Monday, 3 September 2012

More Bike related Japery

Last week Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk on another world, died. One of my abiding childhood memories is being woken at four in the morning to watch the moon landing. For a farmer to wake his kids to watch such an event that had no conceivable direct link to him shows just how much the whole Apollo effort captivated the world.

Armstrong could have used his fame in so many ways but he chose to head back to engineering and instill his enthusiasm for aeronautics in to others. Perhaps his attitude is best summed by his quote: "It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small."

It took a day or two for my legs to get back to normal after the Ride with Brad, the climbs at the end definitely having packed a punch!

Nine of us turned up on a dull drizzly morning for Iain's "epic" trip to Bowness. However Cath decided that the pace was a bit much for her so went her own way then after a sprint towards Settle ( I thought use of the whip was frowned upon in racing?) Phil decided that he'd rather not reacquaint himself with his breakfast so headed back, meeting Cath at Rathmell as it happens.

At Clapham we left a worried looking Andy & Andrew in the hands of Tim and his mate who all needed to be back a bit sooner. So while they headed over Stainforth and Halton Gill to get home the remaining three pressed on ever westward towards an increasingly sunny Lake District. We joined the A65 at Goat Gap and by the time we got to Kirkby Lonsdale we decided to keep going as we (by which I mean I) didn't know the back roads between Kirkby and Endmoor to avoid it.

It wasn't too bad as it wasn't desperately busy, then it was in to Kendal and try to figure out what they've done with the one-way system this year. By the time we got to Bowness we were all ready for a rest. We just had to find the cafe where Iain and Sean were meeting their wives. One cafe stop and lots of food later and we were ready to head home.

Sean and Iain decided on following the A65 all the way for the return leg. I spent the next three hours hanging on the back as we pushed for home. We had a pit stop at Ingleton for Sean's inevitable mechanical then at Gargrave they had stopped and I suddenly became the hare and just managed to hang on until the roundabout before town.

Iain's 52 miles each way turned out to be nearer 60 and we averaged 17.4mph for the whole trip which felt fast. Perhaps more surprisingly we did nearly 10,000ft of climbing, lots and lots of small ups and downs.

Not wanting to face the climb back up home I'd rung Cath to pick me up from the Narrowboat :oops: Phew!

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