This was suggested by Joe who comes from a great cycle racing family, and Joe loves to ride round in circles really fast, or cycle up hills, again, really fast….. This is a pic of Joe smashing it up a 20% section on the Mow Cop hill climb I think…..
Anyway, to do 20 miles before breakfast in style I had one beer (10% chocolate stout) on Saturday night and got up at an ungodly hour to ride 24 miles from South Manchester to my breakfast destination which opened at 9am. Can you guess where it is yet??
It was cold and I regretted dressing like I was in the Giro d’Italia, thank god for the arm and knee warmers and my cape. I headed out past Manchester Airport and wondered whether there was a headwind, false flat or my legs were really not cut out for this anymore. I haven’t trained in months and became really anxious in the first hour about how I would get on.
I headed out to Alderley Edge and failed to find Swiss hill, then through Macclesfield to cycle up to my breakfast destination. I caught up with a guy on a touring bike who was going the same way, who I chatted to. I let him pace me gently up the climb as we talked about running 10Ks, Marathons, Astronomy and of course bikes…..
I hit my breakfast destination dead on 9am and went inside. The chef was not in yet and they didn’t have any cake, so I ended having a cup of coffee and a packet of crisps for breakfast. To be honest this was ideal.
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So yes, its the Cat and Fiddle, which proudly proclaims itself as the 2nd Highest Pub in England! After a 15 minute stop I headed back down the fiddle, and turned right to descend into the Goyt Valley, where the sun came out and I saw these cuties,
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I felt good, heard the weird calling of a bird above that I’m still trying to identify (like a mechanical whistling, a bit like the paraglider altitude meter, followed by an abrasive cha cha cha-ing, answers on the back of a postcard)
Lower down in Pott Shrigley the bluebells were beautiful carpets under the trees and I stopped to pick a couple and attached them to my handlebars. Not very pro and definitely got some weird looks from other cyclists as I smashed it into a headwind back. The last hour was great and my legs had remembered what to do, which gave me a lot of satisfaction. The trace of the ride is here…… https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/777469922
Thanks Joe, and I hope your training and racing goes well this year. You never know, you might see me out on the bike sometime…