On saturday night/Sun morning when I finished work, about 12.30am my legs were itching to go out and cycle. In my usual style I prepped everything before trotting off to bed to be awoken 5 hrs later.
6am on the dot I got out of bed and changed into cycling stuff. Looked like it was going to be dry with only a 25% chance of rain and not much cloud so wore shorts and my wind jacket. Had all my lights set up and my flashing fluorescent bands around various parts of my body as I wasn't expecting it to be light for a good couple of hours. As soon as I opened the door I was greeted by daylight! It was a little dim so left on the lights but took off the bands. Holmfirth Rd and Holme Moss was my destination as always when I ride solo on Sundays except the week before I had to turn round half way due to bad weather.
I had to tell my legs to slow down as they seem to want to sprint up every hill and I wanted some energy for later on. I got lost negotiating Oldham town centre as the main rd was closed and managed to find a road to shaw and royton!! I could get back home that way! Found my way again and Hit the bottom of the climb with an average of just over 17mph. I had already started getting cramp 1 hr into the ride, very strange. The skies began to clear and the sun shining helped take my mind from the gradient ahead. There was a light breeze which didn't seem to help too much. As I descended towards Holmfirth the breeze picked up and had a tail wind to the bottom hitting close to 40 mph. As I turned off I hit a big pot hole and another rear light went flying and smashed to pieces. I think thats set number 5!!!!! The climb to Holme Moss was harder than I previously remembered, there was a head wind but was going faster than the last time I hit this hill with a head wind. My head wanted to take it easy but my legs kept pushing and pushing. Eventually I reached the top and was helped back down by an unwelcome tail wind/cross wind.
I turned onto the Woodhead Road where now the wind was in my face all the way back home. Saw the odd roadie on the other side and overtook 2 roadies who were heavily laden with shite/panniers. I cant believe my legs still had lots of energy left in them after all the effort I was putting in or seemed to put in. My averages were up a bit and the wind was aginst me. I was beginning to think this bonk training wasn't working anymore as I have been getting home with energy left but with 8 miles left, going through Denton I began to lose heart. I haven't been this way before and didn't know what to expect. I went down devils hill and came across a steep climb further on which I tried to go hard up. I gave it my all and when at the top the gradient levelled out a bit but was still climbing. I guess this is the way Gaz and Joby go to Manchester Centre. Once in Manchester I must have stopped at every set of lights. With 5 miles left I had just about enough to go at an easy pace and 2 short,steep hills to climb. The weather had been perfect apart from the wind and 1 mile from my house a rogue dark cloud appeared above me and released its juices. Managed to cycle out of it in 5 mins but the damage was done. The last hill was painfully slow, about 8mph avaerage when I had got used to 11mph. Again the wind didn't help. Don't ya just hate it when you get a sea of leaves headed straight for you and down the hill. Gives you a sense of the strength and direction of wind. I kept getting cramp which disappeared quickly over the last hour, it didn't slow me down really though.
Arrived at my house totally bonked out, thirsty with my belly rumbling. Average was 15.8mph about 62 miles in under 4 hrs with 3400ft climbing. Not bad as my nose was constantly blocked up and dribbling at the same time. Route here.