The Fail And The Snail

An outdoor ride with no time pressure, fairly nice weather and a lot of lovely countryside scenery. What’s not to like?

Well, there were a couple of fails thrown in today. Those were the bits I didn’t like.

I’d plotted a new route on the Garmin. The last week or so has been about recovery, lots of flat, and with the ribs feeling a lot better I decided I’d push myself a bit and do some hillier rides. The plan was always to stay at a laid back pace. Nothing exertive, any climbing would be sat down and in the easiest gear.

Even so… I hadn’t meant to add that many climbs to my route.

It was nice to be heading out towards Beacon Fell once more as really that’s the most beautiful part of where I live. It’s quiet, even on a Bank Holiday weekend, and although it’s rural, the roads are comparatively decent.

The plan today was to head out to Chipping, circle around and then come back and hit Beacon Fell. All in it should have been about 58km I think.

I’d stocked up on snacks for the ride. A flapjack, assorted gummies, and a banana. Also I’d doubled up on breakfast – toast and cereal – so was fully fuelled and up for the ride.

Once I’d got to Chipping – busy as it always seems to be for a village in the middle of nowhere – the first of the days climbs was upon me…

So err, yeah. This was a total WTF.

I’d planned this into the Garmin and had no idea where I was going.

Seems gravel was the order of the day. I got a funny look from a farmer as I trundled up some random side track, over a cattle grid and then bleep, the climb was on. Or not. As it was barely a path I could walk in my cleats… so I had to abandon that after a short chat with some sheep, turn round and pass the smirking farmer as I admitted defeat on climb 1.

The SatNav had me all over at his point. I was down side streets, making u-turns, and generally just cursing. Where the hell was it taking me? Well, where I’d told it, apparently.

Anyway, before long it had me heading back into Chipping for another pass and the second of the days climbs loomed. That’s the one on the right below…

So this one was too much. I’d intended to stay seated but it’s a pretty intensive climb and sat down wasn’t working.

Standing I saw out the climb without, I thought at the time, much issue.

Whilst the bottom is certainly steep, it does go on for an equal amount of time / distance at a much easier pace until you (or I?) crest the top of the hill (below) and the segment ends. I’d sat back down for the second bit.

But as I went over the knuckle I felt my right knee go. Again. Same issue as on Saturday.

Bad times. Whereas on Saturday the pain kicked in with only ~3km to home, this time I was over 10km away. Briefly I considered ringing for a pick up, but I decided to ease off (even more) and limp home. Probably shouldn’t have done that, but I’m an idiot.

On the way back I saw a couple of sights.

The first was this glider that had been silently circling overhead and as I stopped to take the snap above right, it went on to a short landing. Excuse the hastily captured video. Pretty cool.

I saw another glider take off a while later, though I wasn’t close. It took a seriously steep angle… nothing like you’d take on a jet plane for your holidays. I’m not entirely sure how they get up, but I saw it drop something once it had reached a levelling off altitude, so I’m guessing it’s some how pulled like a kite? Who knows.

Now something else I saw was tied in to something I’d seen a few weeks back.

When I was out on this ride I kept getting passed by all these rally cars. Super squeaky brakes seemed to be the order of the day. You could hear them coming from miles away. Deep booming exhausts and what have you. I’m not a car person but I know a rally car when I see one.

Anyway, I found out – at some point – that they were rallying up round Beacon Fell.

As per the above video, it’s pretty cool. That’s a route I cycle. It’s also a route I’ve known since I was a kid. Anyway, hooning it round there at 100mph is just bat**** insane. I’m not surprised one of them stacked it into a wall.

See below for the aftermath, and also a wild sighting of the famous grouse.

So yeah. Limped home. Still almost 50km and over 1000 calories (just).

It’s frustrating to have the knee pain for sure.

It’s also frustrating, though also freeing in a way, to go slow. I’m a bit sick of it, but then there’s no pressure on myself. Pressure, admittedly, I put on myself.

Anyway, I’m forced off tomorrow. It’s back to work anyway, so probably for the best. I suspect I need to stick to the turbo for the moment. However when the sun shines and I’ve been at my desk for 5 hours, it isn’t easy to get the motivation to do another hour in front of the computer I can tell you.

Shame then really, a nice ride kinda ruined.

But as for this particular route? It needs to go in the bin. This was a bad pick.

2 thoughts on “The Fail And The Snail”

  1. Use Komoot for planning dude- don’t need to pay for it, use in browser. Once you have a lovely route planned, import into Garmin. You can select road cycling (or gravel/mountain bike if you wish) and it will give you highlighted segments for that type of riding. Literally wouldn’t be without it now.

    • Nice – just signed up and given it a play around. Very cool, love the map. The breakdown of road surfaces is super nice too. Like it. Thanks for sharing.

      Hope all is well with you and the gang in sunny Wales!


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