On Sunday I rode the Polkadot Challenge. I’d decided to ride to the start rather than drive, so although the weather forecast was for sun, it was quite cold as I set off at 6-30am wearing arm warmers and full-finger gloves. As I passed through Manchester they were setting up for the Great Manchester run, which I’d not realised, and meant there’d be more traffic on my ride home.
I got the HQ and sign-on was quick and easy – within minutes we’d had the briefing and were out on the road riding south from Woodford. The route was fantastic. It was well signed which was just as well, because the gpx was awful – something we were warned about at the briefing. A great touch was that major climbs were signed at the start, with the length of the climbs too. And there were some cracking climbs.
- Pott Shrigley – 1.4 miles
- Blaze Hill – 2 miles
- Jenkins Chapel – 1 mile (a brute!)
- Goyt Valley and Axe Edge – 3.8 miles
- Butterton Moor – 3.6 miles
- Wetton Low – 1 mile
- Stanshope – 1.3 mile
- Throwley Hall and Mere Hill – 2 miles
- Ipstones Edge – 0.6 miles
- Roach End – 1.2 miles
- Gun Hill – 1.4 miles
- Barlow Hill – 1.2 miles
- Wilboarclough – 4.5 miles
- Dead Mans Hill – 0.8 miles
- Charles Head by Harrop – 1.1 miles
And of course, some cracking descents too. The sun came out and it was a warm day. It made quite a change – I’ve got out of the habit of riding in the warmth, and having to apply sun lotion! The road surfaces on many descents were very poor, especially when shaded, with the shadows disguising potholes. Yet again, the state of the roads broke one of my bottle-cages. The feed stations were well-placed with simple and ample food and drink. My legs were feeling the climbs after the TT on Saturday, but I got round relatively quickly. At the end I regretted having another 17 miles to ride home but it was a nice day, and Sunday driving loons aside, it topped off a really nice day.
Ride stats : 98 miles in 06:37:35 at 14.8mph average (official time including stops 07:03:56). 10,119ft of climbing. 4,877kcals used, average HR 130bpm