Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ooh, that was quite hard...

Training run completed! - 76 miles (4 miles from home to canal and 34 to Foulridge - and back) but it was hard going.

Entrance to Foulridge Tunnel
In places, the towpath was mile upon mile of grass which was very muddy at times and deeply rutted. In other parts, especially from Gargrave to Foulridge it was quite boring and exposed. The headwind on the way out was a real pain and I arrived at Foulridge 30 minutes behind schedule.

Dodging the walkers on the way back from Skipton to home was frustrating. None of the old ones heard my bell and the rest just seemed to panic. Why dance about, jump into the bushes and stop walking? - Just move to the side and keep walking you muppets.

Fuelling worked OK although I should have had more drink (it was sunny most of the way). Every 90 minutes I made sure I had finished a bottle of Lucozade and an oaty energy bar (probably not quite enough).

The bike held up very well although it needs to go back to Halfords this week because one of the gear cogs kept slipping (my favourite gear too!) Apart from this, all the replaced parts stayed tight.

Physically, the hardest part (apart from legs) was possibly the pounding my wrists and fingers took from the bumpy terrain and leaning forward onto the handle bars. The occasional, long, flat bits of towpath allowed me to ride handsfree and have a good stretch when needed.

Back side? - Sore!

I saw my second Kingfisher up close too! It's funny how small things can really get your head back in the right place as you're grinding out the miles along a tough bit of towpath.

As usual, I talked to myself quite a bit (we all do that don't we?)

Overall, very pleased. 76 miles is well over half way and should get me from Liverpool to about 10 miles short of Foulridge. If I can crunch that by lunchtime on the big day, it'll be a doable run into Leeds in the afternoon.

No big rides planned now until the 28th. Rest and some more planning. I want to make sure I know where I can quickly and easily find more Lucozade and possibly some chocolate by the canalside between Liverpool and Foulridge. I saw loads of signs for Cream Teas, Pub grub and real ale... very hard to keep riding!

If I remember anything else useful / of interest I'll update the post throughout the week.

The canal part of today's cycle can be seen below.

View Esholt to Foulridge Training Ride in a larger map

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