Wednesday, 24 December 2008

I'm dreaming of a Whitegate Christmas

as the title of the Audax goes.

On the whole, this was a good day. Mark, Mike and myself all arrived plenty early (even post-faffing) and the weather was definitely in the "could have been a lot worse" category.

As we left Bredbury, the first treat of the day was a nice long descent down to the river. Regrettably, this was also the return route later in the day, when such changes in altitude would be much less welcome. A headwind was gently opposing us for the first 55km to the cafe stop, whereupon we were met by the least happy staff I had come across this year. We were their only customers, but I got the impression they would much rather have been closed.

Cups of coffee rapidly downed, a strange thing happened. My legs, normally dormant for at least 10km after a cake stop, began to function immediately. Coinciding with a slight downhill, a tailwind, and french quality tarmac we were suddenly flying along. A slight incline didn't slow my progress until Mark's voice came over my shoulder "you might want to slow down a bit, Mike's at 174 bpm and is barely holding on". I was subsequently accused of ripping Mikey's legs off and throwing them into a field. Unheard of. Mike had his revenge later, as he was regularly waiting for me by the end.

The return trip to Bredbury was relatively uneventful, ridden in the daylight, and a rare December pleasure. Despite the guys having to wait for me, we were the first three back, and averaged almost exactly 25kmh (15.6mph) way outside my normal range.

I was still shattered on Monday, but despite feeling that "I'm still not going well" this was my fastest Audax Ride ever. I guess I'll settle for that.

Next up, the Hopey New Year on 3rd January (100+ km of Peak District loveliness) and then the Poor Student on 11th January (Januarys RTTY qualifier). And perhaps some turboing over Christmas.

I'm starting to enjoy cycling again......

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