...in what seems like aeons. 27 miles of riding out of Clowbridge Res near Rawtenstall. I was a bit worried about it as haven't ridden that distance offroad for ages but it was fine. The plan was to do a ride with the same amount of climbing that the days in Switzerland will have - at least 3000 feet which was managed ok. Pretty much dry and deserted trails with some technical interest to demostrate how crap I have become!
I learned that now I just cannot get away with having a saddle a bit too low when climbing, I have always run a high saddle but it seems to be creeping up even more. Probably something do do with running, I thought my bottom bracket was seizing as my legs didn't seem to be able to spin.
I also learned that the climb up from Waterfoot on the MTL is an even steeper and looser beeyatch than I remembered it (definitely better in the other direction). No matter what way I ride the Rooley Moor Road I get a headwind. My On One 456 frame does a great job of muting cobble buzz. My bum has not sat on a hardtail for that distance for quite some time! The edges of my hands were hurting by the end, something else that needs building up (forgotten about that too!).
My new Gore shorts were fab. I took some jam butties (or jammy pieces as I like to call them) and gels out as fuelling as had no energy drink left, the more solid food didn't make me feel sick on the climbs and did a sterling job of keeping me going in the sunshine....until it chucked it down near the end of the ride and I no longer wanted to stop to eat. Was starting to get really hungry when I got back to the car. Will still use energy drink on long rides methinks but will be taking more jammy pieces out in future.
I was also informed that day three of our Swiss Tour is only 14 miles long...with 3000ft of climbing - will hurt a bit that one. I also comprehended the fact that being a tour means that there does not necessarily have to be a descent to go with the up (gulp) though it should balance itself out in the end.