Thursday, 10 September 2009

Shepley shuttle

How gorgeous does that view look??? That is where today's ride headed to.

Having woke up to a gorgeously clear, crisp bright day I just had to jump on Everest and free her from the constraints of being a clothes horse. A crap journey through umpteen contraflows - I swear they're breeding round here - and I managed to swerve off into a side road that'd take me to a rapid descent before over the hump that crosses the M60, round a rather desolate empty mini roundabout and onto another rapid descent down to the Tame Valley before I decided to do some hill reps on the climb back out of the valley. It's not a huge climb: a mere 0.22 mile of 6% average and 8% max gradient, but it's a hill of sorts. After looking like a numpty going up and down this bit several times and turning at the little roundabout at the top I finally left the climb and carried on through Globe Lane industrial estate before the descent through Dukinfield and the climb up to one of the huge roundabouts in Ashton. Oh, there's nothing like a hgv up the ass to get you sprinting up climbs.

Whoever decided to plonk a roundabout at the top of a 19% section needs shooting as, more often than not, I'm caught out behind traffic and stuck on the ascent trying not to roll backwards into whatever is behind me!

Anyway, following this lovely bit of engineering is an excellent sprinty section; only 0.22 mile but you can build up good speed on it until you slam the brakes on cos the set of lights is always against you at the end of it. I maxed out at 27mph on it - think I was a bit slow leaving the roundabout.

After a stint on Ashton's finest one-way systems and narrowing roads I took Everest off-road through Daisy Nook where we made friends with a Scotty dog and got lovely and muddy and all shook up on the trails before getting back onto the main road and mountain goating up the 20% section that other cyclists seem to really struggle on. This really is the only 'climb' where I can consistently pass cyclists without even trying. Hey-ho!

More of Tameside's greatest one-way systems followed with nice sprinty bits.

After a game of chicken trying to get into the middle of 3 lanes to get round another one-way bit, I was passing by the best factory in the world - the biscuit factory. I tell you, I wanna live in one of the houses next to it cos the smells emanating from it? They're out of this world! Just very mmmmmmmm!!

All the while since leaving Ashton centre I had a bus behind me that kept trying to pass, but finding I was going too quick or the road got crummy so couldn't. He finally got the upper hand as we passed over the M60 again by the Snipe; he had a little more horse power than I do. i could see him chuckling in the wing mirror as he passed me by, only for me to have the last laugh as the hgv in front of me decided he wanted to go in front of the bus. So as the hgv started to cross lanes I swung around his ass and floored it to the sound of 'what?!?!'. I don't think the bus driver thought cyclists could go quicker than motors. Mwa-hah-ha!

Sadly I think Joby has jinxed me. Going through yet another one-way system, as another hgv passed closely on my right shoulder something in the road got sucked up in his draft and thudded into my shin. I now have an egg-sized lump right on the shin bone that started to go a lovely shade of puce as soon as it got hit.

I haven't a clue what hit me as I had no time to react really, what with a line of traffic behind me and going at warp speed myself. I guess I'm just lucky I was so close to the hgv or the thing may've hit me in the head or smashed through a windscreen behind me.

Anyway although my leg hurt like bloody hell, I still managed to sprint the rest of the way home: a good mile and half and managed to max out at 31mph. So I'm happy.
Even happier that I managed to stay above 10mph on the reps at Shepley.
I'm thinking that something is definitely going right. Maybe not as quickly as I'd like, but you know we can't have it all our own way all the time. Unless you're Joby of course, lol.
Stats - view route
Simply devine for September, warm, clear.
Miles: 15.31 (including 6 hill reps)
Average speed: 14.2mph
Climbed: 448ft (including hill reps)


  1. Bus racing again!
    Racing up 20% climbs effortlessly!
    Blimey Anna.

    On my run through Manchester the busses were far too quick for me. The only chance I had of passing them is when they stopped. :(

    Sorry to hear about your shin. I hope it heals up quickly.

  2. Ah, but the 20% climbs I can get up quick are tiny. When combined into a longer route on mapmyride they disappear!

    I kinda hog the road a little, so buses quite often have to go right around me!

  3. You should ride with me Red - that way, when a bus comes, you know to dive off your bike out of the way :)

  4. You really don't want to ride with Joby. It's lethal riding with him, vehicles just hunt him down! ;oP

    It's a laugh riding with him really, especially as he can't pace himself yet - he zips off like an eager little terrier then gets knackered later on to the point of barely being able to turn the pedals

  5. I can't pace myself very well either. I always end up blowing up on Sportives.

  6. Now now now - thats not really the case is it?

    I did that up Chunal but learnt a valuable lesson from Mike...

    Manchester 100 I was way ahead and stopped to wait for everybody.

    Hills became a struggle in the middle due to distance :p

  7. @ Joby. I'll let you off on that, Mike did teach you a lesson.

    @ Red. I've been lucky in that the pace I ride sportives/events at is that which I ride at normally enyway, so I have no problems except when old injuries flare up.