Riding with Chris we set off optimistically in cool weather but with bright skies. In fairly short order we headed out into the peak district and started the climbing.Unfortunately for us we were coming the opposite direction to a major sportive, as we rounded Jenkins Chapel and starting the stiff and steep climb to Pym’s Chair, we were met with hundreds of descending riders, often 3 or 4 abreast and all over the road. At one point a rider shouted “no brakes” and went right across the road in front of me. Chris saw somebody come off and frankly it was pure luck that nobody else was hurt. A cup of tea and slice of home made flapjack from the organiser at the top soon calmed nerves and we set off down the other side and headed out and eventually onto the plains.
Each time we stopped the sun was beating down, but when moving it remained cool, and the wind was all over the place – it was an especially tough section riding across Tatton Park for instance. Another stop at High Legh garden centre and then we were off again, taking alternate pulls on the front and making fast progress. It really was a nice day for once, and the route followed familiar Cheshire lanes. We ripped down Delamere having passed the North Cheshire sunday ride going the opposite way, and had two more shop stops in Malpas and Audlem, which were warm enough to warrant ice creams!
We rode the final sections hard to put our LEL strategy/theory to the test – the plan is coming together!
Ride stats : 130 miles in 7hrs 27min at 17.5mph average. 6,782ft climbing. 5,511kcals used, average HR 131bpm