In which an ageing climber comes to terms with life closer to the ground.


The Phil and Friends Challenge Ride

Filed under: — Mike Chapman @ 8:19 pm

The advert for next year, the 2008 version covered the same course

I booked myself in for this before I left for France. I calculated that if I had spent most of the summer on a bike I might be fit enough to have a good go at this. It started in Sheffield and it became apparent as I crossed the Snake pass on the journey there that it was going to be foggy

At 8:00am about 300 cyclists left Sheffield and within 10 mins I was on my own and could see very little. Putting on your reading glasses- fog condenses on glasses – to peer at a list of SO and TL at JN in the fog was not going to lead to a fast time. As I reached the Woodhead road the Police stopped me and a ten others, I had found some other cyclists, and asked how he could stop cars because they had not got their lights on when there were 300 cyclists without lights. We shrugged and carried on.

I began to enjoy myself chatting to others as climbed many of the passes in the Peak District. At about 60 miles I joined a fast bunch and it was very exciting around Monsal Head as we took turns on the front. By this stage it was only people doing the 150Km version and it was very friendly. At Curbar it started to rain and I got very wet cycling with a man of a similar age who still entered races and I struggled to keep up with him. He had struggled on the hills as he had the wrong gearing and I had caught him up.

The consequences. My knee has hurt for a couple of weeks. I had to go to school the next day to meet a hundred staff and countless germs. I suspect my immune system was challeneged and did not cope with 100 odd staff and 1200 hundred children I have had a very nasty cold for six weeks. I did enjoy it and I will do more of these type of events if the body allows me to.

Distance 150 Km
Time 6 hours 49 min
Av Heart rate 78%
Av speed 21.5 Km

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