ride, ride and ride some more

Early start this morning to ride over to Rivington Barn to meet some lads from Horwich CC, including Russ, to do a cyclocross ride. Most people I guess are doing it as part of their 3 Peaks preparation, as I am. I got there late and everyone had gone so I rode up a likely-looking trail, up the rocky and knackered riverbed (is that the ICR?) and up to the end of the trail that leads to the PIke. There they are, coming down again. Russ is with them too so all is well. Most people are riding cross bikes but some are on MTB’s – there’s about 20 guys altogether. Some young, some not very young.

Off we went over some extremely boggy moorland, along some rocky trails (not much fun with a rigid fork and narrow cross tyres), along the road for a bit, down the trail that goes past the maggot farm, a run up a rocky track and across the moor to the cross and over to Peel Tower. A tough ride and a fairly brisk pace. One of the Horwich lot was asking me if I’d join the club and do some ‘cross racing with them this winter. I might have a do at that actually – plus it was nice to be invited. I think I’m going to go over to Leverhulme Park this week to do some CX training..you know, something with a bit of structure, purpose and perhaps most importantly, company. It’s handy really becasue I still can’t get my remounts right. I swear I’m going to smash my knackers and that’s really going to put me off….

After that I left them to make their way back over towards Rivvy and rode back towards home. My plan was to ditch this muddy bike and ride over to Macclesfield on the road bike. Not only was the cross bike filthy but the brake pads had by this time completly gone and I had no spares on me, so I couldn’t have done any more steep off-road stuff anyway given that I could only use the front brake and that wasn’t particularly effective. About 5 miles from home I get a puncture and ride onto a playing field to sort it. Bike upside down, wheel off and BLAM. An enormous, torrential, soaking downpour of epic proportions arrives and I’m getting soaked. The rain is so heavy that the bike gets knocked over and all of a sudden I become very hamfisted, I can’t get the patch to stick properly nor can I manage to get the gel wrapper I’m using as a tyre boot (puncture caused by some glass) to stay in place. What I am able to do really well though is swear like a trooper at the top of my voice.

Eventually I’m on my way again and the rain is still trying to batter me into submission. There’s a river running down the main road and this bloody rear tyre is still going flat. Not as quickly as it was before, but definately getting softer.

The road ride from the house to Macclesfield after a change of clothes and change of bike was fast, enjoyable and incident-free. I averaged about 18mph according to the ‘puter, which wasn’t bad considering the number of traffic lights/taxis/trams on the way. The country lanes in Cheshire were full of roadies too – I think there was a sportive on or something.