With less than four weeks to go before our Charity Bike Ride and we were out again at the weekend for another training ride. This weekend saw us take on a slightly longer route, although the majority of it was off road.
The 40 mile route helped us to find the problems with our bikes and ourselves, and of course we had mishaps along the way which is better than us having these problems on the actual ride. It didn’t take long for the problems to start either; just 1.9 miles after we set off, Richard fell foul of a puncture. The culprit was a thorn, but it gave us good practice of trying to change an inner tube on the road and as quickly as possible so that our legs didn’t start cooling down, making it harder for us to restart.
After this puncture we had no problems, we picked up the canal and cycled alongside it making a good number of miles. It may not have been the fastest, but the tough terrain trained us in sitting in the saddle through harsh conditions, meaning when we get on smoother tarmac we’ll be able to cope better.
Even though we didn’t have any punctures for a while, it turns out that we need to brush up on our navigational skills. After a few miles riding by the side of the canal, there was a hush that fell upon us until we eventually stopped for a map check; we realised that we had actually gone a good way off track. After a bit of bickering and map consulting, we soon figured out we needed to go a little bit back down the canal to find the right path. Thankfully the November route has been planned a lot better so we shouldn’t get lost.
After the small detour we managed to find our way, unharmed, to our lunch stop where we re-fuelled and had a chat about how we’d found the day so far. Needless to say we all thought we could carry on. We therefore carried on cycling, but the legs had started to hurt and we had to tackle a long drag of a hill. Thankfully I was on my mountain, which had been fixed just six days before, and I was able to use a low enough gear to just keep going.
The long drag up hill wasn’t the end of the suffering. When we finally made it to another piece of civilisation I had a shock to read on the side of a van ‘Derbyshire County Council’; Derbyshire! That county doesn’t have Stockport which was our starting point for the ride.
We were quick to put this behind us though as we decided we’d start to head home. This then brought up the next four series of events, two of which I suffered from. The first was half way back on the canal my knees started suffering, this was eventually solved by raising the seat on my bike so that I could extend my legs a bit more. Moments after we had just got going having raised my seat, the front tyre on my bike punctured. This was after 30 miles though so I managed to cover 28 miles further than Richard! (Sorry mate!)
Once off the canal we were problem free, well, until we got to that park and we had another puncture and a crash. Luckily the puncture was a slow one so Darren was able to pump it back up and make it to the end of the ride. The crash on the other hand was caused by Elliot getting off his bike to help fix the puncture, but riding into Richard knocking him off his bike! Luckily we were going slow and it was on grass.
The good news is that we all managed the ride and are gaining belief that we will all make it to the end of the ride in November.
With just 27 days left, our training is in full flow and we need you to help us not just beat, but smash our total for raising money for this great charity. Please do click on the link below to pledge your support and encourage us on our 231 mile bike ride…in November.
Written by Robert Lee (@RobLee559 – Twitter/Instagram)