Saturday morning. It was dark when I half woke up and then my alarm clock finished the job and I was wide awake. So too was Rachel but that was not part of the plan. Sliding into my cycling gear I was up and ready for a ride.
When I crept out for my early morning ride I didn’t know what route to take, a kind of “let’s make it up as we go along approach”. As the dawn broke it was a lovely day and I turned my lights off. there was a little bit of early morning mist melting away and there was much promise for the day ahead. I found myself heading back over towards Studham which could mean only one thing: down to Dagnall and up Bison Hill! Yep, the Bison.
I have mentioned this little monster before and it is turning out to be a popular challenge for local cyclists. Every time I’m anywhere near the Bison there always seems to be at least one cyclist either plodding up or whizzing down; today was no exception.
I nearly had the perfect excuse when I reached Dagnall as there was a “Road Closed” sign. “Well” I thought “that wouldn’t normally stop me, a mere closed road, so why now” and so I pedalled along wondering if the road would suddenly disappear – it didn’t and soon enough I was there at the bottom of the hill.
I remember from before there was a little bit of confusion about where the start and finish line were but now it was completely settled. The start was at the T-junction. Finish was about 0.6 miles further up the hill where it starts to level off, just by the water tower.
Off I went pedalling away in the outer chain ring which very quickly became the inner chainring and then the gears gradually became lower. I a nice easy pace the first half until I became very out of breath, my mouth was wide open, as I was panting really deeply. Even though that was happening, and I felt like my lungs were going to burst. I was really enjoying it. I reached the finish line just under five minutes and at the time which makes me is fast as the 17th woman according to Stravo.com.
Coast to Coast 2014
Any thoughts of backing out of the Coast to Coast 2014 has now gone. I had previously said to my friend Jeremy, that yes I would do it with him, as it sounds like a really good opportunity to have challenge lined up for next year. And then yesterday I spotted in my inbox, Jeremy had written to a number of our mutual friends raising the possibility of a group doing the Coast-to-Coast 2014. He mentioned that I had agreed to do it! So there was no backing out now. Today, first of October, is the opening of the bookings so I will need to get it booked pretty quickly now.
Jeremy explained his email that the coast-to-coast 2014 cycle ride will involve 150 miles in one day. He also said that it would involve riding up the equivalent of Bison Hill 30 times. “Flip I thought, that’s going to be like torture but why not?”.
He went on to explain he didn’t know whether he could do the ride, or what the logistics would be. Jeremy being Jeremy, said “therein lies the fun”. Of course Jeremy can do it, he’s 10 years younger than me and I know he’s a really accomplished cyclist who easily leaves behind on Bison Hill.
Therefore I have a sneaky feeling that I’m going to be getting to know the Bison Hill really well over the coming months. It’s going to involve a lot of training in terms of distance, and the ability to undertake climbing of 15,000 feet in one day along with the total distance of 150 miles in the day. I have mentioned this challenge to a number of my friends and colleagues; the majority of which think I am totally crazy for entertaining such an idea. This reaction makes me all the more determined to do it. After all I can ride 50 miles already without any difficulties in one day, so it should be fairly straightforward to do some further training and increase that to 150 miles. I wonder if it is similar to having been at the stage of being capable of running 8 or 9 miles and then undertaking a marathon? That is something that I have done and have really enjoyed it, having benefited from it so much already.
So there I go, the bookings are open today, Jeremy will, no doubt, be on-line booking his own place and yes I will too later on this evening. One of the things that drives me is the horror of having future regrets about this – I just don’t want to be a 95 year old thinking to himself “I wish I had done that while I had the opportunity”.