There was 'weather' last night - so my lovely wife told me. Funnily enough, I slept through it - imagine that!
This morning I was far more efficient getting ready - I can see this becoming a slightly OCD routine - but it IS a half hour drive to Coniston from Oakdene.
There was a light drizzle when I arrived at Coniston but it had all but stopped as I rolled up to Hills Garage. I was a little bit early, but as far as I knew no-one was joinging me from the start this morning.
That reminds me:
If you are planning to ride with me from Coniston, can you leave me a message either here,
or a text on 07795551099 so that if, like today I'm early, I don't set off without you
The wind today was a little stronger and the was a touch of 'North' in it which made most of the section to Kirkstone reasonably OK. Somewhere on the way up Hawkshead Hill, my speed/cadence sensor parted company with my chainstay - which left me 'blind' for number - I LIKE my numbers :o(
A quick fiddle with the Garmin 310, and I at least had a speed readout :o)
The descent off Kirstone was great today - no traffic which surprised me - and the road was only a bit damp - so cautious but quick was the order of the day.
The section then along to Ullswater was lovely to ride.
When I turned left to head north to the A66, I realised just how strong the wind was
Note to self: Don't let go of your handlebars in a cross wind - you are very likely to fall off.
I didn't but it was something I only did ONCE ;o)
OK - there is a possible problem with the route on the 16th - there are Road Closed on 16th for 1 day signs close to the A66 junction with the A5091 at The Troutbeck Inn.
Is there anyone locally who knows whether I'll be able to duck down the small road that goes to the Gill Head Campsite, or will I have to do something more radical?
The sign for the road closure is just before that turn in the direction that I'll be going :o/
Anyway..... turning on to the A66 was like hitting a (slightly soft) brick wall.
No making up time on THAT section today!!
As I neared the roundabout for Keswick, I saw a cyclist waiting on it.
Turns out it was Dave, who made a comment on an earlier blog who'd ridden out from Borrowdale and rode with me to the top of Honister.
Apparently his family were watch the tracker so that he knew where I was. :o)
THAT was fantastic, Dave. Thanks for coming out today. I really enjoyed that section :o)
The wind slowed me on the Honister descent too - but positively blew me up and down Newlands. And as I approached Whinlatter Visitor Centre, I saw Sarah (who will henceforth be known as *Mum*) and Chris (my lovely hosts who are looking after me splendidly) and my friends Hannah (who ISN'T riding today, but tomorrow) and Norna who were waving PomPoms and stuff (I'm SURE I saw that, and wasn't hallucinating........ ) ;o)
I headed to Cyclewise for a cuppa tea and to sort out my drinks and the everyone congregated in the shop.
I can't tell you how fantastic the Cyclewise folk have been. It's SUCH a help as I'm otherwise doing this thing unsupported!
(Apart from the people who give up their time to ride with me, and wave from around the course, that is ;o) )
So - adequately watered and stretched, I headed down Whinlatter - slowly! The wind wanted me back at the top.
Of course it DID mean that after Lorton there was a short section where it was helpful :o)
I really like the section after Whinlatter, past Loweswater, Lamplugh (how DO you pronounce that?) Ennerdale and Calder Brige. And the ONLY section that I'm not that keen on is the 2 miles on the main road to Gosforth - but hey, it's TWO miles!!
And the run in to Hardknott and Wrynose - somehow this came out as Hardnose when I was thinking about it around Eskdale Green.... most odd - is brilliant for having a bit of a rest but without dropping much pace before the passes.
It's funny - but I really enjoy those climbs. And for the second time in two days I rode all of both passes.
It's interesting though, that Wrynose in a way feels harder - I guess because it comes so soon after Hardknott, the descent of which is almost as hard work as the ascent.
That reminds me - I've nearly melted my rear brakes - must change the pads tonight!!
Another section of this ride I really like is the run in off Wrynose back to Coniston. It's a really satisfying ride.
And looking at the distance on the Garmin, and the time, I CERTAINLY didn't 'try' to finish under 9 hours - Oh no.... that would be silly ;o)
8:51:06 is my Sportident time ;o)
I'm actually really pleased with that.
I'm more fatigued today than I was yesterday, but that was to be expected. And I think I'll take it a little easier tomorrow.
Burning out is NOT in the plan