The weather on Sunday was very, very cold. The temperature didn’t get above 1 or 2 degrees pretty much all day. Bizarrely, for much of the ride it felt much warmer, but I suspect that was due to working quite hard!
I rode with Chris from Saddleworth Clarion and we set off at a blistering pace, aided by a slight tailwind. I was a little worried about ice on the Cheshire lanes, but as the roads were dry we didn’t see much, other than where water had run off the fields. Chris was really pushing it hard and apart from hills, I pretty much draughted him all the way to the first control. At that point we noticed it had started to gently snow, but we didn’t say much for fear of jinxing the ride! We hit the turning point at Newport at 60 miles in around 3 and a half hours. Anthony couldn’t join us on the ride, which is perhaps just as well, as the café at the garden centre was stupidly expensive, and I would have feared for his coronary health being charged a tenner for a sandwich, piece of cake, soft drink and a coffee!
Although things relatively warm when pushing the pace, stopping and starting off again soon made us feel cold, and the first 10 miles after the stop was pretty slow, before we hooked up to Mike from VC167 and the pace picked up again dramatically, and stayed pretty relentless all the way back.
It’s a great route, and aside from worrying about the bottom bracket on my winter bike, it was a great ride.
Finally, a bit of a tip for winter gear. I have been using Sealskinz gloves and ToeToe socks – and I have to say both are noticeably warmer than the alternatives I also own and use. I’m more than happy to recommend these.
Ride stats : 124miles in 7hrs 21m at 16.9mph average. 3916ft of ascent, 6523 kcalories used at average HR of 149bpm.