Saturday 3rd February 2018
An early start on this cold damp morning had a suppressing turnout of hardened or stupid cyclists. A few late arrivals from the alley cats who were burning the mid night oil in local hostellers and back lanes around Garstang.
Phil, Simon, Chris (AKA Sally), Chris and guest rider from Lancaster RC Tim Norton.
The ride rolled out over the gentle hills of Proctor Moss to warm the legs up before we tackled the first CAT 1 climb of the day, west face of Jubilee tower. An interesting number of theories broke out on the summit on why ancient man would lug there wooden canoes up to what is now the car park, not convinced it was a really high tide. Jubilee tower saw the first of the wintery condition as we pushed into the cloud base and the rain turned to snow and temperatures dropped to -2 deg.
(ED: you failed to mentionthe sheep stop on the Jubilee descent- lots of them being driven along the road)
The Trough road was as expected but we now had patches of snow on the descent. Needless to say our brave warriors were now dithering by the time we hit Dunsop Bridge. I had just the thing to warm them up again: a quick sprint up Waddington Fell back into the abyss with the snow now falling quicker and was settling on the fells at a fair rate. Following the long cold decent into Waddington and to avoid mutiny we graced the Country Kitchen.
The café stop also fired a healthy re -edit of Cycling Weekly article, who should have written in their kit review of how (non) effective our gloves, shoes and leaking jackets had been in this light weather.
Once prised out of the café it’s the first time I have heard of lads actually looking forward to Birdy Brow although I didn’t think it was because they were hill climbing censures more to do with generating their own heat. Right turn at the New Drop Inn and I thought a few of the lads were ready to say the safe word ‘twix’, but no these boys love their climbing and grinded the last few yards out to the summit.
Simon Departed on the summit back to Preston having put a strong performance in for the day.
We rolled over the Chipping riser, normal banter on the top as we regrouped although the memories of this conversation will be an engraved in my mind eye every time I look at my Garmin, think I’ll join Sally for some PTSD Counselling this week.
Final pull over Oakenclough before we departed. Back and showered before the Ruby as requested.
The boys did well, especially in the conditions 60m, 5,300 ft climbing ave 13 mph