Met Lee H (Rochdale Tri) at Rochdale baths for a century ride. He has always wanted to do one and I said I'd help him through it and as a big bonus I don't get bored shitless riding on my own. He was fully loaded with gels, bananas and a Soreen malt loaf brick which he gorged on constantly. I just had my water bottle and train pass, nothing else including money which was probably a bit stupid. The advice I offered was to take the hills easy and keep the cadence as high as possible. The first 30 miles he flew up the hills and due to a double chainset or not being used it, his cadence was a lot lower than mine. I kept mine around 88-90, although the legs felt fine, even after yesterday, I didn't want to risk blowing up as my glycogen stores wouldn't be fully replenished.
We started fairly quickly into the headwind towards Clitheroe so I took the lead to slow it down a little ( i hope) and so he would draft me up the long climbs from the start to before Burnley. For some strange reason anyone I ride with don't like drafting me, I'm happy to sit back and go with the flow usually. It was then all downhill to Clitheroe and was a little shocked to hear that after 40 miles he wanted to stop at a cafe and demanded an egg buttie. Fair enough however finding an open greasy spoon in Clitheroe is like looking for a hair on Pantanis head. After circling every road in the town centre I suggested to go to Waddington as I remembered the tri club stopped there when doing the Northwest Passage Audax. I the said that I knew a nice scenic route through Bolton by Bowland and Gisburn but neglected to tell him of the monster climbs. He wanted to go a flatter route via Blackburn and Bolton.
Found the cafe in Waddington and it was jam packed with two wheeled, weekend warriors. Luckily for us a big group was just leaving and asked if we wanted the chain and lock. I questioned it and they replied that the cafe supplies them for all cyclists. Wow that is fantastic and a custom that should be adopted further afield. Lee got his buttie and kept insisting I ate and drank something. I repeatedly declined but gave in and ordered a pot of tea and said for food all I need is fresh air and sunshine of which there was a plentiful supply. Lee proudly declared he was riding with someone who was on a 200 mile weekend whilst I tried to hide, a little embarrassed. By now I was getting a little harassed with all the questions being thrown at me, one being why don't I race hmmm. I'm not used to the attention and when leaving there were whispers ' he's the guy on that bike' lol. Supped up and asked an elderly gent where to go. After 5 mins of umming and ahhing he looked really pleased with himself and said take a right here and straight on for a long way.
The narrow quiet roads were a dream to ride on especially with the warmth of the sun belting down. Took it easy as Lee said something about low glucose level after food ??? then ate another banana 10 mins after the cafe. We were enjoying the ride until after bolton by Bowland and he wasn't impressed by the climb that was ahead. I tried to go at his pace but found it difficult so opened a gap up only to find him trying to keep up. I slowed again and told him to go at his own pace or he'd suffer. Anyway he put a lot of effort into the climbs which is the only way to get better...it was only a matter of time. All the effort was worth it as we descended into Nelson barely having to pedal as by now we actually had a tail wind albeit a little swirly. Burnley was soon upon us and Lee said to go on ahead before the climb to Tod as his legs had gone, so he stopped off in a layby and I carried on. He had done around 70 miles, 80 by the time he got home and was chuffed with his 5hrs 15min ride time. I took advantage of the tail wind until Walsden where the wind got stronger and stronger and more tornado like. On the home leg it was like riding through treacle with 2 punctured tires and an elephant strapped to my back. I was starting to get dehydrated too as I had only drank 500ml of my bottle and a cup of tea. The legs were great still but my insides were crying. I got back before 4pm too so Im still alive to tell the tale.
I felt a lot more aero with the longer stem and being stretched further out, my back was fine too! This bike is turning into a dream.
Distance 95 miles
Ascent ~6000ft ( my cycle computer has it exactly the same as 'ride with Gps')
( Thanks to lost for the new mapping tool)
Just over 180miles for a weekend's work and 12000ft of climbing...Lovin' it.