I’m not writing about the club run today, as I wasn’t actually on it(!)
Setting out this morning after the weather forecasts for today, I was part delighted and partly in some trepidation of the day.
The delight came at heading to Hartford. It was like riding an e-bike on full chat, with a monster tail wind that meant by the time I hit the A49, I was about 10 minutes ahead of schedule. I had to slow down pedalling and just be pushed as I approached Barnton.
Still, I arrived at the club at about 09:40, and wondered how many would appear. By 10, not many did appear, but there were around 12-15 brave souls.
After a quick chat, it was decided that no-one wanted to head for the original destination, fearing the idea of a horrible headwind coming home. So, unanimously, it was decided that there would be 1 run to Holt.
Setting off in good formation, the group headed up Burrows Hill, and out along Bradburns Lane before a right into Chester Road. Everyone was keen to crack on into the head wind, which was apparent as speed went up to about 19.5 mph!
I thus decided to turn off after pinging off the back, and thought it might be a good idea then just to head to the Mills. There was a vague thought process behind this, thinking that I may gain some shelter from some of the wind if I got into lanes with hedges, and some shelter as I went through Delamere – as long as trees didn’t fall into the road(!)
After turning off, met Jack whom I hadn’t seen in a long while (neither him nor me making it to club runs), and we chatted briefly as we both headed in the same direction.
Just before Acton Bridge my phone started making a racket, and then rang. I’d missed a Messenger call from Titch, and then got a call from Mark. The peloton had kindly waited at Whitegate crossroads. I told them to crack on, and then so did I.
Norley lane was tough (as always), into the wind as I got to the top. Gusts were starting to build, and it didn’t get much easier until I got into the forest, then it was just a steady grind. Surprisingly, the forest was pretty busy despite all the facilities announcing that they were to be closed for the day due to the impending wind.
I pushed on through Ashton, and when I got to Norton’s Lane felt the force of the wind getting my speed down to sub 12mph.
Onto the main road and more of a grind before a brief respite at Mickle Trafford, turning away slightly from the wind for a few hundred yards before turning onto the Greenway.
Then it was just grit teeth and push the pedals round at any speed that I could manage. Excellent training. There was some shelter through Chester, but as soon as I came out of the shelter of Blacon, past the crematorium, it was a full on blast!
Cycling is very, very efficient, estimated somewhere that it as efficient as a car that can do about 994 miles per gallon. The biggest problem with pushing a bike forward and making it this efficient though, is to cut down on drag. There’s the rub. the human body just isn’t that aerodynamic. I don’t think I was that efficient on my way out to the cafe today…
I opted to turn of and go through Saughall, then along the private lane that lead to Woodbank Lane. Saw a Port Sunlight rider who probably had the same look on his face as me, and commented on the battle.
When I got to the Mills, I actually thought it was shut. There was one bike on the rails, and just Keith to the side of the Mills clearing out stuff! With the recent news that Ann and Keith were setting up to retire, I wondered what was going on!
I opened the door to see only 2 Port Sunlight riders sat there. Ordering the usual, Ann said that Kev and Keith had been in previously, but few others. A few other local PSW riders turned up a few minutes later as I was tucking in.
I was now relishing the ride home. It isn’t often that I get the opportunity to get one, so hopped on, and belted all the way down the main road with very little effort. Brilliant. A few brief turns into the wind through Helsby and Frodsham, and another near home, and that was it. Home from the Mills in just under an hour and twenty!
The outgoing trip felt more like 60 than 30 miles, and the legs were tested, but not a bad day out all in all. More miles in the bank, none wasted.. 🙂