Not much training the past week but I went swimming on Thursday as missus was in hospital and visiting time was over so had an hour or so to spare. Whilst there I asked if anyone was going out for a ride on Sunday. A few wanted to go out on their own but Jack asked if I wanted to join the gang that I joined in one ride last year with Chris Newton and struggled to keep up. So after beggin' wifey if I can go and promising I would only be a few hours, I prepped the bike.
We met at Mossley train station and there were about 10 of us all together. A few from Wheel Guru club inc Adam Bonser, ex rapha, Rochdale tri and some veteran ex pros. I heard a few had just come back from a 2 week training camp in Majorca. I was hoping all the work I had put in would stand me in good stead. Pace was relatively easy until any hills turned up and you could see the explosive power these guys had. There were 2 very long climbs of around 3 miles + each and on the first they kept going faster and faster and I managed to keep up, some of the others were getting dropped or taking it easy, not sure but I hit the top in the leading group. The 2nd long climb to the Cat and Fiddle was a similar story but with 500 yds to go one of the vets and 2 ex pros started to pull away. I dropped back, recovered, then got the rythm going again and caught the vet up. The legs had suffered on that one but wasn't really out of breath.
We had a cafe stop at the peak view, near the Cat and Fiddle pub and I had choccy fudge cake and a coffee. We met another famous name at the cafe, Brian Rourke who organises the annual Cat and Fiddle challenge ride. The others seem to know him and chatted away whilst I savoured the cakey.
Set off again at a furious pace and I was really sprinting to keep up. A mistake I seemed to make was to drop slightly off someones wheel and then had to work 10 times harder to get back on. The guys settled down again and we headed for home. There was a really steep hill where I got cramp badly and dropped back a little but the hill was short and managed to keep up. The cramp lingered but the pain wasn't too bad. Nice and flattish/downhill on the way back, the others went towads Mossley and I turned off to Ashton. My legs were getting fresher and fresher and I kept the pace above 20mph on flat for the last 10-15miles.
I have tilted the saddle slightly down which means I can raise the saddle height. This puts me in a more comfortable position and able to pull the pedal more effortlessly. Going to try and raise it a little more. A 'downside' is that I have to push on the levers/bars to put me on the saddle but when I do I seem to get 'free power' and can feel a big difference in speed.
The route detailed above is very very rough. Most of the roads we took were on little roads and I had never been on the route before ( past Marple Bridge) Also we climbed 5500ft according to my computer which is quite accurate, there is definitely another big climb and descent that I seem to have missed out. I dont think I hit the 100miles either as the computer showed 95miles with an average of 16.7mph.
Fantastic ride, hoping that I can join them quite regularly and improve quickly. I need to work on my 'jumps' / quick short hard efforts.