Headline: Over half way there!
Route: Haydock to Penrith
Cycling time: 8.32.41 on the road, ride time 7.21
Average speed: 14.77 mph
Total ascent: 5064ft
Weather: Very warm and sunny, but a strong headwind in places
Today proved to be one of the most challenging days so far. It started well with flattish terrain and sitting on a fast group, but it proved to be too fast so I dropped off with a young Chinese woman from London Dynamo. She normally rides like a dynamo, but she was having an off day so I towed her to the second feed stop, which meant a long time out in the wind. This created some latent fatigue which didn’t manifest itself until the mighty climb of the day. Shap. It is an eight mile long climb that goes over a thousand feet, running from Kendal to the town of Shap. It is an almighty drag along the A6, and today it was done against a raging headwind.
Not to be tackled alone, I paired up with a big, powerful American triathlete who offered great shelter from the wind. I did my fair share of the pulling, but it burnt me out and I dropped off his wheel for the last third. I crawled up to the top alone to be greeted by some of the Threshold Sports team with flags, cowbells and Haribos. I stopped at the summit with some others for a drink and post climb analysis, but when I got back on the bike I felt excruciating pain in my right leg. It is an ongoing issue with my lower back that I am monitoring, so I popped some of the Ibuprofen I always carry with me. So for the twenty minutes before they kicked in I free wheeled on the good descents and pedalled one-legged against a still raging headwind on the less steep bits. Not that efficient or fast as you can appreciate. Once the pain lessened I could ride again normally to the bass camp, which was on the grounds of a country house just beyond Penrith in the Lake District. Named Hutton in the Forest it is the home of Lord and Lady Inglewood.
It is great to be back at base camp. The food
supplied by a catering company called Lulu’s is magnificent. I know some people scoff at doing this ride with a camping option, but I must say that the site is managed extremely well and you are so knackered by the end of the day you could sleep on your bike. I like the intimacy of the base camp, we all hang out in the catering area so you get to see everyone. The one night at Bath Uni was comfortable, but you wouldn’t want it every night as we were all too dispersed and separated. The experience of doing this mega ride together, and needing one another to ride with, makes it a very social event.
wordpress theme by initheme.com