How to push your bike through England

Trip Start May 22, 2009
Trip End Feb 16, 2010

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Tuesday, June 23, 2009

1.  Go to the hilliest area of all of England to start your tour
2.  Go on the hottest and most humid day ever experienced
3.  Run out of water and forget lunch
4.  Cycle over 80km

As you can tell, today was quite a day!  Day 3 of our trip, but really only day 2 of cycling. 

We knew that there was to be a huge slog out of Castleton, and decided to take he route suggested by our 75lb punk guide from yesterday.  As we arrived at the ‘Broken Road’ we see a sign post telling us about the LANDSLIDE area we are entering into!  This road was built under a mountain called Mam Tor (I’m nicknaming Mammoth Tor) around 1800.  After several slides and repairs they finally stopped in 1976 and the road has been left to ruin since.  I can’t believe that this road is a lesser grade than the main road.  We could barely PUSH our bikes at times let alone ride them!  Plus there was the added bonus of navigating through the ‘broken’ sections of road.  It was scary to push along and see old bits of road 50 feet down the hill, or sewers that were growing out of the grass, or long cracks in the pavement, etc.  It made me think of Frank Slide as this Mom Tor likes to move frequently.

At the top, our water was gone already!  But this was just the start.  Throughout the day we must have done about 8-10 other steep-enough-to-push hills.  Maybe it’s just me not in shape yet…Throw in a wrong turn & backtrack, loss of clothes out of a cinch strap & backtrack, and then pouring rain, it was a stellar day!  I even tried to fill our water bottles with the rain, but to no avail.  We kept delaying lunch for brighter horizons,  but none came.  It took us 2/3 of the day to get out of the Peak District (about 40km), and then we flew through the other 40km in no time.  Muscles are still sore and tempers were quick.  Staying positive is a little bit easier when the torture is self-imposed, but I‘ve had it with hills for the day!  It’s interesting to see how quickly one’s body adapts.  Already in 2 short (long) days, we’ve noticed that our heart rate is lower during the climbs as well as respiration.  Now I’m just waiting for the muscle endurance to increase!

Looking forward to a pleasant ’coast to the coast’ tomorrow.   

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