A very cold morning saw just myself Anthony and Phil set off slightly late on the North Cheshire Clarion training run. The normal social Sunday rides follow the North Cheshire mantra of never leaving a rider behind, which means there are regular stops to regroup , especially at the top of hills. The training rides are not especially meant to be faster, just a higher intensity. There’s no stopping to wait, and we try to keep the pace up. That said it was a very cold morning with ice still on the roads so we tried to keep it steady rather than fast. Anthony had picked the route because it involved a trip to the Elvis cafe. I don’t think any of us had realised that this, by North Cheshire standards, was one of the hillier rides. So all in all we weren’t setting any speed records but we still managed to get to the cafe before it opened! A quick extra loop of a couple of miles and when we returned it was open.
As we were leaving the social ride arrived and reported problems with both Garmins. Since the latest upgrade my 705 simply switches itself off when you select navigate at the start of a ride. However, if you start on the route and select navigate whilst moving it seems to work. For a piece of kit that costs over £300 the software and reliability is abysmal.
The only problem with the cafe is that it comes at mile 17 of a 44 mile route, meaning the second half of the ride is a bit more than a half, and it includes a fair bit of up! It also involves a lot of back country roads which at this time of year were full of icy bits in the verge, massive potholes and all sorts of gravel, dirt and mud debris. However, for the first time this year the sun came out! Even though it’s pretty weak, and it remained freezing, it’s amazing what a difference it makes psychologically. It was really nice to see it!
At the end we hadn’t turned in a particularly quick average but the intensity was there, especially up the hills, and we all enjoyed the ride.
Footnote – as that’s my last ride in January I notice I’ve done 508.6 miles – which is well on track for my target of 5,200 miles at the end of the year.
Ride stats : 47.3 miles in 3hrs 2mins @ 15.5mph. 1,956ft climbing and 2455kcals energy used. Average heartrate 143bpm