Monday, April 7, 2014

Peak ITT

I could have gone to watch the Tour of Flanders this weekend, but instead as preparation for the Highland Trail Race in May chose to ride the 130ish mile Peak individual time trial.

The route put together by Ian Fitz doesn't require a skinsuit and Tri bars, as it's mostly off road.

Ideally one would ride a mountain bike, but mine is currently in bits, so instead I rode my cross bike .

 Here is it packed ready for the off.

There were 5 of us who left Edale together just after 10 on Saturday morning. L -R, me, John, Mark, Mark, Ian.

Though some had brought bivvy stuff which would enable them an over night stop if needed, I'd just brought food, warm clothing and waterproofs. I thought that a time of around 18 hours should be possible, so I went fairly quickly from the off.

All was going reasonably well apart from the fact that the ground was soaked. Cut Gate which I usually only visit when it is dry was a push most of the way up due to no traction.

At Woodhead tunnel, I noted my bar bag which contained my food and tools, was rubbing on my wheel. I lifted the bag slightly to find that the supporting bracket had snapped. I'm sure given time I could have fashioned some sort of repair, but I hadn't got time for that.

A quick decision that this wasn't to be a ride stopper. I took everything out of the bag and stuffed its contents into my jersey pockets, and saddle drybag. I stashed the bag under a hedge to pick up next day. (I've since discovered I probably left my pump there too)

At Charlesworth I stopped for a can of Coke, and saw Mark, John, and Paul (who had left before us). Mark John and I rode together on and off most of the way over to Edale.

From Glossop road all the way over to Edale Cross, there was a lot of bike pushing. I'd hoped to be up on Rushup Edge for 4:30, but we hadn't made the top of Jacob's Ladder by then.

At Barber Booth, Mark and I stopped for some food. Realising that this was going to be a much longer day than planned, some of my urgency had gone.

I knew the Rushup bridleway would be a slog, and it didn't disappoint. Though from there onwards the going was supposed to be a lot faster.

 My knees had started niggling me, they'd missed having a mountain bike granny gear. So though I should have been quicker on the next road bits, I wasn't.

From Peak Forest over to Chelmorton involved a good deal of hike a bike and I guess it was around there as night fell and it started to rain, that I began to weigh up my options. My plan was to get a meal in Bakewell, but it was looking like I may not get there in opening hours. I had a bit of food, but not enough to see me through till the end of the ride. That, my nagging knees and a near complete lack of brakepads, were enough excuses for me, so at Parsley Hey I called it a day.

As it turned out none of us got all the way round that day

Just short of 70 miles an 8000 feet of climbing, a lot of which was done on foot.

Definitely a route to do when it is dry and not wet. I wouldn't choose to do it on a cross bike next time either.

Abrasive stuff that wet grit.