Wearing it Out – Wansbeck CC

Today was an interesting day. I was awoken from the sofa slumber by a keyless household cyclist at ten to two and I stumbled off to bed. Unusually for me I didn’t wake up again till half eight. I like a leisurely start to my day, gives me time to check the bike, have some food, drink copious amounts of coffee, strip six times for the toilet trips (you know, bibtights, base, shorts, jersey, jacket all have to be removed in some way just for a wee, how I envy the males ‘cos I can’t do all that by the roadside), find shoes, take shoes off, hunt socks, fill waterbottles and still have time to Facebook.

Today was yet another first.

My first ride with the Wansbeck contingency. Iain Bolton who has been something of a driving force behind the Wansbeck Sunday rides kindly offered to meet me at half past nine for the ride to the meeting point at Morpeth Leisure Centre for a ten am start. The ride into Morpeth was uneventful, a nice bit of chat while we pedalled the cycle path and down the Whorral Bank into the town centre. Arriving at the leisure centre I was told that this weeks turnout was unusually large. I guess I just have that effect on people huh? If course it helped that my bud Andy had turned out too, he used to ride with Wansbeck but this was his first ride out since he became a Vag, ditto Mr Kirby.  Iain was proposing a long ride and a short one setting off together and diverging at the Gate at Forrestburn Gate and had even provided maps to hand out, what a nice touch!

The group set off up the main street and up the hill towards Fairmoor, turning left onto the road to Pigdon and then Netherwitton. I’m becoming far too familiar with these roads and it has to be said they challenge me even with fresh legs, which I didn’t have today. Tuesdays trip to Elsdon, Thursdays flying lesson and yesterdays ride (all of which I’m very proud of) had understandably taken their toll.  I started to drop back and there with a first time rider called Lee and a lovely gentleman by the name of Martin (Hi Martin, I know you’ll see this) I stayed. Coming into Netherwitton we found the rest of the group waiting for us. We stopped to have Iain take a photo then carried on up Netherwitton Bank. This is one of those hills that always gets me. I stopped at the base to contemplate the hill (ok, not always the best idea but I am human you know) but got to the top eventually Iain had doubled back to check on me and Mr Kirby, which was exceptionally sweet of him and we had a nice ride up to the Gate together where we found the group waiting for us again.

Here the ride diverged, the majority of the group turned right to Forrestburn Gate to complete their seventy mile circuit and 4 of us, myself and Andy included turned left heading up past Fontburn. That was one major long drag of serious climbing and I found myself having to stop several times. I know this had a lot to do with riding so much hill, this one included, in such a short space of time. I had no more up left in me and crawled up this drag, stopping now and again as I felt the need. There was now just Andy and myself, the other two having floated up the hills at much faster speeds. At this point I wasn’t certain we would see them again but I decided to listen to my own wisdom. The temptation to kill yourself to catch or keep up with better cyclists is a big one but can be counter productive, all it really can achieve is sore legs in need of a longer rest, the possibility of total bonk and that sick as a chip feeling where you’ve set yourself up for failure and have indeed failed. I’m not a climber yet, I may never be so saving my legs for the descents and the flats seemed a better use of my energy.

At the top of the drag we turned left to cut off some of Iains carefully constructed route. On reflection, I think the singular seasoned roadie riding with us was taking pity on me. I’m grateful for that. We emerged at Netherwitton back on our route in and followed that back to Morpeth. At the leisure centre we piled the bikes in Andys car and retired to Costa’s for a cuppa. A very nice cuppa and some excellent chat. Coming back to the car we ran into two or three of the Wansbeck fast riders returning and I have to say what a lovely bunch of lads.

It remains to say that I would like to heartily thank both Iain, Martin and Phil for ensuring that no-one got left behind. Especially the no-one that is me. Next time I’ll try it on rested legs ok?


Please note, photo will be inserted as soon as Iain sends it to me. :p

Explore posts in the same categories: Friends, Rides, The Bike, wansbeck cycling club

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10 Comments on “Wearing it Out – Wansbeck CC”

  1. Mark K Says:

    Sweet of you to not mention my inability to stay on my bike.

    Chinese tonight and doing 154.7 miles this week are the only things stopping me from selling my bike. It was that bad.

  2. notthewowy Says:

    no point in being sweet about it if you were going to fess up though.

    Of course it was that bad. But see I’ve maybe done 10 miles less than you on top of 2 jobs all week and I had a whale of a time. Little tip cos I like you, if you start the day with tired legs it’s probably best not to ride with the people you know can take em off, especially when that involves some major climbing. Best to be the pussy than throw yer bike in a hedge eh? 🙂

  3. PhilR Says:

    I’ve been researching all my iPhone bits for my bike and I don’t even have it (or even the forms) yet. I thought it was a lovely day for a cycle today and wish I’d bothered to even fix my mountain bike.

    Reading all these make me want the bike now, but also make me wonder if I could manage to survive the rides. Also I’m not as brave as I used to be and know I’d be going downhill with both brakes on 😀

    • notthewowy Says:

      Well Phil, the vags run a social ride with the motto “no-one gets left behind” Those rides run at the pace of the slowest rider and are a lovely day out. Check out their website in my links. Only problem is its a Saturday, still, one in six will do eh? There’s always the option to borrow one off us if you like.

      • PhilR Says:

        Sadly as I’m not on a regular duty and am just cover float I can’t guarantee a saturday off. Normally when I get one it’s cos I’ve asked for it as I have other things planned but still that doesn’t always work, oh for a regular float/duty.

        Still (impatiently) waiting for the cycle2work forms to come through. Not saying whose fault it is that I went from saying I’d fix my bike to buying a new one mind 😉

  4. Les Says:

    Carrie ure an inspiration to me

    Sounds like this weekend you had a great time cycling keep it up mate

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