Soooooooo here goes another load of drivel to keep the world informed of my exploits in the world of cycling .
When I say exploits I obviously mean the occasional ride mixed in with the odd drometastrophy ( yes it’s a made up word but it will make perfect sense later )
Contrary to what Big Dog and Pilko would lead you to believe it’s been a good year so far with some pretty good and fairly regular 40 mile rides mostly involving the same routes East of The city that never sleeps ( Plymouth) Apparently Dartmoor is on my doorstep ……. Who knew ?? And now it’s drier even Maddie has had the pleasure of being ridden by me 🙂 .
In an effort to widen my cycling ” skills ” I managed to win an hours coaching / fun filled riding at the home of British Cycling in Manchester. So apart from an 8 hour trip up the M5 /M6 (YES 8 FRIGGING HOURS) and two nights in Lenny Henry’s finest of hotels there was a fair amount of stressing involving mostly my capabilities as a cyclist ( Google souplesse) and whether I would actually fall off or not? Or maybe Rio was beckoning when I got scouted for Team GB
Now just to be at the home of British cycling where I visit every year for the National Champs was indeed a honour , but to come a cropper on the exact same velodrome as Wiggo and Cav had trained many times would indeed be the icing on the cake.
Therefore I stand here as a proud member of the cycling community and say I ONLY WENT AND BLOODY DID IT!!!!!
A full on drometastrophy was achieved on the finish straight about 40 minutes into my session . Some might say I was cocky or over confident but I’d just say when riding on the track DO NOT STOP PEDALLING !!! And the reason being those bad boys bite and they bite bad . When you have been catapulted over the handlebars and your sliding along the track and eventually you stop you may well think wow that wasn’t so bad it doesn’t hurt . But guaranteed when The sun starts to shine through Lenny Henry’s curtains the following day you will feel like you have been in a car crash …….for the caring amongst you I can confirm 3 weeks later I am fully healed 🙂
So next on the agenda Etape Ness possibly the most stunning of sportives there could possibly be.
Now apart from scenery Scotland is blessed with being the home of Big Dog H and as the perfect host with his good lady wife it was decided we were to be honoured to ride Bealach na ba No 69 of 100 greatest climbs on the Saturday before Ness. This climb is widely rated as the hardest climb in the UK at 11/10 in the climbing bible .
For the record the 100 climbs book is correct !! The first part of the ride ( after the 70 mile drive to get there ) is relatively steady as you loop up and around the Loch before being faced with the most bleak, barren , unforgiving incline for approx 5-6 miles . I won’t lie it’s truly awful and possibly the worst hour on my bike EVER !! It’s relentless and despite the fact at one point we believed we had lost Big Dog over the side there was no way on this earth I was going to be heading back down to look for him before I reached the summit . Sorry H but am not climbing 5 miles just to be part of some amateur mountain rescue team 🙂
Needless to say he wasnt lost it was just a minor misunderstanding at the summit on where we were to meet in the freezing cold wind and hail before we began the 6 mile rim searing , brake pad burning descent back to the car !!!
The following day was event day and as we had finally warmed up after Bealach na ba what better way to start the day than with some black pudding roulade and a TT style ride to the start in Inverness.
Etape Ness was once again a stunning and well organised ride as you pedal along the shore of Loch Ness on an extremely chilly Scottish morning on closed roads . It’s not a particularly testing ride until you reach Fort Augustus and start the triple whammy that is Glendoe . It’s a proper job drag of a climb with a few false summits which adds to the fun but on reaching the top to be met by snow falling and a bagpiper is truly an amazing experience . The second part of the loop is a little bit more undulating with one or two little testers but is more than made up by the scenery as you circle the Loch and head back to Inverness .
Huge thanks to Pilko and Big Dog for waiting for me at the top of Glendoe and despite them both making out for the rest of the weekend it was hours the timing chips don’t lie it was 19 mins !!!
Next up for me is a lifelong dream and Alpe duez and I can’t bloody wait for some more giggles and possibly tears !!!