Time to play catch up with my blog – amongst other things my Fuji X30 camera packed up and I hate posting without photos. It’s being repaired and hopefully won’t be too long before I can carry a camera with me on the bike again – I don’t do mobile phone photography. In the meantime I’ll improvise.
Today was another Fusion CC morning ride although it turned into pretty much the whole day. First thing it was only about 10 degrees, so I was kitted out in leg and arm warmers – the afternoon was a different matter with temperatures reaching into the twenties.
From the 9am meet Phil, Steve, Barry and I headed into the Peak District going up to Owler Bar, then down into Baslow, with a short detour to Shillito Woods to meet up with Dean. The descent is one of my favourites as it’s fair straight with good vision ahead, twisty descents are not my cup of tea at all.
Passing through Baslow we turned off the B6012 and up through Pilsley with the Chatsworth Farm Shop at the top of the climb. Then it’s another descent and climb to join the A619 down into Bakewell. At the roundabout opposite the Rutland Arms Hotel we took the second exit and did the steepish climb (Stanedge Road) up by the church whose name I can’t remember. This was a first for me, and needed quite a bit of effort.
Turning right onto the Monyash Road we carried on for a short distance before turning left towards Over Haddon and putting in a loop to avoid the busier B5055 to Monyash. We did return to the B5055 further up to take us to Monyash.
We got almost to Hurdlow and took a left to Hartington for the first of our cafe stops at the Beresford Tea Rooms where coffee & cake went down very nicely! Moving on from Hartington we took the road to Hulme End and Warslow after which we threw a right and on up to Upper Elkstone. Steep and long doesn’t begin to describe this climb and with the temperature reaching 20+ degrees (or that’s what it felt like) I was asking a lot of my lungs. You may think riding a bike is all about what your legs can take, but where climbing is concerned often it’s your lungs that hold you back. In fact, I judge my fitness by how well my lungs cope.
The climbing didn’t stop ’til we reached the A53 a few miles north of Leek where we turned right and then right again on to Leek Road heading for Longnor for another much needed cafe stop at the Cobbles Cafe where three of us very efficiently despatched beans on toast and a cuppa.
This is where I should have asked for my 500ml waterbottle to be refilled, but more of that later. From Longnor we headed towards Caldecote where we took a left and put in a loop through Earl Sterndale to avoid the shorter but steeper route back to Monyash.
We could have taken the shorter, more direct route back to Bakewell and Baslow, but instead we headed towards Sheldon, Ashford-in-the-Water, Great Longstone and a back road through to Baslow. By now I was getting really thirsty and should have asked for water from the other fellas but didn’t.
In Baslow I split off from the main group and took the A619 climb to the Robin Hood pub where I turned left and headed back home via Cutthorpe. Once through Cutthorpe and on the way down to the JE James cycle shop roundabout at Whittington Moor I started to feel very light-headed, my mouth was very dry and I was breathing deeply to counteract the light-headedness.
I made it to JE James Cycles, 73.5 miles from when I left home that morning. I called in to ask for a refill of my water-bottle even though I was only a mile from home. Yes, I felt that bad. I took time in the shop to get the water down me, but obviously one of the shop staff didn’t think I looked too good and offered for me to sit down at a table. This I did, but started to feel worse and needed to lay down on the floor where someone put me in the recovery position. After I started shaking quite a bit someone else called an ambulance and I was taken to A&E.
The upshot was I was de-hydrated, but after tests and more water consumption I was allowed home with no further ill-effects.
That evening I got online and went to the British Cycling website where I searched on “hydration” – well worth a read. Essentially, consume 500-750ml per hour and an electrolyte solution is better than water or juice as it replaces essential minerals lost through sweat that water or juice can’t do. I’ve learnt my lesson and carry two 750ml bottles of electrolyte which should last 2/3 hours of riding time and I’ll be getting refills if I run out.