Sunday, 24 May 2009

Bank Holiday Ride 2

Following Saturday's ride I decided I really needed to know if I was still able to ride beyond 20 miles, so Sunday became the day to try it.

As the day dawned beautifully sunny and warm I left the long sleeves and leg warmers behind and set off towards Cheshire and Chorlton Water Park to find the car park filling up rapidly and hastily made my way to the trail around the lake for an anti-clockwise loop dodging joggers and fishermen - it seemed like everywhere I looked there were people fishing!

After having a chuckle at the sign posted at the end of the wooden bridge over the Mersey - what are they trying to say? - I enjoyed the sprint down to Kenworthy Wood, through Wythenshawe Park passing by the Hall and onto Altrincham Rd where I could continue my sprint to the Shaftesbury Avenue roundabout where, finally, the bridge repairs have been completed and both lanes in both directions were open to use. No more lorries up the butt getting up and over for me.

This part of Timperley has the best cycle path I have ever been on - it's alongside a busy dual carriageway-esque road (which makes you think it's be awful right?) Wrong: the cycle path is as wide as 2 lanes of the road and is separated from the road by a verge and has lovely gardens to cycle past.

Once back on the road and past Altrincham Municipal Golf Course/park/cricket ground/thing and I'm praying for the traffic lights to stay on green, so I can have a run-up to the evil 18% climb across another bridge. Thankfully my prayers are answered and I breeze across the bridge and continue on to the busy T-junction and the joy of trying to cross 3 lanes to get into the correct one for my turning.

I knew there were roadworks and the bridge at the end of Seamon's Rd was closed off so one of my routes was unrideable, so I chose the next best one through the lovely area around John Leigh Park and Oldfield Rd. i knew I'd have to follow Oldfield Rd as it veered left somewhere along here, but still managed to take a wrong turn! A wrong turn that proved great for me and embarrassing for another cyclist.

The wrong turn took me to a part of the world where this cyclist regularly trains and was busy doing so when I turned up. His training was hill repeats on a hill he knows very well and zooms up. A hill that I would crawl up. A hill that, after riding for 15 miles already, I led him up. Led him up quicker than he usually gets up. After reaching the top I had to try and turn right onto the very busy and wide A56 and then further on get across umpteen lanes so I could turn right again onto Charcoal Rd alongside Dunham Massey grounds.

At this point I wasn't even ready for a rest or lunch, so I continued riding with a lovely loop round the country lanes through Dunham Town to the very sweet little Sinderland Methodist Church and through Dunham Massey village, back past the boundary of Dunham Massey and onto the Lavender Barn for lunch.

After the best cheese toastie I've had in years, I set off on a mission to sprint for as long as I could. Zooming along White House Lane I managed to pick up a fellow cyclist who tried his best to stay on my wheel, poor love. Every time I stopped at lights or a junction he'd catch up only for me to leave him behind in an instant. Every time I looked back he was there trying to get back on the wheel, but I eventually lost him after 5 miles when I turned off through Northenden. When I stopped through the lights to see how he was doing, the look of relief on his face was huge - I think he regretted chasing me for so long!

After Northenden the route became so straightforward I could ride it with my eyes closed (but won't, to be on the safe side ;oD) - straight along Palatine Rd/Wilmslow Rd to the turning for the Bike Docs and then on to the Velodrome and round to the Medlock Vale for a quick breather before attacking the long hill climb/test I've been doing recently.

Stats view route
Hot, bright and a gentle breeze.
Maximum speed: 30.5
Average speed: 13.1
Climbed: 456ft

Dunham hill climb stats view hill
Maximum speed: 11.5
Average speed: 8
Miles: 0.34
Climbed: 98ft at 13% max
Not sure of time - didn't hang around to find out.

Hill climb stats
Maximum speed: 10
Average speed: 6.8
Miles: 0.44
Climbed: 102ft at 19% max
Time: 3.01 mins

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