Anthony, Martin and I drove up to Caton in Lancashire today to ride this Populaire audax. At 8-30am this morning you wouldn’t have thought the weather would be bad, as the sky was clear and the sun was shining. However, the weather forecast was suggesting that a blanket of rain was sweeping northwards and would envelop us around about 1pm. For once, and unfortunately, the forecasters were right and the heavens opened at around 12-30pm.
The ride took us in a big loop around the Forest of Bowland on both cycleway and quiet country roads.
Even in the nice sunshine there was a wind blowing northwards so the first section of the ride, of course, took us into the headwind. Plenty of hills but not an excessive amount of climbing. The big hill in the middle was made much worse by it being directly into a headwind, which whistled down the exposed moorland. As usual we rode along having a laugh, especially when it turned out I’d plotted the route incorrectly, and Anthony confused himself by wrongly voting for himself to be responsible for remembering the control points. The upshot of having an incorrect route, and poor instructions, was that we passed many riders only to find ourselves behind them at a later stage.
Foodwise we managed cake in the morning, warm food in the middle and a bacon butty at the end. The Riverside in Slaidburn was full of Harley Davidson bikers. We considered having a “rumble” but it was starting to rain that fine rain so we thought we’d go to Puddleduck’s in Dunsop Bridge instead.
We had a brilliant tailwind on the final leg back to the HQ which saw us flying up a hill at 22mph at one point, but by then we were all very wet and very cold – in June – ridiculous.
Ride stats : 68 miles in 4hrs 57m at 13.8mph average. 3393ft of climbing and 3451kcals energy used