Another hilly 200k ticked off the list – well, I say ticked off, it was a lot lot lot harder than that...
This time the Audax "permanent" event called "The Flashy Venetian". 215k altogether, 2750m climbing.
We started from Wirksworth, headed NW to Macclesfield, obv taking in rather a lot of upwards incline
before a big long descent from the Cat and the Fiddle. Then we headed into flatter areas (bloody headwind mind you)
SW through Middlewich to a small place called Bunbury with a *fantastic* cafe.
Next stretch strayed back eastwards and stayed flattish to begin with before hitting us with some serious hills
in the second half (I only remember a warning of a 1 in 7 but that's only because they couldn't be bothered
to warn you about the others) - finishing at Tittesworth Water just N of Leek. From there things took a dive for the worse,
first time in a long time I have had to stop on a hill for a breather - and I needed to do it TWICE (aaagh).
It was about 7pm and I was seriously beginning to wonder if I would make it back in the time limit if they were going to
hit us with many more hills like that.
Across the Roaches, remote, unfamiliar and getting dark, to the "Highest village in Britain" (Flash),
across to Longnor, hit Crowdecote hill in the dark, which might be a good thing,
although I do know that hill from previous encounters (only one stop required for a breather - seriously tired by this point
but we were at around 180k). A welcome (flat) if surreal 10k stretch on the High Peak trail in the dark before heading to
Matlock, then up that bloody hill from Cromford back to Wirksworth to finish 215k, 2750m climbing.
We did over 1000m less climbing than two weeks ago but I wasn't feeling it when we set off,
and it was a hard day in the saddle. Bloody hard, felt much, much harder than two weeks ago.
Start time 8:25am, finish time 10:25pm (an hour to spare in the end, phew). Not commuting by bike tomorrow!
Great weather in the end though, and great company as always - thanks Matt and Chris for babysitting me
and putting up with my Roaches and self-doubt.