Sunday, 13 December 2015

Cold, wet, muddy...still loving it!

On another day when the sane and sensible of the cycling world fired up their trainers, stuck on a motivational video and stayed warm, we the supposedly intelligent folk of C&D Cycles Cycling Club went for a ride. Well four of us anyway, the rest of the club can sit with their smug satisfied smiles that they're marginally more wise than us. Worse still we deliberately chose to add mud to the cold and wet. The pictures tell a tale but they're not going to win any awards due to the lens permanently being wet, muddy or both.

The others; Steve, Nat and Heather met me on the Market Square in Rothwell. This was a kind act because it gave me time and for an extra cup of tea. It was my plan apparently so the first thing we did was go up the hill to Orton and then follow the quiet lane. Yes ladies, gentlemen and Jonesy, that picture above is us on a road. 

From Orton we headed back towards Harrington and then followed the road down past the Carpetbagger Air Museum Link. We then followed a fun muddy trail to the old WWII runway. On the way Heather had her first tumble of the day. She missed a great chunk of concrete by millimeters and thankfully got back on unhurt. 

By this time I was soaked through and knew I'd made an error in my clothing choices. My MTB shoes are good, I've had them for about ten years but they are not waterproof, nor were my socks. Frankly I may as well have wrapped my feet in Plenty (other kitchen roll is available.) Really my sealskin overshoes and waterproof socks would have been a good choice. Another poor choice was my MTB trousers. They are showerproof but when it's raining above and you're splashing through puddles all they did was get wet, cold and flappy. It might not be the done thing on a MTB but my winter tights would have been a much better choice. The right choices I made were to wear a C&D winter jersey and glasses with clear lenses. Had the picture not been so poor I could show you how effective Heather's eye-wear was because she was totally panda eyes!

Plenty the big one household towel - SCA
Ineffective for cycling footwear

Heather wanted proof her rear tyre was not going down...there you go

Nat inexplicably was way cleaner than the rest of us

Barely a splodge!

See...that's me

From the old airfield we zoomed through Draughton and onto the Brampton Valley Way. For a surfaced track I have to say it's in pretty poor condition and became a bit of an oppressive puddle fest. The first 100 or so were funny to splash through but once it felt like frostbite in my toes it wore off. Thankfully there was a way out and we took Merry Tom Lane up to Pitsford Res. 

Would be a great photo with a clean lens

A bit better

Onto the track around Pitsford Water you realise just how poor the Brampton Valley way is. It's a much better quality gravel track with better drainage and far less puddles. Heather took another tumble on one of the unofficial off track sections. I never had the video running at any of these times which seems a waste!

Heather has fallen in the distance!

After that it was back to the roads and home via Scaldwell, Old and Loddington. On our route we barely saw another cyclist which again either suggests we're particularly hardy or just 'sharp as a tennis ball.'

Steve was amused by the pub sign

So was it worth it? Of course! Good miles, good company and a great sense of achievement. I have the rest of my life to sit by the fire, so until I'm no longer capable I'm going to ride as often as I can.

Apparently the picture doesn't do it justice

Filthy boy!

The Queen of Cakes was highly amused by the state I was in when I got home. Everything was taken off and discarded by the washing machine. She also handed me a towel but there was no way I was getting in the shower because it would have stung. It was still pretty painful when I got in half an hour later. At least parts of me that disappeared are starting to re-emerge.

I have got some video footage but no time to do any editing today. If I get round to it I'll probably do a bonus blog.

Everyone got frozen today. Nat was unsure how she was going to get her dirty bike back into the flat and Steve was planning to warm up with a Minestrone Cup-a-Soup! Poor Heather has Hypothermia in her Strava ride name.

Recovery drink of champions!

That's my cycling for the weekend.
Happy Pedaling

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