Tomorrow is the big warm up ride for Fred Whitton in the summer!!
We (my brother Sam, dad, and two other friends called Rob and Alex) will be heading out from Durham to reach Greystoke, Cumbria by the late afternoon/evening. The route will cover around 68 miles (give or take a few shortcuts and wrong turns) and will reach up to 2,000ft of climbing on a couple of occasions. I’m uber excited! Training has been building up to this weekend for the last few weeks and so it will be a great milestone that will bring us closer to being prepared for Fred on July 14th. However, this week hasn’t exactly been ideal. I have had an essay due in for today which has somewhat chained me to my desk despite some glorious weather. And to top it off I’ve developed a stonking cold, one that makes your chest all full and your knees all weak. You know its a bad one when you get tired washing your hair in the shower. Not exactly ideal conditions to be doing a long pennines ride in! So tomorrow will be a great lesson in just plodding on through the pain, making sure I eat enough to sustain my body for the whole day and having ‘courage’ when I will want to give up.
We did this ride last year and the two hard points that I remember most vividly (there were others, I have just forgotten them) were the last climb which is a looong 6 mile climb at mile 43 when your body begins to feel a creeping and inescapable tiredness and then the final 10 mile stretch when my butt felt like it was sitting on a cheese grater and my stomach started cramping up from eating so much food and being hunched over all day. SO, to try and prevent those two things happening again this year I’ve bought some Chamois Butt’r (get it) cream which should ease the saddle pain, and some omeprezole tablets which help with indigestion. The added malady of the cold will bring its own hiccups I’m sure so I’ve also bought some cold and flu + caffeine tabs for extra protection.
Having reminded myself of the tricky points of last year I am mostly massively excited for tomorrow. There are some absolutely stunning views to be seen, fun to be had with family and friends, and some great roads to ride. There is one moment in particular that I just can’t wait for! Its when we finish that last long climb and reach Hartside Cafe which overlooks the Lake District with all the peaks on the horizon. I can’t wait! By then all the effort will have been worthwhile and a cup of hot tea and choccie cake will see us through!
Keep up to date with the ride by following me on twitter @pbabirye or on facebook.