Sunday, 22 January 2012

Tunnel Test ride and A long stay at Eureka

As promised yesterday, I was up and out at 6.45 this morning. Luckily I wasn't on my own. I met Dave, Carla and Ian at the 12th Man. Cycling seems to develop a motivation in people you don't see in other sports/ activities!

It didn't take long to get to the Tunnel as the wind helped us along. We didn't stop when we got to the entrance, we just headed into the Ten Minutes of Hell route!

We had decided not to push it as this was just a recce to check out the grades of the climbs either side. The descent into the tunnel is quite long from the Birkenhead side, which will be useful in the TT. I coasted quite a way into the tunnel, and then as it levels out at the bottom, picked a gear to spin up the other side. We went round the Roundabout in Liverpool, which won't be part of the course, so I can take a few seconds off my time today to compensate for the extra meters, and then headed back. The descent from Liverpool is shorter so I put a bit more effort in going down, and then pushed harder to get out the other side. I was quite happy with my time, which I am not going to post here as I don't want to scare everyone else who is thinking of entering, but it is safe to say I will have to work much harder on the day.
I drove through from Liverpool the other day, and decided to video the journey as a motivation tool!!

Once we had played in the Tunnel, Ken met us and we headed of to Eureka for breakfast.
It is always great to learn new routes, and today Ian treated us to a great one through Port Sunlight Village and out to Clatterbridge. It is definitely one to remember as it cuts out a lot of the major roads on the way from Birkenhead to central Wirral.
The pace was pretty good for early on a Sunday, and we arrived at Eureka at 8.30!! Anne was quite surprised to see us so early, but as always made us very welcome. The only problem was that I had arranged to meet Lou from Patisserie Cyclisme, a web site dedicated to Cafe reviews, and all things cake!
To pass the time I chose a full English breakfast from the menu, which was great, until Steve, from Team Vita, arrived! I did feel a bit guilty, for about 10 seconds!!

Whilst we were waiting, a steady stream of wind blown cyclists came into the cafe. I was surprised at how many I now know! We were joined by Steve for a while, then Paul from the club rides had a coffee with us. When he left, Carla and Dave headed back, it was now 9.15, and Ian had already gone off into Wales.
Next to join us was Frank, a fellow blogger and Vita fan,
Frank left with a group from the CTC and he was replaced by Dave (Tinselspin) and Phil (Cheshire Oaks Cycles) Dan who has ridden with us before also made an appearance.

Lou eventually arrived at 11.30. A little later than expected, but she had a great excuse. She had been talking to the Voice of Eurosport, David Harmon, about a possible interview with a Cycling Legend. I won't steal her thunder and spill the beans, but I'll let her off.
Whilst me and Ken were waiting, Anne said she was going to give us some jobs to do, although we didn't break the longest stay record of 7 hours, we only managed 3 and a half!!

It was great to see Lou and chat about her website, and plans for the future. I'm sure 2012 is going to be a busy year for her, both with the business, her PHD and racing. Please check out her website and why not review your local cafe whilst your there!

Ken and I left at 12 and headed out into the wind. The Chester High road is not the place to be with a strong head wind, so we turned off and zig zagged back through the lanes. We picked up another lad on the way, and we worked together taking turns at the front.

It certainly was another extraordinary ride.

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