Monday, 21 November 2011
Dawn til Dusk
I've fancied doing a silly ride for a while now, I'd got an allday no quibbles day pass for the STW lee quarry ride so I'd work around that. Did think about riding over from home but I'd have to set off at daft'o'clock, instead I got my ever helpful wife to drop me off at the body farm It was just getting light but really thick fog meant visibility was low, this was to be a constant throughout the day I don't think visibility ever got above 50ft, claggy indeed. As it was going to be a long muddy slog in places I'd packed the blinglespeed, round the holcombe horseshoe and onto the first leg ripper of the day, the climb up to peel tower, steep as hell but nice and smooth with plenty of grip so no excuses to push, ground may way up that, decent pace along the tops and dropped in to Lumb. Climbed up to Edenfield and the next grinder gin croft lane, mainly concrete which alternated between grippy and slippy for seemingly no reason. Sand Beds Lane beat me, steep rough and slippy and my legs were already protesting, was making quick time so paused for a quick rest. The packhorse slabs round cowpe were slippery, the timeworn grooves in them making for interesting handling. Got to top of leach before 10, the group hadn't even left the car park so stay and wait in the cold or drop in? Drop in obviously. Link road has bedded in nicely nice and swoopy. stuck behind a group but it helped me enjoy the swoopiness rather than caning it and getting out of shape in the corners. At the bottom me and another "loner with people to meet" took a shortcut through the quarry, the guys have placed some big rocks up to stop you doing this (sorry fellas) I stopped next to them and put my foot on top, which slipped straight off over the top and threw me over them, proper cartwheel with bike trying to land on top of me, bloke behind obviously trying to suppress a laugh asked if I was ok and had I not seen the stones? Met up with everyone at the bottom and...climbed straight back up. The slabs were interesting on skinny tyres and a very high saddle rest was OK. Climb back up the link road was slow going but not too taxing. Going down to Crag a guy crashed right in front of me, those slippy rutted packhorse slabs again, couldn't slam on or I'd have hit the deck too, managed to avoid him, he luckily hadn't hurt himself. Crag was nice, was flowing along it quite well until I took a high line round a berm were some sharp rocks ripped the front tyre, tube in and then a sprint to catch everyone up. We did a new route back to sand beds, better than the boggy cowpe way. Got chatting to NBT along there then at a stop I cadged a bit of one of gramejones "blondies" think chocolate brownies but with white chocolate and macadamia nuts. Wow, really nice, I reckon the sugar rush hit me within about 30seconds of eating. We dropped down via the waterworks, some interesting singletrack including a very squeaky bum inducing makeshift bridge and rooty roll in. My memory's a bit vague after that, some road and double track stuff round Harden moor, back up to the top road and a right grinder of a climb up to the windmills which weren't visible until you got to their foot when the rotors would suddenly swoop down into view and disappear again. A bit of a bogfest over to top of leach where I said farewell and set off for home, dropped into edenfield and lumb in proper quick time with grahams route, took the road through helmshore as I didn't fancy the steep rocky climb up, bad move, longer and more climbing. The climb back onto the moors was never going to happen legs were shot by then so pushed up. I was now in a world of hurt, thighs aching, arms pumped, back and shoulders knackered, feet numb even the palms of my hands seemed bruised. Felt good :-) Steep cheeky decent from the tower, around the horseshoe, shot down the roads through entwistle, needed my lights for the chicken run and along the valley to home. Had only taken me 2 hours from leach to home, pretty quick. 54ish miles, felt like a lot more, longest/biggest/hardest singlespeed ride I've done.