Monday, 23 August 2010

Wanting a century ride

My endurance is lacking these days as most of my riding is my commute, which at just over an hour each way is never going to be enough for all day rides. So with Kielder100 coming up in two weeks it was time for one last long ride. I had orginally thought I would go out on the singlespeed, but its in the process of getting new tyres (I'm going tubeless and there has been some teething problems). So I decided a century on my fixie would be ideal. The original thought was a ride out to Southport and back by a non-direct route but then I came across a forum thread about a Rochdale to Blackpool ride. I was too late to join the start in Rochdale, but linking up at Rawtenstall should give me a good ride.

I made the decision to wear shorts but I still had armwarmers, showerproof and a waterproof with me just in case. I got to Rawtenstall in loads of time but with the sun out it was a nice place to wait, another cyclists arrived soon after me to meet up with the group. A little late, rides always start a little late due to the faff factor, the peloton rolled in. I think at this point we had about ten riders. I had only met a few in real life before but its always nice to meet new cyclists. The day got sunnier and sunnier. Between Rawtenstall and Blackburn we gained a few riders and lost a few, I got a little confused. The few climbs stretched us out a bit but we all regrouped at the top. I was pleased that I was coping with the downhills, although people were passing me on them with ease I wasn't miles behind. At some point I realised that we had missed a turn, a shout to the lads in front and Fiona and I turned round and collected someone else on our way back to the junction. The five of us set about catching the three that had been behind, assuming wrongly as it turned out they were now ahead of us. Stopping at a juntion I ran ColinJ and it turns out he had broken a spoke so was limping his bike slowly into Blackpool. He told us to head on so we powered off to Blackpool through some lovely villages and past an all you can eat Chippy!

Arriving at Blackpool there wasn't much to be said, it isn't somewhere I will necessarily choose as a ride location again. We got as close to the sea as we could, but building work put a stop to that. We then tried to find a chippy, but only Harry Ramsdens could be found. Eventually with the help from some locals we found a Chippy that was nice and had reasonable prices and sat in the square that would be home to the Nocture later that night munching away.  After that and an ice-cream for me we got ready to head. A message from Colin said he was on the train and we hadn't seen the other two. Two of our group headed up the coast, Fiona was cycling home to Kendel! I set off back towards Blackburn with the two speedy blokes. We apparently had a tailwind but it was still hard work, we didn't stop and although I dropped back on the hills I could keep them in sight at all times. They did have to stick with me as my GPS was how we found our way back. At Blackburn we split with two of us continuing to Bolton. Climbing the hill out of Darwin I was impressed I could get up it, I remembered it being really hard with gears when I was commuting years ago (nice to see progress). At the top we split as I would be slower down the hill, although I did almost stay in touch. A little loop of Bolton to get my century and I got home just as the rain started.

101miles with 1500m of climbing
A new max speed of 31mph (my little legs were spinning)


  1. "Endurance is lacking..." - 11 days after riding 160 miles in a MTB endurance event - ho ho!

    Nice to see you again Amy. I completely missed the fact that you were riding fixed but I did notice that you looked very smooth on your bike so perhaps that was what it was.

    Yeah, Blackpool isn't my favourite place either. Perhaps next time we could ride to Lytham St Annes, Fleetwood or maybe even Glasson Dock?

  2. It's all relative Colin though, I struggled a lot with the 24hours as recently most of my riding has been commuting so 1hr long.

    The villages at nearly Blackpool looked nice, I bet there is a nice cafe hidden somewhere.

    Yes I rode fixed, since I thought it would be a good challenge ;-) Smooth? Did you not see me bouncing on the downhills?

  3. This post makes me want to go ride my bike.

  4. hi amy,

    nice to see you again. blackpool sucked, too busy, and we had a crappy food stop.

    what gear ratio did you use? i'm just dipping my toe into fixed and dan lent me his, i've managed 33.8mph on my first outing (brag brag..hehe), bit scary tho. dan's bike is on 74 inches which feels too high for rossendale at the moment.



  5. ps,

    i thought you were sending me a map of the irwell trail. or perhaps if you fancy a ride show me the irwell trail

    cheers again


  6. I don't have your email Shaun!

    I was on 42 x 16 which I think is 69" I don't think I'll be going faster than 31mph, I get too scared!

    I only really ride the fixed on flat rides, hilly ones the gears come too!

  7. Sounds like an excellent ride (other than the destination - I rode there once and once was more than enough!)

    Well done on the 31mph!

  8. Next time, Whelan's fish and chip shop in Lytham is what you want. The BEST fish and chips ever. The only good food in Blackpool is Wah Wah's Thai restaurant. Although I do know where you can get some good cakes.

  9. Holy hell. Next time you're chasing someone elses wheels, if it helps, remember there's a little girl somewhere who is awe, and I do mean awe of the amount of miles you can ride.
    Also, n'th the Lytham suggestions. Far nicer. Not that it'd be hard :O)

  10. I couldn't always ride that far, its just built up over the last few years!