Unusually for me, I didn't sleep that well last night - and I faffed more than I ever have before an event! I rearranged kit multiple times and couldn't decide what to take and what to leave.....
And I was SURE that I'd forget something important
The morning routine went well. I had pre made up the drinks for the bike so I didn't have that to worry about. And Sarah was up and about - very pregnant - needed the loo! - as I was doing breakfast which was fab :o)
I was ready in plenty of time and loaded everything into and on the car, and headed out to Coniston, stopping off at a cashpoint as I realised I had no money to carry with me. I got kitted up, took the bike off the roof, helmet on, glasses on helmet, drinks on bike
Right - shoes..............
Yup - they were still at Sarah's
I sad something like "oops - that was silly"
Left a message on Sarah's phone suggesting that I was slightly irked at my own stupidity, and asked her if she or Chris could meet me with them "somewhere"
I then went to meet Flip and we set off just before 6am
Can I just say that inov-8 f-lite 230's are fantastic shoes!
They are not really ideal for pushing SPD's up Kirkstone - in the rain ;o)
Sarah 'stalked' me on the Tracker and texted me - I called her back and she said she'd meet us at Keswick.
That'll do nicely, I thought.... I can cope with this til Keswick.
And we'd made decent time to there too - arriving at about 9.
OH WHAT A RELIEF to be clipped in to the bike in shoes that are designed for it!
I LOVE the climbing bits of the Fred. They are fantastic - no really, they ARE!! And the descents are fun too - have to be careful, especially when it's wet.
I am a little lighter than Flip - and so I found the climbs easier than him, and our average pace started to fall.
By the time we arrived at Whinlatter we were on 10:30 pace - but my legs were strong and fresh - all very pleasing :o)
many thanks to the folk there for the EXCELLENT cuppa tea and the lend of tools to do a bit of bike tweaking :o)
Here Flip said "Oooh - my longest ever ride to here"
And he STILL wanted to finish the ride!!! Fair play mate! That took some bottle!!
I really like the section from Whinlatter past Loweswater, Cold Fell and to Hardknott. The character of it is completely different to the rest of the ride, and although there was some wind to contend with - the earlier rain had cleared away and the sun even came out for a bit!!
A number of times, Flip had encouraged me to head off on my own, because he was worried that he was holding me back. And although this MAY have been true, it was also true that I was enjoying having his company, and I was using today as a 'sighting' lap, and it's better to under-do things because you know how much more you can do subsequently, than to over-do it, where all you know was you over did it!
On the other hand, I also didn't want to be out too long as my legs would need to recover!
So at the bottom of Hardknott, (a climb which a friend has pledged 10 Euros for each time I RIDE it) we agreed that I'd head off back to Coniston, where I'd wait for him to arrive.
I do like Hardknott! It's tough in two places - the bottom and the top - the middle is much easier - the descent is a beast though. I have to adjust my bike a bit for that. Bottles behind my bum stop me getting back off the seat in descent - and this won't do. I need to stay safe on those!
And today showed me that I'm fine using just two 800ml bottles on the bike.
The finish to the ride is a peach too - once the scary bit of Wrynose is done, the last section is a brilliant ride :o)
So today gave me loads of info for the next days - I didn't overwork my legs - I mustn't forget my shoes - I need to take the seat bottle holders off.
I took 10:29:48 - which included almost an hour of stops, but I now know the whole course as a single entity, and I know where I can make up LOADS of time both in not stopping, and on the course itself.
Tomorrow will be interesting. I'm setting off on my own, and I'm meeting Hannah at Keswick. I also think there might be some Keswick cyclists joining me somewhere along the line.
Wonder what the weather will do.
Yes, yes, I know "There will be weather"
Interesting geeky stat.
Mr Suunto altimeter watch makes the total ascent and descent 3280m
That agrees with Google Earth and the corrected elevation on Garmin!!
EDIT: GAH! It's impossible to remember everything in one go.
BRILLIANT moment as we came through Clappersgate - Sylvia a friend of ours, whose hubby is doing the Brathay Challenge, was at the road junction to wave and take our picture.
It was SUCH a nice surprise. Thanks a million :o)