So after Christmas Day and Boxing day being spent with Ali's mum I left on the 27th to ride home. As I was unsure of the weather I had planned to take two days, staying at my sisters on the tuesday evening. I left a little later than planned but made reasonable time riding lots of country lanes made me glad of my exposure 6pack, otherwise I would probably ended up on main roads and the tiny bit of the A6 and A50 I did wasn't that enjoyable. I had one stop to pick up more water and once again the last 10miles was uphill. Turns out Coalville is on a hill. I had also worn summer gloves as it was lovely and warm.
The evening was spent drinking wine and eating pizza. Helen had to be in work for 7am so it was to be an early start. Unfortunately I didn't sleep well, think I was scared I would sleep through the alarm.
I was on the road at about quarter to seven and Coalville being on a hill played in my favour as I set off downhill. I was making steady progress to Derby then I started climbing towards Ashbourne and it got slower and slower. The hills didn't help but neither did the fact that the wind was trying to blow me back where I came from. It felt a long way to Ashbourne and any downhills had to be pedalled so that I kept going forward! I stopped in Ashbourne to grab a sandwich and change into winter gloves, it was a little colder today!
Then it was time to Climb again to Buxton and then over to Whaley Bridge. Here I spent some time looking for a cafe as I was cold, even after adding a waterproof for the descent, and hungry. But they were all closed. I headed off towards Disley on a back road which was another huge hill and was very glad to see Disley. At Bramhall I was so happy to see Sainsburys had a cafe but I wandered around in a daze for a while and only bought cake, could have done with some 'real' food as well.
By this point the wind was a constant battle, the only respite from the headwind came when it started gusting from the side, which meant wrestling my bike to not end up under a bus on the A6. Through Manchester and still not making any time as the wind was against me. I was glad to get home, two hours later than expected, and find that my mum had been round and left me a Pizza and ice-cream.
Say 2: 92miles 2980m ascent / 2640m descent