Monday, 6 October 2008


Well, the vagaries of the English weather caught up with me again on Sunday as the first hour of Rourkies Cat & Fiddle Challenge did its best to resemble the first leg of a triathlon. Swimming may well have been the order of the day had the rain continued for any longer.

By Macclesfield, my elapsed time was the same as last year, which was a little concerning. I was on the same bike as last year (the Halfords Carrera, now mongrelised with odd bits from other bikes) but last year I'd had to spend 5 minutes on the road repairing a chain defect by this point.

What followed was worse. Despite feeling good and strong up the climb, my ascent of the Cat & Fiddle took 51 minutes, a full 8 minutes longer than ever before. I am beginning to wonder what has happened to me since the Tour of the Black Mountains. On the up side, the total elapsed time by the top was 12 minutes faster than last year, having not visited the Tea Rooms on this occasion.

Axe Edge wasn't too bad with a following wind, but I didn't have the bottle to stay off the brakes on the descent from Morridge Top, still managing to achieve 48 mph despite laying rubber on rims most of the way down.

The final four climbs in the last 10 miles were as bad as I remember, and I finally crossed the line with 4:02 elapsed, 13 minutes faster than last year.

In retrospect, I should be pleased. Last year's event was run in calm, benign conditions and glorious sunshine. My two companions on that occasion encouraged a fast start and waited to ensure I had a tow at the right time. Yesterday, I was on my own for much of the ride, and had a headwind all the way up the Cat.

One thing is for certain, only a lot more training is going to get me anywhere near next years target of completing LEL in under 100 hours.

1 comment:

the E.Port Sloth said...

Relax. You have got 20 minutes more to do it in than you thought. Max time is 116 hrs and 40 mins (1400Km @12Km/h).
Or the saner method:
1 hr drive to the airport
1 hr check in
1 hr flight
1/2 hr taxi to the city
109 hrs enjoying Edinburgh
then the 3.5hrs back.