Sunday, 21 February 2010

NorthWest Passage.. another 100 miler

Route West Penine Road Club hosted their Northwest Passage Audax/reliability ride on Saturday with two courses available. A 210km one that went from Rochdale to Kirkby Lonsdale and a 120km route that cut across at Gisburn into the Forest of Bowland. Ideally I would have liked to have done the longer ride but it was freezing! so 95% of people opted for the short course.

With Pantani, who wanted to try out his new Pro lite wheels with 12-21 7 speed gearing!!, we set off to HQ which was The Spring Inn. It is right next to the running track I go to. Met alot of the gang from Rochdale Tri club but since they were messing about, Pete and I set off on our own with no map and just a vague idea where to go. Route is above and I wont go into detail. Pete was seriously lacking fitness and after 25 miles was struggling up any kind of incline but he soldiered on, constantly looking for a cafe stop. The stubborn T\/\/@t wouldn't draft me either as his excuse was that he was on his tribars ( not that it helped him) and didn't was to keep braking behind me. Whatever!!! Anway after 40 miles around Blackho he was getting very desperate and started to look for cafes behind bushes and fields. I gave him some jelly babies but they didn't help him at all. As we climbed then descended to Bolton by Bowland there was a low lying freezing mist which numbed the extremities and cast a frost on anything that got in its way. Must have been around -4 Anytime I closed my eyes for a second longer than needed, I had to force them open as my eye lashes froze together.
Plan B came to fruition as we took a shortcut to Clitheroe but before getting there we managed to find a secluded lorry stop cafe that did full breakfasts for 'pennies'. I had a coffee, beans on toast and black pud, Pete stuffed his face with a full breakkie. We hanged our gear on the radiator to dry and planted our feet on it to get some feeling back in the toes. We backtracked a couple of miles or so to make sure we completed the route and met Rochdale Triclub just leaving their cafe stop and not long later we saw them again, after another diversion, but they had to stop as one of them had a puncture. We latched on to a group of 3 oldies as Pete wasn't sure of the way to Blackburn via the 'official route' Once he thought he knew his location we went ahead only to find them at a cross roads ( coming from different directions) in Blackburn, not long after, telling us we were going the wrong way. It was really funny, one of those moments you had to be there.
We once again followed this group of oldies to Haslingdon ( Pete felt right at home) and he just about managed to keep up only dropping back a few hundred yards on each climb :P . I have to hand it to him, he didn't give up and gave it his all right to the end and 'beyond'.
The nice long climb up Edenfield road loomed and I powered ahead, overtaking loads, but waited for Pete at the top only to see myself being retaken and Rochdale Tri club passed again. After freezing my arse off for the umpteenth time, waiting for Pete, he managed to find the energy for a little sprint on the descent. He knew his way back at this point and I went chasing the tri club. I overtook the lot by Rochdale town centre and met Pete back at HQ completing 85miles.
Whilst the rest of the guys had their pie and peas, we just drank a coke each and set off again searching for the last 15miles to take us past the century. At Victoria Av, I told Pete we had done it. He was chuffed to bits and shook my hand which I thought was a great gesture. He was also impressed with the average speed considering he was never ever near 100% from the start.
If I hadn't powered up Edenfield Rd, sprinted to catch the tri club up and hit the last hill up Wood street hard I could probably have done another 50+ miles but at the end I used up what I had left and my thighs were burning a while after.

The scenery was something else, only spoiled by the cold and frost bite. The winter base miles are clocking up nicely but still not able to get out as much as I would like. At least I can definitely feel an improvement week after week.

Average speed 15.1mph
Distance 104.2miles
Ascent 6600ft

1 comment:

  1. Awesome ride. I would suggest meeting up as I'm Rochdale, but you scare me to death. 100 miles? Jeeesus man.