Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Wet and Dry Cycling

Thursday's evening ride was, to put it mildly, a bit of a washout. No sooner had we met up than the heavens opened and we had to wait under a nearby tree for around fifteen minutes before setting off.

We had just got to the top of the road underneath Earl Crag (AKA The Pinnacles) when there was a big clap of thunder and it began to rain quite heavily so we decided to head back down in to the village. It was "interesting" heading down one of the steepest roads in the area with so much water around. It had got so bad by the time we got in to Sutton that we headed for the park benches that have a wooden canopy.

To say the rain got worse would be an understatement and the thunderstorm was pretty intense. Eventually we called it quits and headed home. The roads were more like rivers and I was having to avoid golfball sized stones being washed down the hill. I got home to find that we'd had four power cuts and that the kitchen was flooded in one corner.

Saturday's ride was a steady affair, livened by one of my cleats breaking - I should have replaced it some time ago - and by having to get one rider back in to Skipton before his parking ticket ran out! Rather bizarrely it was quite sunny and I've a prominent tan line on my arms. Normal service was resumed later in the day as I was mowing the lawn in a race against an approaching thunderstorm. I lost by about ten seconds!

Sunday looked like it was going to be fine in the morning so another 0900 start saw about 17 or 18 of us head out on the Grassington road. Once again it began at a rapid pace and it was more like a spread out chain gaing than a steady ride. By the time we got to Hetton a split had developed so we ended up with an 'A' and a 'B' group though on the same route at least as far as Settle. Somehow I was with the 'A' group - hopefully I wouldn't be too far off the back.

The idea was that we'd wait at the cafe for the others to catch up. As it happened they weren't too far behind plus one of our group had had a mechanical - his front tyre exploded due to the heat from braking down Stockdale Lane! Fortunately it happened right outside the cafe not on the hill so it was a short walk to the bike shop on the other side of the square.

Once we got going again the speed really picked up and with no-one willing to sit up (!) we flew through Rathmel and Wigglesworth. I got dropped on the short climb out of the latter (I really need to figure out my gear selection for these short steep climbs) and spent the next 5Km hammering along at 50kph+ to catch the group. At Bolton By Bowland we got a breather due to another mechanical but then it was another long effort over to Halton West before the final effort through Bank Newton to Gargrave. Then it was just the usual hill to get home which wasn't as hard as I thought it might be.

Definitely tired after the speed, and concentration, needed on the ride though my legs aren't as sore today as they were after last week's ride.

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