Perhaps it was the lack of mental preparation leading up to the ride, the scale of the climb, the wind that was being funneled down the valley into my face; or the demons inside my head, saying 'you gunna bail'; or allt he above, but I did not succeed. BUT, I will return!!
To be honest with myself, I was already struggling to turn the crank in second gear just as the climb was getting interesting at a cattle grid at the foot of the main climb, I really needed to be in third or fourth with the remaining gears in reserve at this stage. A guy just passed me after the cattle grid, which was some motivation to carry on as long as I did, but he carried on climbing after I bailed and disappeared around a corner promptly after.
The guy who passed me, got me thinking about the geometry on my bike. His was a proper roadie with 26" wheels, where as mine is a cross with slightly larger 700cc wheels. I'm not sure how much bigger mine are compared to his, but I would imagine that having a smaller wheel on climbs would be an advantage..., but how much? I'm going to Google it and find out.
To climb the rest of the hill, I had to take my shoes off and climb the remainder of the hill in my socks whilst pushing the bike. I was too slow, uncomfortable and slippery in my cleats. Once at the top the rest of the climb to the top of Mam tor was straight forward. It really was a pleasure to see the whole Edale valley open up in front of me as I came through the pass and started my descent into Edale. I stopped for coffee at the bottom and continued the rest of the journey home through Haversage, Sheffield and my usually cycle commute route home. I got a flat just before I reached the top of a hill outside Greasborough, a guy passed me on his mountain bike, who I had just overtaken, which was slightly embarrassing, but the change was quick with the CO2 canister and I was on my way within ten minutes.
On the final hill, before I get home (about 3 miles after the flat) I spotted the guy who passed me in the distance and decided to go all out to overtake him. I felt good, despite having nearly 100k in my legs (and arse). I didn't quite reach him on the hill, but I accelerated over the crest and shot by him about 200 yards after the summit, I really did pass him at a pace, which made it all worth it for me. I felt good, and the recovery has felt better when compared with the beginning of the week.
Catch you all soon. Sam is working the next 2 days, so I will not have any opportunity for any further rides this weekend.