Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Night Ride - Watching Fireworks from the Pike

Apparently it was decided on Sunday that we were riding at Riv tonight and I was party to the conversation. I can't remember at all but I was "reminded" as I queried why we weren't riding from Abbey Village. It was Stu, Jez and myself again and it was perfect night riding conditions.

As it was bonfire night there were rather a lot of people around, on bikes and families heading up the hill to wath the fireworks. We decided to head up to the Pike first via the Commonwealth descent to watch the fireworks for a while. I set off and my legs felt dead and the bike seemed to be taking a lot of effort to move anywhere. I did expect to feel a little tired but not that bad.

The Commonwealth climb is always a slog if my legs are dead but it seemed particularly bad tonight, I seemed to manage to find all the biggest rocks to bounce my back wheel off. At the switchback my lower back started to tighten up, my whole lower back, which is very unusual for me. Standing up stretched it out but it tightened up again when I sat down to pedal and I just felt restricted in general - thought it was down to too many layers on my bottom half originally.

I wondered what was going on as I didn't think anything had changed when a vague recollection of messing with my saddle on Sunday came back. The saddle was slightly off centre (took me 10 miles or so to realise when my left hamstring started tightening) and as I tried to move it back the seatpost seemed jammed. I ended up getting Jez to argue with it so there was a good chance it had changed heights - I also need to get the post out the frame for a look in case it is seizing in there.

I had my Joystick on my head so looked down at my knee angle when pedalling and my knee seemed very bent. At the bottom of the climb to the Pike I wrestled the saddle up a bit and it felt a bit better. At the Pike itself I moved it up even further, I like a good extension of my leg when pedalling, even more so when tired.

All you could hear was the boom of fireworks going off, there were loads of them everywhere though the mass of streetlights off towards Bolton and Manchester did hide things a little. You could smell the smoke from the Pike. We stood up there for quite a while, the boys partaking of whisky from the hip flask, before riding out towards Healey Nab.

I must say I prefer climbing the two rocky corners up to the Pike rather than descending them, not often I say that about tracks but there you go. We decided to do the track along Anglezarke again to try it from the different direction. It was amazingly dry and I think it does flow better from this direction, but only just, the gates are still annoying.

I was very hungry when I got back to the car and I think the effects of Sundays complete bonk are still with me, it takes a few days to build back up from that. I really could kick myself about it but I had a totally guilt free Chinese tonight.


  1. I nearly was up there last night, but since Ali is still full of a cold, guess that's the one I gave her, we stayed in. Went last year and its odd being above the height of some fireworks!

    Oh the commonwealth descent is a hard climb! So you allowed to struggle on it!

  2. It is odd, the best view was actually part way up the Commonwealth climb, when I remembered to look. It is hard, your right (feels better)