This permanent audax is part of the Marple grimpeur series of rides, coming in at 109km and 2.5AAA points. It was a very cold night and the car temperature gauge was reading -3℃ and there was a frost on the ground. I was hopeful that as the sun rose it would warm slightly and make the roads a bit better as I set off. The first real climb was up and over Snake Pass, which warmed me up a bit but didn’t really suggest that things were going to get warmer – although with the sun being low in the sky it was quite difficult to see properly.
As I got further into the countryside and away from main roads the worse it got, with widespread frost and bits of ice. At one point after the first control I hit a sheet of ice across the road and bang, down I went. As I’d fallen off last week and cut my knee this only served to reopen that cut and make me very twitchy for the remaining 40 miles.
At parts I was going down hill slower than I was going up them because I was worried about grip, and I also walked several sections of road, which in itself was difficult enough with cleats on! My average speed reflects this.
I didn’t really enjoy this ride although I would like to do it again in summer as the route is beautiful. I’ll be rethinking when I go out this winter – 2 offs in 2 weeks doesn’t fill me with confidence.
Ride stats : 68 miles in 5hrs 16m at 12.9mph average. 7200ft of climbing, 4274kcals of energy used, average HR 139bpm.