Sunday, 27 June 2010

Mini Tour to the Lakes and back

I got to the Lake District and back to Lancashire again in one piece. A total of 119 miles over two days. Some great countryside and very quiet lanes.

I know about it now though. Partly I think the heat was tiring, but distance, long hours in the saddle and my lack of training on that particular bike were big factors. Not that I'm exhausted, just enjoyably tired after all the exercise and looking forward to some food.

Whilst I was heading north, the South Lakes Group of the RSF crossed east and had a good day out on the Bowland fells.

My original plan took in a return via Dent, Deepdale, Kingsdale, Tatham Fells and home, but that would have been 7000 ft of climbing on day 2 after the near 3000ft on day 1, so I decided to stay west of the hills and come down by the coast for the return trip/

Whilst having a brew at the Cafe D'Lune some guy drove past with his family's mountain bikes on the roof of his 4x4 and didn't notice the gantry barrier at the entrance to the car park. It took some time to sort the mess out after he hit it and stopping a good car's length the other side. It looked like most of the damage was to the roof rack, though his expensive looking bikes took a fair wallop.

I got off early this morning to avoid the heat of the day, but might as well have enjoyed more recovery time since the football didn't go our way. There were a few dog walkers out first thing plus a balloon flight, a deer, a dead grass snake and some other wildlife that made the journey interesting.

Later there were plenty of cyclists out for their Sunday run including a guy who looked like he was doing a time trial that passed me as though I was standing still, and at that time I was actually going reasonably quickly!

The sting in the tail was crossing the Ribble Valley and climbing up the other side. Back in the saddle for a short ride to work tomorrow.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Near solstice ride

There's so much going on at the moment but there isn't much evidence of it on here. The cycling summer is firing away full bore with events and rides all over the place and I've been occupied too much to write anything. Seeing my previous entry showing a picture of snow reminds me how absent I've been. That's got to change. With long daylight hours, it's possible to cram a lot into a day, so no excuses.

My recent non-commute riding has been off-road, exploring the countryside. I've joined a couple of the Rough Stuff Fellowship rides recently. One with the Lancashire Group and one with the South Lakes Group. A smashing bunch of folk with so much to share. They have rides going on most weekends including family rides. For example, this weekend:

  • Saturday 26th Lancashire Group Family Ride: Cocklet Hill car park, Gisburn Forest, map ref SD745550. Meet at 10-00am for a cuppa, the ride will start at 10-20am
  • Saturday 26th South Lakes Group ride to Dunsop Bridge: Meet at 10am at the Cafe d' Lune at Conder Green.
  • Sunday 27th Lancashire Group ride: At 10-00am. Meet on the public car park near Wycoller Village, SD 925394.
  • Sunday 27th Welsh Borders Group ride: Meet at 10am at Tudor Tea Room , North Gate, Bridgenorth.
  • Sunday 27th Home Counties Group ride: Meet at 10am at the Polly Tearooms, High Street, Marlborough, Wilts.

More details and plenty of great photos up on the RSF web sites including glorious cake shots. Did you spot a theme to the rides? Yes - cafes.

I decided a while ago that I needed a long road ride around the time of the solstice and so that's what I'm doing this weekend. I'm heading up to the Lake District tomorrow from Blackburn. It means I miss the RSF rides and also the Pendle national road race with famous names from elite racing and the cyclo sportive, but I figure I'll enjoy doing more than watching. I'll likely cover some of the same route as the cyclo sportive but, because of a lack of preparation and fitness, I'll be taking it easy. Steady away.

Hopefully it'll be a good ride to end bike week.

Happy pedalling.