Here's a brief picture summary of my summer to date:
(Week long holiday with Ben in Scotland!!)
I've been metaphorically staring into the mirror a lot lately, and I'm not sure if I like the contorted and strained reflection. I feel a bit like I've been concentrating too much on what monopoly square I've landed on and not looking up to see the board in front of me.
The blog has been quiet lately because I've been so busy loving/living my daily life. I've been out almost constantly so haven't even turned my computer on. This will be a trend for the rest of summer - y'know that period I've been lusting for for the past 2 years. Speaking of which I'm kind of keen to crack on and get the degree finished regardless of summer, just so I can tick that box, close the case, and then finally look to my next task. I really need to plan out my future better but I've not found much inspiration since the Welbeck drama. Nothing I can feel my heart burning for.
No idea about the film, I've never seen it.
My neighbour gave up trying to bully me because I give as good as I get. Now that my sister has a new car he's tried the same strategic bin positioning with her. I won't have anyone trying to hassle my sister so I fixed it...
If it helps, the bin will still get emptied in the morning :')
Yeah, that's a thing. This year was the inaugural Mighty Corinthian event and credit where credit is due, it was absolutely bloody fantastic, whilst simultaneously being the hardest bike ride I've ever done.
My hat goes off to Allan, Ali and everyone else involved with organising the event. What they do so well is make it personal, they're the ones that meet and greet you at every point and make it feel more of a family ride in comparison to the corporate, greedy approach from L'Eroica that we have seen recently.
So you start in Ulverston, in the Lake District (UK) at about 0330h and begin your all day epic with excited wide eyes and lights on your vintage road bike. I had also started with pockets full of food but the event was so well catered that I didn't really need them - we had 5 food stops over the 300 kilometers (186 miles) and they were all superb.
Major climbs on the event include Hartside at 100 miles, and Kirkstone pass at 160 miles. You pass major tourist attractions such as Conniston Water early in the morning (one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen), Keswick town, a brewery castle thing later on? (can't really remember what it was, I was too tired) and then kirkstone pass is itself quite an attraction.
As I said earlier, it was without a doubt the toughest ride I've ever done. If you didn't think 190 miles is far enough (including the run to/from the campsite) just remember it was on vintage bikes and in the Lake District - total climbing for the event was about 4500 meters!!
If you're reading this and are into your vintage rides or long distances then make sure that you look up the event and enter it for next year. I paid just shy of £100 to enter and it was worth every penny. There's such a good buzz around the ride and it's all very welcoming too. We had 16 riders including ones from Belgium and from France, so it's already got a bit of a name for itself. I guarantee it can only grow to be bigger and better.
Before L'Eroica Britannia the weekend before last I'd only ridden a maximum of 30 miles on my fixie, and that was on local roads which are just undulating.
So this time it was a bit of a mission getting up those bit hills in the Peak District with my 47x17 tooth ratio (big gear!!). At some points I was pedalling extremely slowly, wrenching up on the handlebars while pushing as hard as I could on the pedal, then only to do the same on the other side immediately. Equally as challenging were the downhills; a rule of fixed wheel riding is that you should make every effort to avoid using the brakes so I never actually had the opportunity to rest my legs, the downs were just as hard as the ups.
By the end I'd gotten into a bit of a rhythm but was still knackered. More exciting though was that I had my two classic bikes out at the same time - Ria was riding my Holdsworth! She's not used to classic road bikes at all so the gearing made it a tough day for her, and the weight of the bike was a shock as she's used to welterweight carbon race bikes. It was superb to be out together on my classic bikes :)