Rides have been few and far between this year- mainly due to the weather but a few niggles on the health front haven't helped either. But today promised to be a bit better for a ride. Temp around 15 C- sunny- no rain for the morning and the people I would be riding with would be at my pace, Only problem was going to be the wind at around 20 mph and gusting to 30- but you can't have everything.
2 Newcomers from My son in laws works in Karen and her husband Andy plus the usual crew of Ross- Mick-Mike and me. 10 miles to pick up Karen and Andy and I was surprised at the pace I managed to keep up. I am slow compared to the others but Ross and I took the lead through the back lanes and we lost Mick and Mike a few times. Average of 18 mph but there was a bit of wind assistance. Then we picked Up Karen and Andy. Karen was a sensible one from the 180 mile ride that was planned and she told the boss that it was not possible. She has a Respectable Raleigh Hybrid that has a few clunks when pedalling but the bike and her are OK. Andy however is on leave from Afghanistan and only picked up his "Halfords Special the day before. For Halfords and the make of Carrera think a bit like Low end "Bikes Direct" Sora Equipped 8 speed with a compact crank and about 30 lbs in weight.
I took Karen in tow initially and got her used to tackling the few slopes on the ride. Not that steep but 5% or so for 1/2 mile were daunting till I got her to think about gearing down for them and don't hit them fast or hard. Her Husband Andy stayed behind but he was always there and not dropping back much. After about twenty miles I passed Karen over to Ross to take up a hill. The only real hill on the ride but reckoned she would do it and worked on Andy. Found out he had not changed out of the 50t for the whole ride so got him into the 34 for this hill. Then come down on the cassette till he was in the lowest gear for the hill. That transformed him and away he went till near the top when he hit some gravel and stalled. Game lad and he got on the bike and restarted and out of the saddle and went for it. He not only beat me up the hill- He beat everyone. He stayed with me for a few more miles as I got him used to the gears and then he was with the fast boys up front. He has power but just does not know how to use it. Karen on the other hand left Ross and stayed with me. She didn't like Ross giving her the "Expert" advice as it wore her out too much. Couple more slopes and it was PIE time.
We were at the highest point of the ride then so an easy ride back-Easy ride? across the open marshes? with a crosswind- headwind-crosswind at 30 mph--That flat bit of the ride was hard.Dropped Off Karen and Andy and my lack of effort in riding with them showed on the way back. Tailwind out and the 30 mph headwind showed who had some energy left. Surprising how the rider (Me) that has cut the pace a bit on the ride- still has the foolhardiness to take the lead on the way back. It was only when I slowed to 10 mph that someone else took the lead and that wasn't for long.
So good ride today with some good mates and the Pie was excellent. No pics I am afraid but plenty of snippets on the Go- Pro that I may have time to collate next week.
Ross's Strava report is below so you can see how slow and Flat the ride was.