There and back again, a cyclists tale

Hi all,

As promised yesterday, I am back, and a bit more awake this time!

So yesterday after work, I decided to go on the first route that Nikki and myself travelled when we bought our bikes. Got to say, it was a lot different! The first time, the sun was out and it was warm (hard to believe in this country I know), this time, it was grey and overcast, and cold, very cold! The route ran from Barrowford to East Marton, just over 10 miles north, then came back along the roads through Thornton-in-Craven, Earby, Kelbrock, Salterforth, and Fouldridge.

Now, canal cycling is mostly pleasant, fairly level surfaces, and conditions similar to roads just without the cars. That is of course until you have passed Barnoldswick. It all goes downhill from there (literally and figuratively).


Me in the middle of nowhere!

You call this a cycle track?


In all seriousness, how can British Waterways call that a path, never mind part of a cycle route?! As I cycled, my speed must have been averaging around 5 mph, any faster and the stability of the bike became seriously compromised. The back end was sliding all over the place in the well trod areas, and on the grass, there was the ever prominent risk of falling into the canal (which did almost happen on a few occasions). Also, there was the mud! Mud clogging up the bikes gears only added to the issues along this stretch of canal. Thing is, I think I must be going crazy as I plan on doing the route again soon and going further in order to break the 30 mile a day mark by the end of the month.

So, the return leg of the journey…

There is only one way to describe the village of Thornton-in-Craven. A hill. One unrelenting uphill struggle! And I can say that I did it! I had to stop a couple of times for a drink, but not once did I get off and push! To use Nikki’s phrase, “go me!”

Upon returning home, Cyclemeter told me that I had not done as well as the previous time as it took half an hour longer. Now at first this was disappointing, but then I realised that on the previous trip, my iPhone‘s battery died, and so only half the trip’s data was recorded. My average speed has increase to over 11 mph which is good as we need to be doing at least 10 mph on the trip to france to make it in our 9 day target.

I do however think that on this trip I may have killed a lung! Clearly when recovering from a cold, its not a good idea to perform an activity which will make you breathe heavily, especially when the air is so cold!

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