Thursday, 12 March 2009

Adventures are hard but fun

I had thought I would do my march century today, but getting up wasn't happening and then Ali rang me every five minutes for an hour from the airport. So I came up with a plan. I would get the train to Clitheroe and cycle back - off-road of course! I have a lot on at the moment so I knew I had to make use of the morning, so after plotting a route - nearly all off-road and maybe a little bit of cheeky stuff - I did some cleaning and some studying. Then I headed out to get the 13:25 train. I used this time to read a bit and eat my lunch.
Once I got off the train I got going straight away, I knew that some of the ride would be in the dark but the closer to home I was the better as I was more likely to be on trails I know. Out of clitheroe and then straight round a field trying to work out the bridleway and then farm tracks out to the bottom of nick o pendle. This is a climb I've done twice now, both times in the pendle pedal and it is a killer. The map even has double arrows on it to remind me how hard it is. I remember struggling up it on my geared roadie so it was going to be interesting on rigger. I made it although I'm sure at times it might have been quicker walking!

The next big challenge was out of Whalley, I had decided to go up Whalley Banks and follow the bridleway. I was very close to toppling over on the road and once I got on the bridleway there was no chance of me riding - I wouldn't have got up with with gears either it was so rocky. It was up here I saw my first baby sheep of the year! Must mean it is spring! A little far away to pop out with Ali so she can see them though.

After that it was a mixture of farm tracks and footpaths - many of which have been upgraded to bridleways. Although when I was climbing over a locked gate in a farmyard within sight of someone I thought I might have to do the innocent girl trick, they didn't say anything though. By this point I was finding it hard, I really don't think I had eaten enough so I shoved some food down me and started plodding across more muddy grass.
The next thing I know its getting dark and I'm in Darwen, light on and I start heading up to the tower. That is one hard climb and I ended up walking the last bit after a waterbar got me, I just didn't have the power to get over it. By this time it was completely dark so I got my joystick out, turned it on and started heading down towards tockholes, within a minute the joystick had turned itself off. I really missed having a light on my head as well as my bars. Out south of tockholes and then home along the Witton Weavers way.
My right hamstring is quite tight and I have got lazy about stretching so I washed my bike did some quick stretches then pizza for tea. After that I had a bath and then got on the roller while watching tv, followed by more stretching. I must get back in the habit.
An excellent ride and I'll be doing more of the same. Worryingly I found it hard and had to dig quite far into my mental reserves to keep going at times. It was shorter with less climbing than transwales but in ways felt harder, I think as there was very little road. Either that or I have a lot a lot of work to do!
34.73 miles @ 7.8 mph
1186m ascent
Total time 5:52:24


  1. The views are gorgeous, definitely worth riding in daylight, if that's there to see! Great job on all that climbing. Awww, I love the little lambs!

  2. I'm a Londoner and always will be but I get very jealous of people who can cycle in that kind of scenary. The Surrey Hills are ok but I have to cycle for 15 miles before I get to them and they are nothing like those pictures.

  3. Yes, cos singlespeeding up the Nick O Pendle is such a jolly jaunt!!!!!!

    The Darwen climb is hard (I know exactly which one you mean) and the waterbars do get you. I needed my lowest gear last time I hauled myself up it so well done for getting so far on the SS.

    You've got loads of time til TW and a great base to work off now.

    Hopefully your post will inspire me to do something today, been struggling a bit this week.

  4. Simon that is why I could never live in london I need my fix of the hills!

    You fancy nick o pendle on a singlespeed julbags? I'm sure it can be arranged!

    I have been suffering from can't be bothered recently as well, getting the train and then riding back is a great way of getting out!

  5. I was being sarcastic! I've only driven up the Nick O Pendle so I am very, very impressed you managed to get up in on your SS. I don't really fancy singlespeeding anything as I love my gears and like twiddling up hills at nice easy speeds, particularly at the minute. Though as I've done more running I spend a lot more time out of the saddle when riding so Jez threatened to turn my hardtail into an SS.

    Once the mara is done I may put the flat pedals back on the hard tail as it makes things a bit harder but I'll still have gears!

    I think you are being too hard on yourself.

  6. Fab ride Trio! Well done on getting up all those hills. I think I'll need lots of training to get anywhere near that capability - once Ortho allow me to do anything again.

    Simon - I'm in the same boat as you; although I live in Mcr like Trio I have to cycle for 10-15 miles before I get stunning hill scenery, or lovely Cheshire scenery in the opposite direction!

  7. Geeked out on the graph. Sucker for pretty colors especially when they start turning crimson. How'd you get that right?

  8. Stolen straight from mapmyride its annoying as it doesn't get the gradient right, the longer the route the flatter it makes some of the hills, but I love the colours too!

  9. Hi Trio,

    Been following your blog since the Trans Wales, always an inspiration, but this time you have surpassed yourself with your last excellent post! Congratulations.


  10. Thank you Richard, I chose the right day for my adenture as friday it rained most of the day!