Saturday, 9 April 2016

Crap on the road but fun on the bike!

Today's C&D Cycles club ride had it's fair share of hills, some unpleasant road conditions, some stunning scenery and above all some quality banter on a bike! This was another Andy Brown route and once again the mountain goat sought out every undulation on offer. The fast lads (hopefully I'll be back up to that speed in a few months,) set off leaving the less competitive banter bunch behind. We were led by a combination of Ian and Rob with input from me when their overrated Garmin's failed and my brain didn't. (I really should be quiet here, the last time we did this route I got everyone completely lost!)

Mr Baird feeling rather pleased with himself

Club colours in full show

As we headed out towards Desborough we encountered the first of many roads in an unpleasant state. The mud on the road from the quarry was nasty in terms of wheel-spins and frankly very unnecessary. It wasn't however the worst that we encountered...

The road that desperately needs a clean!

We got past that though and soldiered on. Normally I love the stretch from Desborough through Stoke Albany and onto Ashley and early signs were for a good fast rolling section. I'd like to pretend at this point that I was dropping back for photos but as with last week I was definitely the group's 'Arse end Charlie.' I got some very helpful advice from cycling veteran Stuart who once again in his late 70's left me in his wake. I would never ignore such precious advice and he advised me I was spinning in low gears too much. You're right Stuart, I was knackered. Taking a break from cycling has really damaged my fitness. I won't be doing that again!

Nice bit of road...

Oh shit!

Unforunately road conditions deteriorated again before Ashley and this was again a bit of a nervy ride. It wasn't improved by Steve letting us know the road was coated with fertiliser made from human poo! That's not a late April Fools joke, 77% of sewage is now turned into fertliser. I'm not sure what grows on tarmac though!!!

Things went from bad to worse for Mark who managed to eject his bottle on to the road. Ken unable and perhaps given the surface in question, unwilling, to avoid Mark's vital fluid rode straight over it. I'm really not sure he'd want to pick it up anyway.

At Hallaton, near some Llamas I didn't get a good picture of, Steve gave me something for a bit of a boost. I like these gels a lot, it's like having a sweet strong coffee but only in the consistency of marmite. It didn't do much though, I was still dropped on every hill. We didn't go far though because we had a plethora of chain dropping especially the hapless Mark who fiddled and twiddled with his mech all the way round.

The magnificent Stuart...spoils the picture!

That's the pic I was taking with malificent Mark not spoiling the view

Local nonsense

I do love a good memorial

You may be thinking it looks like a nice day. Well it was once we'd warmed up but oh my goodness it was fresh, especially in the breeze. Having worn shorts last week most of us were back to longs, overshoes, full fingered gloves, base layers etc. Never a dull moment with the British weather, well except when it's dull!

The sign reads 'Hare Pie Farm,' and is a firm favourite of Steve

We'd had poo so why not have a pee?

Beautiful Day

As we made our way down this stretch of road Neil Howarth remarked how great it was to be out on our bikes. He loved the scenery, the riding and the company of like minded people. You're spot on Neil. That's what it's all about!

Library picture to show the process

Not long after that we went through another stretch of nightsoil on the road. Again it wasn't the most pleasant experience. I'm all  for responsible use of waste and any way we can boost food production. I just don't want to ride through it!

Looking out across the Welland valley

The picture above does not justice to the view beign sureveyed at East Carlton across the Welland Valley. This was a great route showcasing North Northants and South Leicestershire as a good place to go for a ride.

Dirty dirty bike

More filth

I left the group at Rushton and struggled home. I'm knackered, really knackered. I feel like I rode 100 not 40 miles. However it was great to be out on my bike with good friends. I also know that cycling fitness comes back quite quickly so the solution is in my hands...more miles!

On arriving home my cycling kit went straight in the washing machine and I jumped in the shower to scrub all that poop off! Andy F will also be pleased to know I've had a shave. Deep cleanse was  the order of the day. My beautiful bike has also had a good scrub down and a shine up courtesy of WD40 GT85.

What I really needed was a good sit down but then I'm not sensible am I? So instead I made chunky vegetable soup for dinner and the chilli for tonight's tea. I've also pitched yeast and got my latest beer in the brew fridge, cleaned all that up and walked the dogs, oh yeah and chopped some logs...why am I always knackered again? Well finally I am sat down writing this...listening to 5Live sports and watching Wasps V Exeter at the same time. Who says men can't multi-task? Oh hang on...I've what else can I do?

Happy Pedaling!

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