Route here. Set off 8.45am and I decided to meet the tri club at Rochdale baths for 10.30am. Forecast wasn't promising with rain having a 60% of appearing and the large grey clouds and excessive wind seem to be giving a big hint. I cycled around Middleton for a while then to Rochdale and onto Littleborough, up Blackstone edge then back down again to Rochdale Baths. Pedalling against the swirly wind is not fun but gets the muscles working double time.
Once at the baths I waited for the gang to get ready and we set off to Hebden Bridge for a quick cafe stop. On the way from Littleborough, after waiting for the others on the other side of the lights, a breakaway of 3 formed which I was part of with Phil and Graham. Saw the gang from Cycle chat forums at this point headed in the opposite direction. I thought I would be clever and do the whole lot standing up from the baths to Hebden as I thought they were going to pootle but these two were upping the pace, quicker and quicker, into a head/crosswind! I had to sit down eventually and rest the legs for a bit whilst Phil and Graham took it in turns to lead. On leaving Tod, Graham went on a mission and pummelled it, 25mph + on the flat in a head wind! Phil got dropped but wasn't too far back and I was hanging on to his wheel for dear life. There were a few steep short sections which were a godsend for me as I ease up them effortlessly and Graham stood up, grinding on his pannier laden, metal monster.
Was glad when we reached the cafe, lactate threshold not exceeded which could have been disaster for the Cragg Vale climb. I supped a pot of tea, the others gorged on crumpets with jam, cheese on toast or humongous BLT's. The cycling gear I was wearing was a little wet with sweat and I was getting cold very quickly so once back outside I was having to go some to keep warm.
Graham led again but at a much lower speed and once on Cragg could see he wasn't giving it his all as I pulled away. A very welcome tail wind greeted us for the first half of the climb but turned into a a nasty swirly one when exposed further up where I was doing 3 mph less that usual on the flatter sections. I waited at the top for a while and started to freeze. Phil joined me back to home whilst Graham went back to find the others. I went a longer way home than usual and went as hard as my ickle legs could take me to keep me warm. Bring on the Spring and Summer weather I say.
Jamis felt as good as ever, not going to touch the setup now. Hoping to get on the track this week and one big midweek ride, fingers crossed.
Distance 60 Miles
Av Speed 16.9mph
Ascent 3923ft - computer (mapmyride shows 2.4k, bike hike shows 3900ft)