Right then, VLOG #4. With the UK lock down rules being relaxed as of today, and with my desire for another week off work before starting the next job hunt, today seemed like the perfect day to head outdoors and hit Beacon Fell.
This is the route I’ve most wanted to do since heading outdoors. The only downside being that having already ridden twice this week, by this afternoon my legs weren’t quite up to the task of attacking the loop. Also, with more road traffic about, maybe I’d blown the one shot I might ever have had to put down a solid, uncontested effort.
With the prospect of a tough, long race around Zwift New York’s Everything Bagel looming either tomorrow, or Friday, I knew today needed to be an easier ride.
The idea, therefore, was to take it super easy on the outbound leg, then do a small but concerted effort both up the climb to Beacon Fell (via Carwags Lane), then one solid effort around the loop, and then take it easy on the way back home.
Disappointingly my run up the hill was spoiled at the very last by a motorist having to come to a complete stop, right in front of me, in order to let another motorist pass.
Yes, the traffic was definitely greater than usual today. Even for the midweek afternoon time slot. I certainly wasn’t the only one enjoying our new found freedom.
After the climb, I stopped to do a short bit of the VLOG, then was off again for the full loop.
That went fairly well – I had a car behind me for the final third, but to hell with them, I took the full path rather than risking them making a pass on me on a narrow single file track.
My time wasn’t great – partly because I am a scaredy-cat when it comes to the steep descents.
All things considered I think my time wasn’t so bad. Could I have done better? Yes, for sure. Knowing the start / finish marker for the segment would definitely have helped. As would having being there early doors, with very little to no traffic around to have me worrying.
That said, even on a good day I’d say I could likely only shave 30 seconds off that time.
For what it’s worth, if you go on any segment of any real merit in the North West, Matt Moorhouse seems to have it nailed. That guy is a machine.
Where I went wrong today was in my descent off Beacon Fell. I pulled a U-turn which wasn’t on the schedule, and after this the Garmin got its knickers in a real twist.
I couldn’t figure out how to get it to skip the next part of the ride, and at one point it had me going back up the Fell just so I could immediately come back down.
In the end I free-wheeled it, so to speak, and just went home the route I knew. I tried a few things to make it calculate a new route home, but really it’s not the most intuitive of units to use, especially when riding.
When I did finally get home, the Garmin happily reported that the ride had been classified as “Recovery”. Hurrah. We agree on something.
All in all, I really enjoyed this one. I’m feeling it already at this point, having done 110km on the week so far and it’s only Wednesday. I’m not sure I’ll tackle the race tomorrow. Maybe I’ll give myself a bit of a breather and then try my best on Friday.