It seems like a long time since I’ve ridden with someone else, in the hills, just for the hell of it. This was going to be a welcome change to the usual routine of riding for training purposes – just working hard and hoping it will make me faster and able to ride for longer eventually can turn a fun pastime into a chore so I need to start being more sociable occasionally.
I met up with Simon (AKA “nopies”) and off we went, following a route that he said would take “3 or 4 hours”. Not too strenuous then, I thought. The weather was brilliant yesterday and whilst the ground was soaking wet from the rain last week the sky was blue and the sun was out. We went up, down and around for a bit on paths and tracks I wasn’t familiar with, even though this wasn’t a new part of the country – this was on-the-doorstep stuff, so I was glad I brought the GPS so I could check where we went on the map later. We arrived a couple of hours later at “The Halo” – a modern hilltop sculpture that apparently lights up at night. It looks like a radio telescope if you ask me. Nice though. Definitely makes a change to the chainsaw log carvings that seem to be littering the woods around here anyway. The route, as it turns out, was a mainly offroad loop from my house to Accrington and back again.
Shortly after we “oooohed” and “ahhhed” at the Halo for a couple of minutes, Simon’s front wheel washed out on a wet stone slab whilst crossing a small stream, sending him down into the water with his handlebars trying to break his ribs. That could have been a lot worse!
By the time we reached Waterfoot later on, it was clear that this was no 3 hour easy ride and we still had the climb up to Rooley Moor on the MTL. Yep, that was a bloody killer. Steep and rocky, I was burning energy and rapidly running out of puff just negotiating the rocks and bits where I had to really shift my weight about to maintain traction. Despite my Rad Skillz(tm) I must admit I didn’t make it all the way to the top….
I don’t do geeky stats on here, but let’s just say that the ride was 45 miles-ish and my average heart rate was just where I wanted it to be at this time of year 😉