Yet another bright, sunny but oh so chilly morning beckoned for the midweek ride, today. My camera stopped working after last week’s ride but Barry came up trumps, taking a photo of me outside The Spotty Cafe (so nick-named after it was re-painted for the Tour de France in 2014).
No young Alex this week, just Steve, Barry, Phil, Les and me. Steve announced he was so inspired by the 3rd stage of the Tour de Yorkshire last weekend that regardless of anyone else he’d be riding over The Strines and back, approximately 60 miles roundtrip. We all know what the climbs are like in that neck of the woods, so I guess we knew what it was going to be like – hard.
And Agden Bridge, slap bang in the middle of The Strines, was the site of my first accident which I knew would be a little spooky, although the road is a lot smoother since it’s been re-surfaced.
Glad to say there were no repeats of that mishap, and once past that point the real climbs started – Ewden Bank to be precise. Strava lists it at 13% but that’s the average and a lot steeper in places. Les had a 42 inside ring and I was struggling on a 34, the mind boggles.
Still, the sun was shining and we all made it to the cafe, where I indulged in a “Rocky Road” chocolate slice with a mug of coffee.
I think the wind was behind us on the way back as it did seem easier than on the way out. Barry, the mechanic, spotted why my chain had been “slipping” on the small ring – the rear mech wasn’t taking up the slack. A bit of PTFE spray cured the problem once I’d got home.
It was so good feeling the sun’s rays on my back going up Surprise, the last hill of any significance. I took my leave of Phil after he turned off to head home and put a few more miles in my legs via Dronfield and Unstone, before stopping off at JE James Cycles in Chesterfield to buy a pair of Endura Hyperon Cycling Bib Shorts
and a Funkier Artena Gents Short Sleeve Jersey in Black (JR-790)