Friday, 26 April 2013

A Peak District loop

A 40 mile round trip bike commute - even with a couple of decent hills to contend with each way - doesn't really cut it when it comes to:
  1. training for longer distance events
  2. get out and really enjoy the scenery
It all gets a bit, well, samey.

For the first time in ages, I managed to get out in to the Peak District for a longer and hillier ride. The route took in Baslow, Pilsley, Bakewell, Over Haddon, Youlgreave, Stanton-in-the-Peak, Birchover, Winster, Matlock, and back to Worksop via Clay Cross, Palterton, Nether Langwith and Cuckney.

It's a while since I've visited this part of the Peak District and I'd forgotten how steep a few of the inclines were (e.g. up to Stanton-in-the Peak) but I don't recall using my lowest gear on the compact double set-up so either my legs aren't in too bad a shape or I'm exaggerating the climbs. Anyway - here's the uppy-downy profile of the ride to give an idea.

It certainly wasn't a fast ride - 73 miles in just over 5 and a half hours riding (average speed 13.1 mph) - but with 4500 ft of ascent that isn't too bad for me.  As usual I forgot to eat during the ride (apart from a small packet of sweets in my pocket). I HAVE to sort that out.

Towards the end of the ride I got caught up in a 10 mile time trial on the Cuckney course. It's reasonably flat along the A60 here with just a few little undulations and so I was travelling along (on my Vernon Barker Audax bike complete with mudguards, rack and rackbag) at about 18mph. Some of the TT riders were absolutely flying as they passed me! Now I'm sure that most cyclists suffer from the affliction of always wanting to chase down/not get dropped by another cyclist on the road but at this point in the ride I was in no shape to even remotely try and keep up. Even if I'd wanted to there is no way I could maintain that sort of speed.

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