Monday, 26 March 2012

Chirk 200

I entered this as my last long ride before 24solo, that was before I rode 200k on Monday and played in the Howgills on Saturday. The clocks going forward did not help at all, I think I spent most of the night awake worried that I would oversleep. Ali had said she would get up and drop me at Poynton but as I was awake I left her asleep and drove over. There were a lot of people still around in Manchester from the night before. Arriving at the car park that marks the start there seemed lots of people there, after my mistakes on the North West Passage I ate a couple of hot cross buns that I had taken for second breakfast. Just before 8am I took my waterproof off and we headed off.

The start was a little chaotic with me going straight-on, as per the route sheet and someone nearly turning into me turning right, lots of riders thought that was the route. No damage done and my warm legs meant I was near the front for the first bit. Until changing down to the small chainring ended up with my chain between two chain rings. Not had that happen before. Had to get my hands a little mucky sorting that out. Next thing that happened was my Garmin turning itself off, was beginning to think it wasn't going to be my day. I text Ali at the first cafe so she could google how to reset the Garmin and then had a Bacon Roll before heading off.

I rode the section to Chirk mainly on my own but within sight of a couple of lads. For a while I rode along with a guy who also works as a cycling instructor. At Chirk they had ran out of beans so I went for a toasted teacake. I also got my Garmin to turn back on! Here I took my knee-warmers off meaning I was wearing just shorts and a jersey, looks like summer is in March this year. Heading out of Chirk I was ready for the hill that I had been warned about. Turns out it wasn't too bad at all, obviously the hills of the last couple of weeks have had an effect, and I was soon back in the Cheshire Plains. On the way to the last cafe stop we passed lots of Cheshire Cat riders going the opposite way. This was my first 100mile ride four years ago.

At the Ice Cream Farm the queue for ice-cream was massive, not a surprise with how many cars were parked there, so I went for a cream tea. I was sat with the Saddleworth Clarion boys who bought a huge tub of Sherry Trifle Ice-cream between them to avoid the queues. From here it was quite a direct route back, with 10k to go I hooked up with a couple of lads from VC167 and we took turns on the front getting to Poynton for 6pm.

Just as I finished Ali arrived to collect me, saving me a boring ride back through Manchester and meaning we got home in time to go out for dinner.

A lovely day 153miles in total with 1870m of climbing

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