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
Total time 5:52:24