I’ve been wanting to do this ride since it was published in Cycling weekly a while back. This was the first time I’ve had a chance to do it and it won’t be the last.
It was going to have the title ex 21 Stone Obese Rider completes Olympic Medalist Training ride in 4:16 with the ex in the smallest font possible, but writing it is enough.
I’m going to have to get the original article out as my ride finished at the Eureka but as it was closed due them opening up the new shop I rode on to Ness Gardens for a stop and then home. Weather was perfect and I’ve really enjoyed myself. The fact that I now look like a Discovery Channel wannabe only added to the occasion.
Thinking about this post and the ride and the impression it made on me I’m going to make it a feature of the site. It’ll be getting a page all of its own. From where I started to be able do this ride is one of highlights of the year. Last year was an amazing year for me and for the past few months I’ve been wondering where do I go from here.
Well this ride is me living the dream.
It started off we me pumping the tyres up on “The Toy” (Trek Madone 5.2 2006 Discovery Channel colours)they were low and they were a lot better at 120psi.
Pressing start on the Garmin Edge 305 at the top of Resthill had me starting the ride. It has me joining up with Steve,s route at Thorton Hall and then I’m doing it for real.
Today is all about staying in the big ring for me to get my average speed up. Anyway going down Resthill with the tyres pumped up the bike feels like a rocketship and I’m on top form too.
If you ride out to the Eureka via the Missing Link, at the end of Benty Heath Lane you turn left instead of right towards Hooton. This is where the ride is all in virgin territory to save waypoints it’s straight across the lights on the A41. The route is on the road that runs parallel to the M53 past the Vauxhall Social club the surface is that tarred surface with not enough chippings that that is a drag on a bicycle tyre. Next stop Rivacre brook down one side and up the other. The next section is the worst section of the ride if your into scenic views. Motorway and Oil Sites Road are not the best of views in any ones book.
I spent 23 years at Associated Octel on Oil Sites Road before I took the redundancy package so going past the place is of great significance. I’ve spent half my life there but that was then and this is now. At the end of the road is the turn off for Ince and Elton and I’ve never been this route, it’s not as bad as it is has been painted. Well it was sunny, and I’m having the time of my life. Fastforward past the M56 and to the bottom of Primrose Lane.
This is it, the hardest climb of the route. Not a killer climb but 14% on the Garmin Edge 305. This is the first time I’ve done it, previously we have turned off and gone around the golf course. I stop after the steepest bit for the following picture. Going up the climb I’m determined to dtay in the middle ring but looking down at the rear cassette I’ve still got another gear left. For some reason the indexing is not quite right and I have to hold the lever over to stay in 40×25. This comes back to haunt me on Sundays ride but that is another post.
I’m suggesting you do this route on your own for the first time to maximise your experience. Just you, your bike and the ride. Once you’ve done it once you’ll want to do it again. It is that good, trust me. Thanks Steve it was a mind blowing experience for me.
Right at the top, Dugdales has long gone(this isn’t a motorcycle site)and the next stop is the Station Cafe at Delamere Forest. Now I’m still wondering which way the route is but once it turns down Dark Ark Lane I feel a bit easier. Once up the hill it is left at the crossroads and then you are in to Delamere. Once you’ve gone under the bridge your on the switchback an rolling climb with a gradient of about 5%. Now I’m feeling good on this ride, probably never been better and glancing down at the Edge the figure of 18mph comes up, unbelievable. Right at the junction and the head down past the lake and the first stop at Delamere station Cafe comes up.
A pot of tea and a piece of chocolate cake outside in the sun was reward for a great run out. I did a bit of people watching as it was still half term and there was a mixed bunch there. Any way as I was leaving I spoke to Allan and Stan who had rode out there. Allan I’ve met before on a ride out to Kinnerton but his memory isn’t that good or he doesn’t recognise the new me. We spoke about the Edge 305 and he rides alongside me up to the junction to see what I am seeing. Stan I hadn’t met and we talked about what I’d been up to. It seems I’m too young to go on the Vets 100 ride at 47 which is probably just as well as the form I’m in means I take no prisoners.
Steve,s route starts at Gayton roundabout and I’ll be doing the full route from there and doing the loop down to Parkgate to get a definative time This would mean cutting out the climb up Denhall lane but its swing and roundabouts. I ended up doing 71 miles to the routes 64. I think my average of 16.3 on the ride out to Delamere would be up as Gayton to Thornton Hough is all downhill 20mph plus stuff.
For those who never saw the original ride this is a scan of it. You can also get the course and route files from the ride I did from the MotionBased site. The route is going to get tweaked as I added a loop down to the Dee and the climb up Denhall Lane as the Eureka was closed and the second cake stop had to be Ness Gardens. There are one or two points on my ride that need sorting as I should have took a small shortcut around Oulton Park instead of following the above to the letter. It needs a bit more work on the route and the section at Woodbank where you have to cross the A5117 needs to be resolved if anyone is going to do the route and claim a time.
As it is you could download the course off MotionBased and race against me as the Virtual Partner on an Edge 205/305.
More on the ride back later I had two good rides that weekend so bear with me.
Ray will be interested in my navigation errors on the map around Cotebrook and Eaton but I’m blaming Anquet. A5117 closed still.