Saturday morning was glorious, dug out my new bib shorts and short sleeved jersey, donned the shades and went off to meet Andy for a nice ride through north Lancashire and south Cumbria. The morning got off to a great start when I pulled up on the side of the road and wished Andy a good morning, I lost my balance and yep you guessed it The Bike Numpty still had his right foot clipped in….BANG ! A couple of nice grazes on my knee and a cracking lump on my forearm later we set off down through the city centre and out across the Millenium bridge, up through Skerton and out on the back roads through Halton climbing up towards Carnforth.
We dropped down through the town centre and out towards Silverdale, up a couple of nasty little climbs on mostly deserted roads, the views across the bay were simply stunning – this is what cycling should be like. We cycled round a secluded bay and up the winding hill, Andy said look back, it was breathtaking, and could have quite easily have been on the famed Californian coast. Its moments like this that make me feel privilidged to live in such a beautiful part of the world, something I think I take for granted most of the time. Since I got the bike last year and started training with Andy and John I’ve witnessed beautiful countryside and stunning sunsets, on roads I never knew existed, get out on your bikes folks and just ride, get off the main roads and explore.
We arrived in Silverdale and at a crossroads Andy said “We’ll go left I think I know where we are going”, we descended round a bend and straight into a sign reading “WARNING QUICKSAND” and a ramp down onto the notorious sands of Morecambe bay. A quick laugh and a turn round and it was back up the hill and through the village and past the shoeboxed size library, a few jokes about large print books and old dears getting bolshy about the latest Mills & Boon and it was out towards Arnside.
Some more steady climbing before a very steep descent to the seaside at Arnside, a quick pause to enjoy the view across the bay to Grange and then it was back on the bikes through Sandside heading through the deer park at Dallam before climbing the hill into Milnthorpe.
As we approached the main crossroads with the A6, the lights went red and we stopped at the side of the road waiting for them to change. I unclipped my left foot and put it on the curb to rest but my foot slipped and overadjusted too much in the saddle and fell to my right into the taffic, I was sprawled in the middle of the road. Luckily the car behind us was a few yards behind us and stopped, if one had been closer it could have been very very painful and dangerous. I must be jinxed at that junction, 5 years previously a woman failed to stop at the lights and ploghed into my car causing me neck injuries. We got through the lights and stopped at the toilets, Andy went off to get water and flapjack from the shop ( thanks mate ) whilst I surveyed the damage. I’d managed to fall and bang my arm in the same place, I now had two very painfull swellings about 1cm apart. I really have to learn to unclip my right leg first because my left leg is my weaker one, and to be honest I can’t stand on it in normal shoes without losing my balance !!
Nicely refreshed we headed up over the hills of Milnthorpe heading towards Holme and the Kellets. Off down more deserted tracks past a very deep quarry before a very steep climb in the now very hot mid day sun. Andy was offering me verbal encouragement as I really put the effort in to try and stay with him. I was really pleased with my climbing performance on this ride.
Dropped back down into Caton and through the crook of Lune back along through the city centre, felt good so I put the loop in out towards Conder Green, said goodbye to Andy at the Stork and headed for home. Powered back up my hill and felt very satisfied with the mornings effort.
It was a great ride taken very easily by the pair of us, neither one of us pushed it at all except on the hills where if you didn’t put the effort in you’d be pushing the bike up. I honestly felt like I could have cycled all day I was enjoying myself so much. Andy reckoned according to Memory Map we’d done about 2300m of climbing.
distance: 48.01 miles time: 3:22:26 av speed: 14.2 mph top speed: 38.2 mph 125 av HR 2002 Calories
Relaxed last night by watching the dvd of the History of the Tour de France, brilliant watching all the old footage that I’d never seen of Copi and Mercx, brilliant reliving the battles of Lemond and Fignian that I’d grown up watching on the tv and the dominance of the machine “Big Mig” Miguel Indurain through to the modern battles between Ulrich and Armstrong. But the best thing about the whole thing was the cringingly wooden presenting of the autocue reading Sean Kelly !! Comic Genius !!