Monday, 5 January 2009

Hopey New Year

Traditionally the first Audax event of the New Year, and always the first opportunity for me to start an annual collection of AAA points (also referred to as 'climbing points' or 'scenery points').

I will admit that it was a test of will on Saturday to actually leave the house when the alarm went off at 5:20 to reveal -3 degrees Centigrade and freezing fog at home. Still, I placed my trust in Metcheck and headed off to Hope (Bradwell this year) for 108km of the Peak Districts more relentless (rather than ferocious) hills and (memory map says) 2,000m of climbing.

On arrival in Bradwell we were greeted with frost free grass, despite the 0 degrees reported on the thermometer. We got away early on the staggered start, and were soon whistling downhill towards Grindleford. Amazingly, I finally got the dress-code correct so I didn't freeze. Mind you, the extra weight of :
1 compression base layer
1 pair bib-shorts
1 pair bib-tights
2 arm warmers
3 pairs of socks
1 long sleeve jersey
1 Gilet
1 winter jacket
1 skull cap
1 pair bootees
2 pairs of gloves
certainly made itself known in the human/bicycle interface. Or maybe its the 111kg weight of me?............

Climbs to Calver Clough and Winster went seemingly slowly but much better than 2 years ago, and Ashbourne was reached in good time. Coffee and a toastie hastily consumed and we were away to the climb out of Mayfield.

Lord knows how far this one goes on for, but it seems forever. Gaggles of cyclists passed on the ascent, only for most to be recaught by descending lard on the descent. Shortly before the turn to Onecote at 70km we ground on past the Windy Ridge Cafe, ignoring the tempting aromas of toast, beans etc.

Big mistake! By 75km a full-on energy bonk was in progress and me & granny (the gear!!) were getting well acquainted. It was a full 15km before I felt even vaguely human again and speeds almost doubled on the draggy climbs. As always the final descent down Bradwell Dale was an absolute blast, and a perfect way to end any Audax.

The Obligatory Stats
108km/67 miles
2087 metres of climb (6847 feet)
Elapsed time 6:30
Riding time 5:43
Average speed 18.8kmh/11.68mph
Top speed 63.7kmh/39.6mph

A far better ride than the first time I rode this course, despite the handicap of my weight, which once again has to be sorted. The diet started today at 108.7kg

22 minutes inside LEL pace seems good, but only over 108km leaves a lot of work to do, but its only January and I am currently hauling a wide load.

Poor Student 200km next weekend. Lets hope the luck we are currently having with the weather holds.


vorsprung said...

Good work on doing an event already

I am just looking at the calendar and deciding what to enter

I am also "hauling a wide load" but hopefully that will go away now xmas is over

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