Sunday, 6 November 2011

"Tragedy" by the Steps!!

Today was the first time I have joined Dave (the coach) for a long ride. Ken came over from Litherland and met me at Chateau Palefish. We headed  up to the Glegg Arms in Heswall to meet the others.

Waiting for the Lads at the Glegg Arms

There was another great turn out, Me, Ken, Dave, Dave L, Dan, James, Andy and Jeff, who only had a pass for a couple of hours.
We headed out to the Dee path, then over the river and into Wales.
The weather was fantastic, a bit crisp on the legs, I decided to wear shorts today, ever the optimist! But it was sunny and dry.
The first challenge, and to be fair, the worst of the day, was "The Steps". A hill that goes up in, you guessed it, Steps. Hence the topical Pop group title today!! This challenge is legendary and the Eureka Cafe even has a competition to see who can do it the fastest. So at the bottom of the climb I started a new lap on the Garmin and we headed up. The climb has an average of 6% and a maximum of 20%, which is met more than once. It is very different to the hills I ride on round the Wirral. I don't think we can really call them hills actually!! So anyway, I made it, eventually, and it was satisfying, and painful all at the same time. I completed it in 20 minutes, the lap says 23 but I forgot to stop it when I got to the top!! I have since checked the fastest time it has been done, and I have a bit of work to do. 12.5minutes!!! only need to go almost twice as fast!!

Proof I made it!!

The others at the top.

To be honest, I was done in at this point, but you never get anywhere feeling sorry for yourself. We headed on past Llandegla, and down the Nant Y Garth pass, a fast downhill section, the way we were going anyway! that had some great sweeping bends, a bit like an alpine decent, almost!!
We carried on into Ruthin and then Denbigh. I was certainly feeling the climb by this point, and decided that I would need to ease the pace a little to conserve energy to get home. When the mountain goats turned off to climb up and over to Hollywell, Ken and I decided to carry on towards Mold.

First stop of the day at 62miles!

 To give our legs a chance we stopped for a couple of minutes to fuel up and have a stretch, then headed on to Mold. In the town we stopped again, stocked up on some much needed sweet stuff, I'm sure we deserved it, and then set off for Queensferry and the Wirral. The route back to Ewloe was easy, but there we found ourselves on the A55, the main dual carriageway along the North Wales coast. We were only on it for 1.4 miles and averaged 28mph but it was a little daunting having lorries passing at 60mph!!! At Queensferry we got off the A55 and were back on familiar roads.

A beautiful Day

Once we got back on the Chester High Road, I spotted some cyclists ahead who looked familiar. And I was right, As we got to Gordale garden centre we caught the rest of the group, who had stopped at Eureka for a coffee!!!!! We should have stayed with them. It was nice to all get back together for the last few miles.

The survivors of the Steps!!

It was a great day, if a little painful at times, and as always, once I reached the end it all seemed worth it. Thanks Dave for a great route, and the rest of the lads for the company. 
The Blog has taken a while to finish today, as I was out a little longer than expected, and there were a weekends worth of jobs to be done in a couple of hours, to ensure a pass for the next Vita Epic Sunday ride.

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