Sunday, 12 August 2012

Darlington to Swaledale to Hamsterley to Darlington

Sometimes I ride up to Swaledale for a ride. Sometime to Hamsterley. I've been thinking "why not both?" for a while now. Last Wednesday, I finally got around to doing it. It turns out, it's quite far and, if you've not been on a bike for three weeks, it hurts a bit. But it was still fun.

In numbers: 150km with 2200m of climbing; 10 1/4 hours; 1 gear; 7 mini pork pies; 1 punnet of cherries; 2 oat bars; 3l apple juice; 4l water.

Usual route up to Swaledale, then down Fremington Edge, over Surrender Moor and up to Great Pinseat. Down again and up to (almost) Tan Hill before following the Sustrans route via Bowes to Barnard Castle. Up to Woodland from Barney, down the end of the 'new' Hamsterley red route before returning to Woodland and riding home.

My legs felt fine throughout, but my "contact points" suffered. The stitching going around the pad in my shorts probably didn't help this... So, new shorts needed and probably going to get some chamois cream too. My gloves have had it too, so I'm going to invest in a new pair. Also thinking of swapping the oversize bars and stem on my bike for the identical but non-OS set for a bit more vibration reduction. Pondering whether a 29er front wheel with a 2.1" tyre gives more comfort than a 26" wheel with a 2.4" tyre. Long-term, I need a more forgiving fork than the steel On-One.

After 7 mini pork pies you don't want to eat number 8, so I need to find something else for a bit of variety on long rides. The cherries I bought in the Barnard Castle Coop worked, but I need something more robust for rides like Kielder 100.

Annoyingly close to 100 miles.

Distance: 151km (69km Darlington to Tan Hill via bits of Swaledale, 21.9km from Tan Hill to Barnard Castle, 12.7km from Barnard Castle to Woodland, 16.2km from Woodland into/round the forest and back again, and 31.2km back home again)
Surface: Road and off-road
Time: 10:15
Weather: Hot and sunny!
Bike: Inbred SS (with 2.4" tyres on 32:17)