Wednesday, 31 July 2013
I got the fever
TdF bug has bitten hard this year, last week I found myself loading the bike into the car and driving up to cumbria, so far so normal but got to sedbergh and realised I'd only brought a bloody a road bike! Forecast was for rain later but I was gambling on getting finished before it hit, what I didn't take into account was wind. Big old headwind all the way through garsdale, not nice, clouded over too and got a little chilly. Up buttertubs pass was tough going and I soon rode into cloud, the descent down to Thwaite wasn't great steep with sharp corners and limited visibility meant I couldn't stay off the brakes and let speed build up, once down the otherside I popped out of the cloud into sunnier climes. The rolling road to reeth was a nice spin. Stopped at Dales centre for hot chocolate and a brownie, nice but I stayed too long and legs took a while to get going again. Up arkengarthdale it was nice and sunny, the climb up to tan hill was nice and gradual, quick drink at the pub the down West Stones Dale. Headwind again but despite that it proved to be a cracking descent. Some soreen at the bottom (I'd forgotten that I don't realy like malt loaf) readied me for the climb up birkdale. Was tough on tired legs but ok, the rest of birkdale is brilliant tho (relatively, as roads go) a twisty turny undulating road, nice and open so you can see any oncoming traffic, I battered along it, top fun. After Lamps Moss you get a great fast descent, taken at not quite full speed, as usual I spent most of it wondering if my forks would snap and just how much it would hurt if they did. I have road bike trust issues. By nateby my legs were feeling shot so necked a gel but the ride down Mallerstang common just seemed to go on and on, and the headwind picked up again after Hazelgill too. I did see some roadies up ahead so put in some effort to catch them figuring teaming up with them would more than pay for the exerted effort but just as I got to them they pulled over for a chat with someone, grrr. I went slow up the next hill to give them chance to catch up but there was no sign of them so I kept on going. After an age I finally saw Moorcock Inn and got a tailwind all the way down Garsdale, weeeeeeee. Big ringed it all the way back to sedbergh. Stopped at new bridge for a dip in the river rawthey to sooth my burning legs, sun still beating down, followed by pastry based refuel at the tea room. Lovely.