Huddersfield Sportive

84 miles, plenty of climbing and rain. Loads of rain. I arrived to find a car park full of faffing roadies and expensive carbon machinery…leg warmers on…legwarmers off. You know what I mean. I had fun at the start playing “spot the mountain biker” – easy to spot though with the Camelbaks and peaked helmets 😉

Apart from one guy at the bottom of the first descent slamming into a barrier and literally flying over it, nothing much happened apart from pedalling and hurtin’. Only got passed once, on the way up Holme Moss a young slim, fast-looking lad on a Bianchi asked me if I wanted to grab onto his back wheel. I did – and that worked for about half a mile until I could cope no longer and got dropped. I caught him up on the next hill though and dropped him back. Didn’t see the cheeky bugger again after that.

I need to take more gels when I do the Fred Whitton in 2 weeks. The last 10 miles were a bit of a haze…

finished in 4:45, putting me in 10th overall out of 296 (I think), 10 mins or so behind the lead rider. Chuffed!


beirut and back

A shortish ride on the cross bike yesterday, only about 30 miles in total. I got some early 3 Peaks training in by running* up the side of Holcombe Hill whilst shouldering the bike. That hurt.

On the way back I stopped to take a photo of the damaged caused to the derelict nightclub next to the canal in Radcliffe. There had been machine gun fire reported to the police a few weeks ago…sure enough, when the police arrived to investigate, someone had shot the wall with an Uzi or something.

*not really running. Fast walking and grimacing.

bit foggy on’t tops

50 miles on the road last night. Didn’t set off until 8:30 again so it was getting very late by the time I got back. Pretty good route though, over to Bury, then Rochdale, Milnrow, Newhey, over the hill to Denshaw then across the foggy, wet and windy moors to Ripponden. A climb up to Blackstone Edge then a drop down to Littleborough. That descent was awesome last night. All the high level roads were shrouded in thick cloud, as soon as I started to ride downhill though the mist cleared and I had a great view of the lights of Rochdale whilst taking the fastest lines through all the bends in the road.

Disaster struck late in the ride where my rear light packed in. I thought it was a battery problem but inspection this morning has revealed it’s full of water! WTF?? Anyway, that made the final 15 miles or so interesting to say the least. What kind of mong goes for a 50 mile bike ride, on the road, in the dark, with no backup light?  All I could think about were severe spinal injuries, that dead cyclist in Moss Side and The Darwin Awards.

Almost 3 hours dead for the whole ride, which wasn’t too bad.



no chickens

I had a ride around the HTN course last night, mainly to see if there’s an existing “chicken run” around the bombhole section for those of a nervous disposition.

There isn’t one. All the other trails through that wood are steep, rutted and rooty and have an equal chance of scaring the bejeesus out of someone as the bombhole itself.

It’s looking like a shovel job.

Last night was the first weekday ride I’ve done this year where I set off in (almost) daylight. I enjoyed only 10 minutes of light before the lights had to come on but it was very encouraging all the same.


Peaks road ride (again)

45 miles (road)

I rode the usual Macc-Pott Shrigley-Hayfield-Glossop-home route in reverse today. It seems to be easier that way around, certainly faster anyway. Still pretty hilly but I reckon all the shallower gradients are South to North. Not too windy, some sunshine, averaged about 20mph, didn’t get lost and didn’t crash.