Macc Monster 2011

Ade's Road Cycling Blog

Remember - the camera adds 10lbs...

On Saturday I was having a bouncing competition with my youngest daughter (don’t ask – she’s a bit childish like that) when I had to stop because of a pain in my lower back.  I thought nothing more of it and it went away.  Until the first real climb of the Macc Monster when it started aching quite badly, and didn’t really stop for the rest of the ride.  Last year I rode the Macc Monster in bright October sunlight, riding in shorts and short sleeves and enjoying a really nice day round the hills of the Macclesfield Forest and edge of the Peaks.  This year it was windy and wet, but still as enjoyable, with the Kidscan charity organising another super event.

Ade's Road Cycling Blog

Ade's Road Cycling Blog

7,087ft climbing

I mistakenly got up an hour earlier than I needed to having misread the registration time so I was there nice and early, with the weather damp but not too bad.  This is a well-organised sportive so we were off pretty much bang on time in a 200 strong peloton heading out from the HQ.  The field rapidly thinned out as we immediately started hitting the hills and I made my way through the field settling (and staying) in the first 30 or so riders.  We seemed to battle a headwind for most of the ride which somehow seems unfair considering it’s two loops but certainly as we hit the peaks the wind was blowing hard.

Not far from, and at the halfway feed station, I started chatting to a chap who introduced himself as Adam who had just joined North Cheshire Clarion.  He looks like the racing snake variety of cyclist and is apparently into time-trials so watch out Giles next year!  Adam, if you are reading this, welcome to the club.

The feed station had the usual basic, but very welcome, food such as banana, flapjack, malt loaf and water/energy drinks and I was soon on my way again.

Ade's Road Cycling Blog

Photo does not convey how wet and windy it was

The last 2 climbs were pretty tough.  The headwind was now brutal and the rain was being driven into our faces and was actually painful, especially up to the Cat and Fiddle.  But this is a great route and soon we were sweeping down descents towards the finish, and a complimentary steak sandwich and cup of coffee.

I keep recommending these rides – this one and the Peak 100.  They are great value, with well signed and interesting routes, good organisation and value for money.  And any proceeds go to the charity.  Give them a go next year – I will see you there.

By the way, if you like the photos they were taken by Rick Robson at CycleSportPhotos – I think they’re good despite the subject model – especially given the weather conditions.

Ride stats : 64 miles in 4hrs 40m @ 13.7mph average.  7087ft climbing, average HR 150bpm and 4099kcals used.


Hopey New Year

An early season audax to blow away the cobwebs!  Well it certainly did that!

Riding with Anthony and Martin from North Cheshire Clarion we set off from Bradwell to follow a circular loop taking in such places as Hathersage, Bakewell, Ashbourne and the Peak District National Park.

The weather was pretty cold, made colder by the wind-chill – a not-very-nice 12mph bugger that made life much harder than it needed to be.  It was hard work riding into it, but also hard work when it was blowing across us.  And a lot of the route was pretty exposed so there was little respite.

The route was also considerably more hilly than any of us were expecting.  Part of the route was the same as the Tour of Britain route from last year and there were quite a few sharpish lumps on it.

5,037ft of ascent

The thing about audax is that they are very sociable.  We had great chats at various stages along the route with people riding along, and we met a couple of guys from Saddleworth Clarion – boots!  On top of that it was really enjoyable riding with Martin and Anthony – great guys and we all share a similar sense of humour.

I had a stupid clipless moment whilst stopped in a layby.  Unclipped on my left side I lost my balance on the right.  Luckily the ground broke my fall.

Cafe stop was at a place called Windy Ridge.  We ordered our food and sat down.  I had order 39 and when the waitress shouted out 27 we knew we were in for a long wait.  And so it was – an hour later we were off again but at that point I was cold and my legs had stiffened.  So it ended up being a long day, and we finally landed back at the HQ as it was getting dark, for a nice soup and piece of cake.

As a training ride it was great – lots of hills, lots of effort into the wind even on the flat.

Average heartrate - 146 bpm

Ride stats : 67 miles in 5hrs 10m @ 13mph average.  5,037ft of ascent, average HR 146bpm and 4,464kcals of energy used