Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Gloomy, gloomy weather.

Despite still being shattered and my legs hurting from yesterday's long, long walk, I decided to go on a ride to boost my mileage for my goal.

I decided that I would head out to Hollingworth Lake and if my legs feel good, then maybe up Blackstone Edge. So I set off in good weather feeling ok, and chose a route that meant more consistent climbing on long hills - granted they're not steep hills, but it all helps my rather rubbish hill climbing!
Once on Broadway the wind decided to get vicious and be the most annoying headwind I've encountered recently, meaning my poor legs had to work at least twice as hard to propel me forwards. After what seemed like forever (it probably was, actually) I managed to get myself to the huge motorway roundabout near the Elk Mill retail park, where a well deserved energy gel was quickly snaffled before braving the headwind again. Back onto Broadway heading up into Shaw and Crompton to the lovely little roundabout that always becomes a nightmare to get around, but it seemed fine today.

At this point I decided against Blackstone Edge as the weather was getting worse and visibility on the hills was poor, so just the lake today.

Now I was on a narrower road which became a little more lumpy and slightly more twisty as it continued to climb up to Newhey where I turned off onto little side streets that became steeper - I only go this way as I really hate trying to get up what feels like an impossibly steep Kiln Lane. These little streets bring me out at the top of the lane, where I met some very friendly horses before dropping down a little onto Wild House Lane which twists and turns it's way to the lake.

I had the pleasure of narrowly avoided a furry little Exocet missile as I ploughed my way along here - a little bunny decided to just bounce his way across the road without looking! I mean, don't the little bunnies get told to use the green cross code like we do?!

By this time I really needed some food, so I headed for the visitor centre where a lovely hot chocolate and teacake were devoured with relish before braving the worsening weather to head home. I returned the same way (purely to get out of the damp, cold low lying mist I was in) until I got back to Broadway where I decided to get some sprint training in and (I'm not too sure how I managed it, but I did) I hit 36mph as I hurtled my way back to Oldham Rd, where I opted for a nice little detour just to get some more miles in.

I chose to head back uphill Northeast towards Oldham before turning off and went through Failsworth onto Coal Pit Lane and on into Ashton by Hollins. Another chance to hurtle along down Ashton Rd before turning off into little side streets again for some more uphill sprint sections before heading back towards the dual carriageway of Robert Sheldon Way, where I ignored the cycle lane on the pavement and had another sprint moment (not quite sure how I still managed to keep going) to take me onto Ashton Rd/Manchester Road, or whatever it's called at this section by the Snipe retail park.

Now it was just a case of following this towards home, all the time somehow managing to stay ahead of the same huge HGV that kept looming about.

I arrived home very exhausted, extremely mud splattered - even the helmet was splattered - but glad I got out for a ride. Not too sure how my legs'll cope when I get back on my bike again later this week, but I guess I'll see when I do!

Boring bits -
Temperature: 9 degrees
Visibility on Broadway and higher: probably 20ft or so
Max speed: 36mph
Average speed: 11.2mph
Miles: 37.94.


  1. It was very foggy when I got up winter hill so I know what you mean, I had to use my lights on their lowest setting as they were reflecting back! I'm not mentioning the wind, I'm used to it and its always hard!

    Sounds a good ride!

  2. I had the same problem with my lights. Ended up just having my trusty Knog Frog on at the front, while everything on the back was on flashing away like mad.


    Done the ride quite a few times, but it felt miles harder this time. Maybe it had something to do with the five hours of walking on Monday?!

  3. I'm sure the walking would still be in your legs, unfortunately that's when you get fit, when its hard!

    I'm trying to pretend the wind doesn't exist at the moment!

    Problem with my lights on the lowest setting in the pitch black gong down winter hill I get scared, ok I admit it I'd be scared even with much better lights I'm just a wimp!