What a difference a set of new legs makes! The Tour de France 2014 started in Yorkshire and I used my new legs to go through some of the road they did, I suspect they went through these roads a tad faster than me, but my satisfaction was just the same and, by the way, they were not carrying their house with them.
Ok, let’s take a step back. From the last post I had a day off in the company of Shirley and Andrew which is how my legs had the time to regenerate. I had a great time with them, they are great. We laughed a lot, mostly at my pathetic packing skills and we talked about all sort of stuff, I even think I managed not to become too preachy when talking politics.
Last night we ate at Gonzo where I had a Gonzo Burger which included a layer of spectacular pulled pork, freshly fried pork scratchings, onion rings and chips, and yes, first thing in the morning I took my high blood pressure medication.
All that was washed down with a pint of Human Cannonball, a 9.2% double filtered IPA which I must say, I would recommend to the non driving crowd. I was advised the second pint was going to send me home crawling so I abstained, the walk home was challenging enough as when they put together West Yorkshire they had run out of flat bits.
All this set me up for the morning. What happened today is the clearest explanation of why I have never been and cannot be a good project manager. I started early and planned to go 22 miles to a place called Hope. Last night I also planned the following two legs of the trip all based on the assumption that I was going to be in Hope. Well I am not in Hope, I got to within two miles of it by 12:30 and my new legs and the clearing sky told me it was not time to stop. So as any project manager would not do I disregarded all the preparation and just did something else.
This meant finding alternative accommodation from what previously thought, but fear not, the reception in the Peak District beats the reception in the Lake District hands down and in no time I had identified a new hostel and a new route which included a stopover in Bakewell, which gave me the opportunity to be, well, a bit predictable.
After the stop more unbelievable uphill, I guess there is a reason why this is called the Peak District. It took me a further hour and a half to get to the YHA Hardington Hall, but it was worth it. It’s a lovely place, if tomorrow it’s really as crappy as they said in the weather forecast I may just stay put and if not I have only another 40 miles of descent to get to the next stop.
Going back to the legs, it is quite impressive to realise the effect that a day of recuperation can have on muscles, I did more slope today than any other day, I probably did more today than the last three cycling days put together and yet I managed not to dismount at any point and I even got the last 200 yards to the hostel in the saddle when the grade would have called for a walk in.
In saying that on a bicycle you truly feel the gradient, some pieces of tarmac that driven in a car would appear flat are often not so and indeed call for very low gear ration on a bike.
So what did I learn today?
#2 Car drivers predictions on road gradient are NOT to be relied upon