Saturday evening was spent rushing around finding pedals, packing a saddle bag and attaching the laminated route sheets to ruby. While feeling a little panicked about hilly the route was and how few real hills I've rode recently. Still too late to do anything about it so I got myself to bed and tried to sleep.
Sunday morning and everything was going to plan till I asked my Garmin to follow the route. It started buzzing and froze on the screen saying Garmin (this has happened a few times now). So back in the house, computer on, load course onto old Garmin, sorted? Nope it didn't download, 2nd time lucky and it worked. Follow course nad no there must be a course error. Ahh well better go as i'm now going to be late...
I had to stop on my over to adjust my saddle height but made it 5minutes before the start, which I missed by going to the toilet! I was riding with Ali from MillsCC and she had kindly waited for me. We actually had a group of five of us and I was glad of my warm legs as we set up the first hill, I think a rope might have been more appropriate than a bike it was so steep! Lynne who was riding with us got to that stage on the steepest corner that its too late to unclip but you can't keep riding, only one place to go - the floor! The first loop was dispached just as it was getting a little warmer to be greeted by a spread of cakes. It was hard not to eat too much.
Out onto the second loop and along the valley road to Hebden Bridge (my least favourite bit of the ride) and onto another cliff to climb up. Before heading round to Cragg Vale which I think may have been the easiest climb of the day! Then it was time for more cake. Here two of our little bunch decided to abandon and we were down to three.
Off again and up more hills. With 13miles to go Lynne's chain came off, back on and up the hill. At the top I began to wonder where the other two were, especially as Lynne was faster up the hills than me, so I headed back down. Only to find Lynne's chain kept coming off. I adjusted the stops so it shouldn't come off. Then Ali noticed a broken link, only one side was attached. A look around and I realised that I didn't have a handy mechanic with me and it was up to me. It took a while but I got the dodgy link out and rejoined the chain. I noticed a couple of other cracks in some links but it seemed to be working fine. Another four miles and it seemed fine. I stopped to take my jacket off and rounded the corner to find a battered looking Lynne and Ali wheeling a bike with a broken chain, yes it snapped again. One of the dodgy links! At that point Emma came down the hill having finished and backtracked after finishing. I fixed the chain, a little quicker this time and Emma sorted out a lift for Lynne. Then me and Ali headed off to finish. There I ate a load of sandwiches and some soup before heading home. No idea why but I decided to go via Bacup to get an extra hill in.
An excellent ride, fantastic company and amazing cakes.
180km and 3670m of climbing.
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