15th April 2014
Well this is my first ever blog (so be kind) but I was persuaded to do it as part of the Rivers Ride push and frankly it’s a good cause so I figured what the hell, I’ll share a few experiences from the bike!
Well I’ve now been out for a “proper” ride (i.e. one that involves being outside and not inside watching a dvd whilst perched on the turbo trainer) a grand total of 3 times in the last 2 months, each with varying degrees of success. The first of which ended with a broken chain at roughly the furthest point from home (surprise surprise!!), where I had to phone home and drag my wife and three children out to pick me up. This was bad enough but the fact my instructions were “some back road between Castle Carrock and Armathwaite” didn’t help. That and the fact that my wife and two of my children were currently ill in bed did nothing for my popularity once back home!
The second ride out was much more successful, an afternoon off work out with a good mate where the banter was easy and the light rain and wind mostly bearable. It included a fantastic stretch between Tebay and Appleby where we hit that rare thing…smooth tarmac! What with that, the wind on our backs and lots of downhill where we took turns to enjoy each others slipstream it made you realise why you love cycling. Even the slight dampener of arriving home, realising I’d forgotten my key and no-one being in failed to take the shine off it.
The third and most recent ride out (this weekend) saw me up the mileage but keep it nearly all on the flat. An opportunity to ride from mine up to Carlisle and meet the family there for lunch was a one I grabbed with both cycling gloves. After a meander through the villages I hit Hutton in the Forest and headed up that long flat stretch to Durdar. I’d love to lay claim that it was my cycling prowess due to the winter training on the turbo that came to the fore as to how I averaged 22mph for the whole stretch, topping over 30mph more than once…however, I fear that it was not all entirely wind legal. But I will admit to enjoying having the wind push me the whole way, you could almost kid yourself that you were getting pretty good at this cycling thing. Well that was until somebody clearly much better (and wealthier) came flying past me on a beautiful piece of carbon machinery together with full carbon disc rear wheel. Not sure if anyone’s had that happen before but you can hear them coming, I actually thought it was a car at first, a distinct thrum of finely tuned carbon over your right shoulder and then they fly past leaving you wondering what you’re doing wrong…it must be all in the bike? After that it was an uneventful ride to Brampton, Longtown and back to Carlisle with just a few showers and the wind to contend with. So it was with a certain amount of self righteousness and smugness that I tucked into cakes for the rest for the afternoon, safe in the self convinced knowledge that I’d already worked them all off!