This is the 4th year I’ve ridden Hopey New Year. It’s a great little audax – around 66 miles with 1.75AAA points, which in reality is a shade under 6,000ft of ascent. None of the hills are particularly challenging – they are more drags than steep (max gradient about 12% I think) – so this year I decided to do them all in the big ring as my winter training involves trying to get stronger. The time of year helps blow any festive season cobwebs away.
Despite the BBC sensationalist weather forecasts which seem to be the norm at the moment, it was a relatively calm day with temperatures hovering around 6˚C. There was the odd little spell of fine rain but for the whole we were, again, very lucky with the weather.
I rode with Chris and the Saddleworth boys in the main (and Mike who is now Bury Clarion apparently), although as I was arriving in my car I saw a North Cheshire guy departing.
So it was a really good day on the bike through the lovely peak district. The only minor shame was that the Windy Ridge cafe (photo below from last year) is now closed, but the cafe in Longnor made up for it with smashing Staffordshire oatcakes and beans! Catering before and after the audax at HQ was, as ever, excellent. I’d encourage more riders to give it a go next year.
Ride stats : 66 miles in 4hrs 23m at 15.1mph average. 5,599ft ascent, 2,948kcals energy used. Average HR 131bpm, zone 0 – 48.8%, zone 1 – 29.8%, zone 2 – 15.2%, zone 3 – 6.1%