Sunday, 14 November 2010

Wild Week

Weather wise that is. 

Monday morning was quite windy.  I had to go to Bristol in the afternoon, so I drove in rather than ride.

Tuesday down in Bristol it was quite windy, but I arranged to ride with a colleague out on the Bristol – Bath cyclepath.  We rode to Swineford, about 10 miles away and met another colleague for a few pints and something to eat.  Ric’s fruit crumble and cream weighed heavier than my last pint and he struggled on the way back.  Fortunately the ever increasing wind was on our backs on the way back to Bristol.  The path is mostly unlit and our headlights picked out a fox, several cats and more than enough stealth cyclists.

I was in Bristol til Thursday afternoon.  Wednesday was too wild to ride.  As I drove home for Thirsty Thursday, the wind continued to increase as I came north.  The final section down the Fylde was very rough.  We decided once more to cancel.  Over the evening the wind really picked up.  Our fence was flattened, Lytham Windmill lost a sail and the lights in Blackpool were devastated, over £1M of damage, plus knock on effects to the electricity supply to the area.  It was still too windy to ride on Friday, but I drove home then rode out to meet Karl for our regular Friday beer.  It was hard work.

By Saturday the wind had dropped but the weather was still poor. Hail and rain put paid to a Saturday morning trip through the Trough.  So we went to Tesco’s instead and bought wine, beer and bed sheets.

The forecast for Sunday was better and we headed up to Staveley with the mountain bikes.  Karl, Alison and I met up with Ian, Mark and Alex to do either Kentmere/ Long Sleddale or Garburn.  After getting round to Kentmere Church pretty quickly, we decided to do Long Sleddale.  The climb up and over wasn’t too bad, but the bedrock section down into Long Sleddale was much tougher than I remembered and I bottled the really tricky section.  As we rode down the valley, the sun dropped behind the fell and the temperature flowered considerably.  As we climbed back over to the Kent valley we were back in the sun and a bit warmer, but the sun was very low and right in our eyes.  It glistened off the surface water (of which there was a lot) and made picking a line very difficult.  We slithered and slid and pushed our the top and down the single track descent back to Staveley.  I pinch flatted trying to catch Mark and Alex, probably a good thing because they are younger, more skilled and on better bikes than me, there was no way I should even be able to keep up with them, let alone catch them.  I was probably saved from myself and serious injury.

Whilst it was my poorest week for ages, given the weather I still managed something.

Miles for the week – 43

Running total – 4806




  1. I got out for a few miles this last week - until we received a nice 10" of snow. I'm going to have to scrounge up some studded tires for the MTB, I do believe.

  2. Good to hear you're getting out. I was thinking of studded tyres for commuting, we had our first really icy day on Monday, but they don't seem widely available here. There probably isn't the demand usually, 10" snow is more than we'll get all year, even spread over a couple of years!