Yay! Splosh! Thud! Hello! #May100 Ride

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.

It's a Big Hill

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.

Stocktaking After The Dunking

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.

Thud! Hello!

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! 🙂

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6 comments on “Yay! Splosh! Thud! Hello! #May100 Ride

  1. Jon

    Good post, Is that the elevation chart or a picture of the wave you made in the canal?

    Adrian’s a bit tall isn’t he!!

  2. @phillconnell

    Good spot, Jon, I think the diagram serves a dual-purpose there. Adrian is indeed quite tall. I remember checking he wasn’t standing on a box, but you’ve met me so you know that I don’t often look down at people!

    Clive, I discuss the chances of falling in regularly with my OH: in fact, I mentioned them on this very blog only a few posts ago, when I talked about the Helmet ID sticker things you’ve got! 😉 I suppose I was tempting fate, so now fate has got her own back. Snigger indeed, just you wait, you bugger 🙂

  3. Robin Crampton

    Morning Phill good to see the triathlon training is coming along. I think the the idea is not to do the swimming leg on the bike! I know you shouldnt laugh at other peoples misfortune, but when I read the opening line “I fell in the canal” I just couldnt help it. Sorry mate.

  4. @phillconnell

    Yeah yeah Robin, pick on the easy target! 🙂 It’s a good job I can laugh at myself, too. I’ll be a bit more careful on tonight’s autopilot loop, I can tell you.

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