My first ride for eight days today.. It wasn’t meant to be that way. My last ride was a week ago yesterday (Monday) and I had intended to fit another one in later in the week before a weekend trip to Devon to visit relatives. While there I hoped to do a loop on Dartmoor that would include a climb up Haytor that was used in the recent Tour of Britain on a glorious sunny autumn day.
I didn’t get a ride during the week due to the weather and ongoing painting work in the kitchen that I wanted to finish before I left. The weather forecast wasn’t looking so good for Saturday but I still got my bike out ready to put in the car. However there seemed to be an awful lot of stuff that needed transporting between home and Devon and I didn’t really fancy cramming my bike in as well with the risk of damaging it. All that and the ongoing occasional pain in my knee following my coming together with the tarmac a few weeks ago all helped me decide against taking the bike.
It was just as well because Saturday started off really wet and miserable in Devon and very windy so nothing was lost except a few valuable miles in my legs.
My legs got their miles this morning. Yesterday was another wet day and today was looking comparatively good so I was up and out quite early. I needed to get quite a few miles in my legs before next Sunday as I am riding ‘The Brickhills Challenge’ a local sportive for charity so I needed to get a start on belatedly accumulating some mileage. The sportive route takes in most of the climbs around the Brickhills area just south of Milton Keynes. It amounts to around 1000 metres of climbing on a 50+ mile route. I have done it before and its quite challenging but not too much so.
If you look at the route its quite a complicated looking one but well marshalled and signed. It climbs up to the top of the hills and down again on a different routes and back up again several times. One climb is briefly around 20% but fortunately not for long and also quite near to the start so that its out of the way nice and early. Should anybody feel tempted to give it a try, entry is still available on the day although online entries have now closed, details on the website link above.
However I digress and so back to today. Although it wasn’t raining it wasn’t a very welcoming start to the day. Cold, grey and misty. I found later in the ride I was under dressed for the day. I had 3/4 length tights and a long sleeved base layer and long sleeved top. I had swapped the track mitts for gloves but still my hands got cold and I should have had shoe covers on as well as my feet too were frozen by the finish. The time has arrived for thicker clothing full length tights, proper gloves and shoe covers I think!
I concocted a route out to the village of Sulgrave near Banbury that would be hard going out against the wind but easier on the return leg. It was so hard going out with the cold and wind and the climbing that I wasn’t really able to take much advantage of the tailwind home. The route was mostly very rural and amounted to just short of sixty miles and included over 1000 metres of climbing. So a good tester for next weekend but I think I still need some more miles before then…. I was just about done in on the completion and I needed to sit for a quite a while to warm up again before I could begin to change. I am hoping for another ride on Thursday or Friday if there is fine weather on one of the days.