Basically, that’s the synopsis of yesterday’s ride. 🙂
This Sunday (22nd May) it’s Over The Edge, an annual ride for the British Heart Foundation which goes up Blackstone Edge from Littleborough then back down by various routes of 22, 29 or 52 miles. I wondered how I’d cope with the hill since I haven’t been up there since I did it with (or after, technically) Joby and Chris last year.
So I set off and at first I struggled like mad. Bad gear choice, cadence and breathing I think. I rested just after The Moorcock pub and was nearly sick. So, I gathered myself and set off with a lot more self-control, then plodded the rest of the way up the big hill without any issues. I felt like I was sailing past The White House at the top, well into the cloud cover by then.
Up and Over Blackstone Edge
It felt great to have got there and the 6+ mile descent down to Mytholmroyd was a blast, if a bit wet and quite hairy on the slippery roads in places!
If you haven’t laughed at my expense already, now’s your chance.
I fell in the canal. Yup, after 20 years of riding along the Rochdale Canal towpaths, I finally got my come-uppance. It was raining, the cobbles were slippery, there was goose poo and (critically) I made one wrong decision: I thought that the smoother big slabs near the waterside would be easier to cycle on than the rough-looking cobbles near the structure of the bridge I was passing under.
Checking Everything’s Working After My Dunking
The front wheel went up onto the slabs ok, but he back wheel didn’t and somehow I was flipped around, my spuds had unclipped and the Fat Boy and I were headed waterwards. I managed to land on my chest on the canalside, then hooked my legs into the frame and crawled forwards to think about my next move. Thankfully a Good Samaritan and his missus were walking towards me and he jogged to me asking if I was ok. I wasn’t sure but I said yes and asked him to grab the bike.
One back wheel hoiked onto the towpath later and we were up and stocktaking. Bike ok, no real pain, and miraculously my phone was totally unscathed thanks to the new weatherproof mount and an extra butty-bag rain cover! So thank you, Good Samaritan! I should have asked your name but I felt too much of a prat.
That shook me up a bit so I slowed up a lot the rest of the way home. I knew I had more than 10 miles of towpath to do including more cobbles and more bridges. My legs suddenly got tired and the rain seemed colder. Probably just a reaction to the adrenaline levels going back to normal.
Rising up a little sliproad to one of the many locks, I noticed – too late – a car crossing the path from my right. Brakes on… feet clipped in…stopped… Thud! “That’s all I need“, I thought, “two falls in one ride!“.
A very nice cyclist approached from behind at a fair lick and asked me if I was ok. Then he recognised me. Cue mixed emotions. It was great to meet Adrian and to prove that the messages on twitter are from real people, but my introduction was less than dignified! He’d recognised my bike and remembered my name, which was very nice of him. He’s a lovely bloke.
We had a chat and headed off towards our respective homes.
I got home having done over 26 miles and with a big smile on my face despite the dunking, the weather, the unplanned body-slam… And I think I’m doing Over The Edge on Sunday! 🙂