Back on my bike

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Yesterday I went to the Upper Derwent Valley in the Peak District with Dave for a bit of a bike ride around the three reservoirs there.

I’d not ridden my bike since my holiday in Anglesey last year, and the last time I did this route was back in 2007 when I did my first ride in 16 years with Jamie Hill.

Anyway, back to yesterday, and we arrived at about 1.15pm and parked up, and set our bikes up before changing into our riding gear.  It was pretty cold, so I’d gone for a layers approach with t-shirt, hoody and coat, and tracksuit bottoms over some cycling shorts.  Dave being the crazy man that he is opted for a Villa top and shorts!

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I was really out of practice, but soon got into it, although I do find hills quite difficult.  Obviously I need to build up my strength and stamina, and if I can get rid of some weight over the next year it will really help as well.

There was quite a lot of ice and leftover snow around, which made a few sections quite interesting, but it was a bright, dry day which was good.  Although when we were in the shade it was absolutely freezing!

Dave was a really good bike partner to have, because I know he was riding a lot slower and took more breaks than he normally would do, but he was totally fine about it.  Hopefully the more riding I do, the better I will be with regard to that.

I got a couple of painful muscle twinges nearer the end of the ride, which is a bit concerning, but maybe that’s just down to me not being used to so much exercise!

We actually did 16 miles which is quite a lot really!  And to be honest my legs aren’t aching too much, although I have a really sore arse from my saddle!  Again, I assume that’s something which you don’t notice after a while!

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My goal with the whole biking thing is to be able to cycle long distances without too much pain (and to get much fitter in the process!)  Dave’s really keen on doing a Land’s End to John O’Groats ride next year sometime, and I’d really love to be able to join him on that, even though I know it would be the hardest thing I’d ever do!  As part of the build up to it, the plan is to look to do a Coast to Coast ride this year, with about 50 – 60 miles a day for about 4 – 5 days, so it could be achievable for me if I really work for it.  Hopefully me blogging about it might give me more of an incentive to really train for it, so that I can avoid the embarrassment of looking back at this in a couple of years time having not done it!

You can see the photos from the ride here.

2 Comments

  1. Hi Gareth, I did the end-to-end about 11 and a half years ago. Admittedly I was a bit younger than you are now, and I wouldn’t say it was easy but not the hardest thing in the world either. Me and a mate from work went from John O’groats to lands end in ten days in a trip that totalled 955 miles. We decided to go that way because my mate thought it better to finish at lands end where at least there is something to do. Scotland was the hardest part and took us 4 and a half days to complete. We took the C2C route through which was picturesque but not the most direct. Going over Glen Shee was memorable. We made up good ground the first full day in England when we cycled from Penrith (over shap fell) to Middlewich (about 115 miles). To train for this I started cycling to work (about 18 miles each way) about 3 times a week. Then we started meeting up at weekends and doing progressively longer rides until we could manage a 100 miles. Finally a couple of weeks before we planned to start we booked 3 days off and did 3 100 mile rides each day to see if we were up to it. One important factor in our success was support. We had friends (Mark Danks, Ian Whitby and Sean Farrelly plus another work colleague) who each did a stint supporting us by car, stopping at intervals with food and drink, and extra gear so that we didn’t have to carry anything extra on our backs. They also went ahead and found us a B&B for the end of the day. It was one of my proudest achievements and I can thoroughly recommend it. Do it – you’ll never forget it.

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