an easy week. One thing's for sure, I appreciated my lie in this morning, and was very glad I didn't have to be in work or college bright and early this morning like some people (naming no names of course) :D

Did I mention we got rained on for about 4 hours? Nope? Well we did. I'm honestly not surprised, I feel somehow cheated if I don't return with soggy socks these days. I'd love to mention the impressive vistas that we were treated to on the tops, but sadly the weather had other ideas and visibility was down to maybe 30 feet or so for much of the ride :/ But all in all a very enjoyable ride, and special thanks to Routemaster Hugh for the second half! 

Weekend Summary:

  • Samosas eaten: 1
  • Essays finished: 1 (Yay!)
  • Beans eaten: Approximately 15. Pah. Can you tell that's narked me off?
  • Brand new brake blocks worn: 2 (seriously, brand new Sunday morning, nearly fully worn by the end of the ride. That's winter eh folks!)
  • Fellow riders without mudflaps: Too many! They know who they are ¬_¬ (seriously, it's just plain antisocial) 
  • Number of Pannier Rack assisted tows given: 1. (Good resistance training that, worth further investigation :P)
Sadly no pictures/video or anything other than words from this weekend, oversight on my part and I apologise. I'm back down to Aberyswyth on Thursday, so expect lots of ride footage coming your way!


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