Made that old mistake of going out too early after a bought of illness today. I had been ill for about two weeks and was gagging to get out again. So I took the oppertunity to hook up with some guys heading out to Ashridge, I knew damn well it would be a hard days mudfest, and I was'nt wrong
Heading out of town with Ivinghoe Beacon in the distance covered in mist, I told my buddies that I would do the sensible thing and cut off well within the ride.
With the Beacon out of the way I'd planned to do a 'bit' and head off.
However, that 'bit' got longer and longer. Each extra muddy mile I did was telling on me. Every root was banging through the rigid forks, up the narrow drops and into my cheast and arms. Each push on the pedals sent the road tyres spinning, then the mantra started Ineedknoblies....Ineedknoblies........Ineedknoblies.
Now realising we were out at our furthest point, pure bloody mindness set in, and I became determined to see this through, nothing was going to stop me not even losing a crank, nor the blocked up wheels not even the final ice like chalk climb.
Then we reached a familiar point on the route, one were I knew I'd just have to keep pedling to make it home.
That's when the sun came out, well no it did'nt we stopped at a cafe for coffee, but it was a welcome little break. Though we could'nt stop for long as we were freezing, so we gulped it down and set off.
The cross bike was in it's element for a short while as we rode on hardpack out to the Beacon. Then I had to make a decision, either decend by road or drop down off road knowing I'd have to walk the wet chalk climb that shoulders the beacon. In fact I was walking well before that, even standing out of the saddle on the flat would have the wheels spinning for grip.
A short walk soon led to a just manageable chalky decent which I just made, though one leg was flapping about waiting for the expected off!. However, I was soon on the type of Terra Nova that does'nt give way under you, some people call it Tarmac.
Here is were tradition states that we have a freewheel race follwed by a chaingang home. I think it's about seven miles in all, today we kept it a constant 22/25MPH. Though I always have to remember to save a little energy to get off the lights in town.
4 hours and 15 minutes later I'm peeling off wet muddy kit.
Then it's panic time. I'm showered and rested but my pulse is about 140bpm.....sheeeet. So what do you do when you have a problem? contact STW of course. I spell out my diagnosis via the internet, but my pulse finally starts to drop, 120...100....90.........80. It stops there, but then I realise I'm running a temperature and I've hardly drunk a sip. So I conclude that my late illness, minor dehydration and temperature are to blame. So that's OK then!
So it was a tough day, on the wrong bike. On top of that I was still unwell. With hindsight I think I was stupid to ride so hard. I must remember this day for when I'm ill again.