I spent Friday and Saturday in the saddle. On Friday I headed out to the Peak District in search of hills as I thought this would be representative of my challenge ride in September. Really glad I conquered Mam Tor which sits between Edale and Castleton. I approach the hill (mountain??) from the Edale side as a colleague at work (thanks Dave M) mentioned it was slightly more challenging from that end. The climb has featured on my 'bucket list' of rides ever since I got seriously into cycling, so I am really pleased with the achievement this weekend.
What I wasn't prepared for was the decent into Castleton on the other side. The road signs do not point to Castleton and I ended up doing another min climb back from the Blue-john cavern after realising I took the wrong track. Once I got onto the right track I had the 10% drop into Castleton which seems to descent forever. This was really scary. The ground was wet, and lots of pressure was applied to the brakes to stop the bike from running away. I haven't checked the stats, but I reckon I averaged 5mph all the way down. Lots of things were going through my head on that descent and non of them were good. My mind was playing tricks on me and I was imaging smoke coming out of the rear disc brake. The front brake was screaming like a banshee, which drew attention of every hiker in the valley to me. Once I was safely down, I made a bee-line back for Sheffield and home. 66.8miles in the bag.
On Saturday, I was back in the saddle again at 7.00am. Isaac my eldest had a two hour football practice session which finished by 12.00. We had lots planned for the day, so I set my alarm on my mobile for 2hours 30minutes. I was a case of see how for you can get along the usual route before I turned back. I was sore, but the legs soon eased of as I began spinning the pedals, but the arse was a bit uncomfortable. Despite that I achieved a lot in the ride. From home I rounded Mexborough and went the full length of Manvers, before heading out toward Pontefract via Barnsley. I stopped in a place called Brierley for a quick time check and a bite to eat. I had clocked 1hr20mins, so thought Pontefract would be about my limit in the time given. How wrong was I? Pontefract, came and went, as did Knottingley and as I approached Eggborough I was beginning to think that the phone had packed in. I stopped off at another regular point for refueling and was delighted to see that I had another 10 minutes spare. I had gone far enough by that point, and decided to head back. Oddly, this ride also clocked up 66.8miles... bizarre!!
The objective of this weekend, was to achieve 3 rides back to back totalling nearly 200miles. I will not achieve this as I fear that another 60-70miles will cause an injury in the nether region. I have learned a lot about myself this weekend, I performed 2 fixes on the fly (rear derailleur and crank arm coming loose), I know I have enough energy in my body to go the distance, the only sticking point is saddle comfort so I'm off to the bike shop to see if I can get a better saddle.