...and a lot of suffering. The ride on Tuesday was cut short due to my chest not liking the sub-zero air I was forcing into it as I puffed up the side of Prestcott Hill Climb course having already ridden from 'Nam to Gretton. I felt bad about bugging out as I was looking forward to a blast over Cleeve and a nice pint in the pub afterwards.
Fridays ride started from the Killkenny car park and the group took in 18 windswept, cold and muddy miles. The 34:18 seemed like a monster track gear, and Becca's Thursday afternoon jaunt over Cleeve had taken the wind out of her sails. It was such a tough ride in bad conditions I didn't take one photo and finished off a whole bag of Harribo towards the end just to keep going. To say that 6weeks off the bike and a chest infection has effected my performance might be an understatement! We made it back to the car and only missed out the last gravel track descent and road climb. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing and eating, the effort to go to the pub was just too much!
The frame bags are proving really good and despite a few "nice kite" remarks the issue with side winds is pretty much non-existent even in the 35mph gusts on Friday. Becca can pack in a 750ml bottle, jacket, tools, pump, tube and camera in her bag and I can fit all that plus winter gloves, gillet and more snacks. The one thing I am re-evaluating are the bar mounted bottles which due to the drop-bar set up are pretty near my face when I duck under branches and have a tendency to start jumping out over rough ground. Some cold setting seems to have removed the "ejector bottle" problem but I am thinking about a 2l water rucksack so I can ditch the bar bottles and the one in the bag. As much as I hate lots of stuff on my back I think I can manage a basic camelbak with just water and £££ in it.
I still have to conduct a full test-pack for my bivvi gear (both basic S20ON and longer trips) but as the ride today is not until 4pm I guess I might do it now.
FoD pictures to follow.