Thursday, 1 January 2015

A ride and a resolution, of sorts

Today, 1st January, first cycle ride of the year.

Hamish and I set out at 10am for a road bike ride, me on the Cube and Hamish on his, recently rebuilt 1980s Dawes.

I felt like a slightly challenging ride so, we left Hayfield out through New Mills then the A6 to Disley. Here we turned uphill and rode up past the old Moorside Hotel (now a young offenders institution; how the mighty have fallen) then, meeting the road from Whaley Bridge to Macclesfield we turned left to Kettleshulme, then right to climb up towards Windgather rocks. Riding past here towards Pym Chair is a section I've covered many times but today, we had a strong headwind and, despite the modest incline, I couldn't get out of my lowest gear!

Struggling to stay upright in a strong wind at Pym Chair, we turned left to descend into Goyt Valley by the Errwood Reservoir, where we stopped to sup from flasks and consume butties before the grind up to meet the top of Long Hill.

We turned right down towards Buxton then left up Old Road to Whaley Bridge. We had to resort to walking for the broken section of the track but battled valiantly with most of it before it becomes tarmac again near the Whitehall Outdoor Centre. We then had a glorious descent (mostly) into Whaley. We paused outside the town hall for a quick refreshment break before riding back to Hayfield, bypassing New Mills via Marsh Lane.

It was a tough ride, by my standards. We covered 26 miles at an average of 9.7mph, climbing 2633ft in the process. It's a route I've not done before; nor's Hamish but it was exhilarating, 'specially the descent into Whaley. The ascent from Errwood to Long Hill is hard!

The resolution? Well, I've just set myself a target, on Garmin Connect, of 3000 cycling miles for the year so that's 26 down, 2974 to go.

I'm tired now, but Chrissie's just making tea, fruit cake and cheese.

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