An early season audax to blow away the cobwebs! Well it certainly did that!
Riding with Anthony and Martin from North Cheshire Clarion we set off from Bradwell to follow a circular loop taking in such places as Hathersage, Bakewell, Ashbourne and the Peak District National Park.
The weather was pretty cold, made colder by the wind-chill – a not-very-nice 12mph bugger that made life much harder than it needed to be. It was hard work riding into it, but also hard work when it was blowing across us. And a lot of the route was pretty exposed so there was little respite.
The route was also considerably more hilly than any of us were expecting. Part of the route was the same as the Tour of Britain route from last year and there were quite a few sharpish lumps on it.
The thing about audax is that they are very sociable. We had great chats at various stages along the route with people riding along, and we met a couple of guys from Saddleworth Clarion – boots! On top of that it was really enjoyable riding with Martin and Anthony – great guys and we all share a similar sense of humour.
I had a stupid clipless moment whilst stopped in a layby. Unclipped on my left side I lost my balance on the right. Luckily the ground broke my fall.
Cafe stop was at a place called Windy Ridge. We ordered our food and sat down. I had order 39 and when the waitress shouted out 27 we knew we were in for a long wait. And so it was – an hour later we were off again but at that point I was cold and my legs had stiffened. So it ended up being a long day, and we finally landed back at the HQ as it was getting dark, for a nice soup and piece of cake.
As a training ride it was great – lots of hills, lots of effort into the wind even on the flat.
Ride stats : 67 miles in 5hrs 10m @ 13mph average. 5,037ft of ascent, average HR 146bpm and 4,464kcals of energy used