Sunday, February 26, 2012
Race Location - Farfeild
Start Time - 10:30am
I decided that I would jump back in the car and park further up the road in a lay by which was closer to the start and finish and also a lot quieter than warming up in the HQ car park. however, only after having performed the TT Ritual of making good use of the HQ Toilet, of which typically there was only one!!!
Saturday, February 11, 2012
The alarm went off a precisely 4 minutes past 8 and we awoke after another night of interesting noises ( from the beds not from us) and I was glad to wake up at all after dodging certain death when I tried to get out of my bunk bed to to too the loo at night, a scary experience!!
Our breakfast was a mix of Muesli, Chocolate Wheetabix, Cornflakes, Hot cross buns and Bagels, not each but as a group thankfully. After much debate about what to wear we were soon changed and ready to head out of the door, we had to take all of our stuff as we were not allowed back in the rooms once we had left so we loaded up the cars and headed down to hope to start the 2nd day of riding.
Setting off once again in the near freezing conditions I was amazed at how much better my left felt and heading up the first climb I had high hopes that today’s ride would be much more pleasant than than the previous day. We headed from Hope, through the Hope Valley up to Fox House and then descended down the A625 to begin the second climb of the day. The climb of Froggott is a fairly gradual climb and a couple of kilometres in length. Apparently there is a challenge associated with this climb; Ride from the top to the bottom in a total of 15 minutes whilst stopping at each of the 2 pubs on the ascent and downing a pint. We opted out of this challenge and just decided to ride the climb as it was, although to be honest hanging on to Tony’s rear wheel was challenging enough!
Things began to get really interesting when we headed through Chatsworth National Park and had lots of fun dodging both cars and wild cattle which was everywhere and proving pretty dangerous. After this we headed on towards the next climb of the day which was somewhat off the beaten track, It was at this point during a “natural break” that Karl announced that he was feeling pretty tired after his 7 hrs yesterday and found our pace to much, funny that!! He decided that he would head back on his own and do a bit of a ride at his own pace. The 3 of us continued onwards an upwards up the narrow twisting climb and on to the flat plains at the top which shared a great resemblance to the plain that I came across last year in the Pyrenees, this was pretty cool and brought back some great memories and sparked some interesting conversation. Soon however, we found our selves heading back towards Bakewell which meant along stint on the main road. We thought it best if we single out and share a bit of the work which me and Tony were happy to do, Mike however didn’t want to play and sat on the wheels the whole time. The cheeky bugger!
Once in Bakewell we then proceeded towards Buxton and began the next climb, the climb of Longhill. As the name suggests it was quite long but thankfully pretty steady which was a good thing due to the fact that we were all beginning to feel the tiredness of the hard riding and cold weather. Longhill may ring a few bells with people as this was used last year for the National Hill Climb albeit in the opposite direction. Soon we found our selves on the last climb of the day and heading back towards the Hope. The descent off of this climb brought us, not hope but chocolaty delight as Mike had thoughtfully brought a bag of mini eggs which we all digged in to which gave us that final boost to finish the ride. We had one more descent to do before we entered Chapel En-Le Frith, the notorious and feared Winnats Pass. This 25% monster is known as one of the hardest climbs in the UK and we soon found it is was also one of the sketchiest descents in the UK too! Riding down this bad boy and dodging frozen puddles and icy patches was not fun but made for an epic feeling finish.
Back at the cars we cleaned down, got changed, slinged the bikes in the back and headed back in to the village for a coffee Crawl, just like a pub crawl only with....erm....coffee instead! Walking down the road I felt some sharp pains in my stomach but took it as nothing more that I sign that I needed the loo, which I did but after relieving myself the cramps would not disperse. It was in the 2nd coffee shop just after finished my custard covered coffee cake that things took a turn for the worse and soon I was double on the floor of the café in extreme pain. I lay on my stomach for a while hoping the pain would subside but it didn’t and as I rose to my knees after a good 10 minutes on the cod concrete I felt somewhat queasy. About 2 seconds later I was running to the loo and throwing my £5.00 cake and coffee back up and in to the toilet. What a waste. Even after being sick I was still in pain and it was only about an hour in the journey home after some painkillers and ibuprofen that I felt normal. Not the kind of end to the weekend that I had hoped for but nonetheless I still came away with some great riding in my very tired legs and some grand memories of our first team training camp. We are all ready planning for the next one.