On Saturday I was having a bouncing competition with my youngest daughter (don’t ask – she’s a bit childish like that) when I had to stop because of a pain in my lower back. I thought nothing more of it and it went away. Until the first real climb of the Macc Monster when it started aching quite badly, and didn’t really stop for the rest of the ride. Last year I rode the Macc Monster in bright October sunlight, riding in shorts and short sleeves and enjoying a really nice day round the hills of the Macclesfield Forest and edge of the Peaks. This year it was windy and wet, but still as enjoyable, with the Kidscan charity organising another super event.
I mistakenly got up an hour earlier than I needed to having misread the registration time so I was there nice and early, with the weather damp but not too bad. This is a well-organised sportive so we were off pretty much bang on time in a 200 strong peloton heading out from the HQ. The field rapidly thinned out as we immediately started hitting the hills and I made my way through the field settling (and staying) in the first 30 or so riders. We seemed to battle a headwind for most of the ride which somehow seems unfair considering it’s two loops but certainly as we hit the peaks the wind was blowing hard.
Not far from, and at the halfway feed station, I started chatting to a chap who introduced himself as Adam who had just joined North Cheshire Clarion. He looks like the racing snake variety of cyclist and is apparently into time-trials so watch out Giles next year! Adam, if you are reading this, welcome to the club.
The feed station had the usual basic, but very welcome, food such as banana, flapjack, malt loaf and water/energy drinks and I was soon on my way again.
The last 2 climbs were pretty tough. The headwind was now brutal and the rain was being driven into our faces and was actually painful, especially up to the Cat and Fiddle. But this is a great route and soon we were sweeping down descents towards the finish, and a complimentary steak sandwich and cup of coffee.
I keep recommending these rides – this one and the Peak 100. They are great value, with well signed and interesting routes, good organisation and value for money. And any proceeds go to the charity. Give them a go next year – I will see you there.
Ride stats : 64 miles in 4hrs 40m @ 13.7mph average. 7087ft climbing, average HR 150bpm and 4099kcals used.