Saturday’s aim was to hit the 20-mile target running! The fact it was one of the hottest days of the year was a slight annoyance, however not phased, I loaded up my pack with as much water and juice as I could carry, slathered on the suncream (no more blisters and dodgy tan lines for me!) and headed to Hope. I am pleased to say the first 13 miles or so were relatively comfortable, I made a concerted effort to take on more food, and it definitely helped. There was only one slight problem – hydration! Despite carrying as much I could I seemed to be sweating out more than I could drink (charming I know) and water was running out a little quicker than I had planned.
The last five miles were certainly a bit of a struggle as with limited drink I was finding it harder to keep up the food intake. In the end, I annoyingly had to cut the run a bit short so missed the target by about a mile. However, I finished still pleased with what I had done and had learned more valuable lessons – mainly carry EVEN more water!
Recovery BBQ later that evening:
After this the plan on Sunday was to have a more relaxed day – however, that’s just so hard when it is beautiful weather! So I headed to the yard to ride Ace with much fresher legs than when I had ridden the day before after running and was up for a good training session… Ace, on the other hand, had spent the morning stuffing his face with grass and running around the field had other ideas! Luckily he seemed to come around to the notion of schooling and it went well.
That afternoon I had arranged to head out with Sarah, Katie and Ozzy on the mountain bikes so after a quick change of steed (horse to bike), I set off for Castleton. As Katie has never been up Broken Road and Mam Tor we thought the Mam Tor Figure of 8 would be a great route.
After waiting optimistically for a massive thunder to ‘blow over’ we set off on the steep climb. As it turns out this thunderstorm may have been a bit of an omen for things to come..! Coming off the top of the ridge I managed to flip my bike and faceplant the ground – luckily for me; it was a very wet but soft landing straight in a puddle. This was followed by a body slide from Sarah, unfortunately not on grass this time but down a very steep loose gravel track – ouch!
Annoyingly a lot of the steep rocky descents in Peaks have been replaced with gravelled tracks with intermittent deep V-shaped draining ditches. These are not only less fun but are also a real hazard – combine the lack of traction on the gravel with a broad deep ditch, and it’s easy to see how Sarah went flying. Things looked pretty painful as we tried our best to patch her up in situ. The only positive of the situation was that the bike seemed okay… Sarah’s iPhone, however, was in pieces! She had had it in her front pocket and having landed on it, it now not only had a very broken screen but also represented a Pringle. Siri had also taken a bang to the head and continued to update us randomly, then later moved to outbursts of the song Tears in Heaven (perhaps a hint at the phone fate!).
Despite putting on a brave face, it was pretty clear Sarah was not in a fit state to continue the ride, so we decided to abandon ship and call Matilda (Ozzy’s Van) to the rescue. So after a quick hill sprint from Ozzy, we managed to get Sarah a more comfortable seat. I think however the comfort was short lived as Ozzy was far too keen to get out his TCP and tweezers to start extracting the gravel from Sarah’s leg (complete with gloves and glasses it was a great look!). I am pleased to report however he can’t have done to bad a job as, after a few days rest, the injuries are looking much better – get well soon Sarah!