This weeks ride was to Castle Ashby, just into Northamptonshire and only about 6 miles from my home. However, club rides being what they are its never that simple.
Adrian the ride leader had planned a route out via Olney and then looping round via Harrold, Bozeat and Grendon to the The Buttery at Castle Ashby courtyard for coffee and cake. The return to Stony Stratford was via a very hilly route starting immediately with a climb up Whiston Hill and then over the top to Whiston village. On from there via the climb to Cogenhoe ( Pronounced ‘Cookner’ ! ) Through to Little and Great Houghton and the climb there, on to Preston Deanery and Quinton and the short climb up to Salcey Forest and then back via Hanslope to Stony Stratford. Plenty of ups and downs on that little bit too.
I however elected not to have to get up and out so early and to ride towards group as they headed for Olney to save riding to the start and then back again. It was much cooler day than my last ride when it was shorts and short sleeved shirt weather. It was back to tights and long sleeved shirt. I should however have dressed even warmer I think. Everyone else seemed to have full finger gloves and not my half finger track mitts, jackets and shoe covers! It was an inducement for me to ride harder though I guess, just to keep warm.
The Buttery is only very small inside and so twenty odd cyclists descending on it out of the blue filled it to overflowing. Also in the process disturbing all the incumbent diners from their quite morning coffee and chat I am sure. Under normal circumstances we would have sat outside in the sunshine if the weather had cooperated.
We did encounter the threatened light rain on the return ride. I left the ride at Hanslope on the way back and headed home to Olney solo again. Although I was now heading into the wind, the rain stopped and the sun came out for a while and it even began to feel a bit warm for a while.
All in all it was a good ride for me. I felt a lot better than I expected to after another ten days off the bike apart from one short ride in the week. I coped with the hills quite well I thought.
But…. having recently joined up to Strava and started to log my rides on there and ‘following’ a few people from the club It seems I am doing about a quarter of the miles a week that they are. A bigger and better effort is obviously required on my behalf I think and I don’t really have any excuses not too given that I don’t have to go to work and have everyday available for riding.
Here is what my Strava page for the ride looks like.. click on this image for the full Strava information for the various segments of the ride. I don’t fully understand quite how it all works myself yet but I am getting there slowly with all the gizmo’s on it.