What an amazing treat the sunshine was yesterday. It's what cyclists dream of. Alarm was set for 6.45am (groan-not an early morning person, especially on a sunday) Arrived in Gargrave, filled pockets with gels, bars and map, hit start on the Garmin and off we went. Plan was to do 70 miles with some climbs of course, a circular route via Hawes. It was practically 2 years to the day I did my first ride in the Dales, the scenery and roads were one of the reasons I decided to leave the big smoke and move North. I cycled 45 miles on a borrowed bike, probably in about 10 hours and it nearly killed me!
Anyway back to this ride. First 30 miles were not too bad, legs were complaining uphill a bit but that can be normal. Tried not to look at Garmin and enjoy the views, breathtaking. Climbed Fleet Moss-the easy way, felt completely zapped of any energy despite a gel and bar. Stopped in Hawes, Emma says we need to stop cafe stopping, welcome to training not leisure riding! I was keen to get going as I just wanted to get it over with to be honest. The drag out of Hawes left me feeling a bit soul destroyed, headwind didn't help, legs empty. Negative thoughts in abundance I drew on the reason I was doing it and pushed through, looking around at the beauty. Managed a good climb near the end, the hairpins out of Langcliffe, which made me feel like I had achieved something, really got a good line and felt strong a the top. 68 miles later, 6800ft climb and I was drinking recovery in the van. I really hope I feel stronger for the next ride, the enormity of this challenge really hit me yesterday but thats a good thing, make me train more! Sponsorship really helps with encouragement up the hills so if you can donate I would be so grateful.
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