This was probably my hardest ride ever, more, higher and steeper hills than I think I have ever ridden in a day. We started going up out of Penrith, then the huge climb of Hartside (we took an off road alternative for the start of the climb).
I was very stiff by the top where the cafe was totally dominated by motor cyclists who all seemed to need to stock up on cooked breakfasts. So the rest of the leading group went on while I had a Tuna sandwich, caramel slice and coffee and put on more clothing. I caught the others up in a pub at Nenthead after another huge climb (and very steep descent).
Then more climbs including Black Hill, the highest point on the C2C. My grateful thanks to John who escorted me up that one (and several others during the ride). I found myself bringing up the rear of the leading group on nearly all the big hills, partly that is due to my being careful to monitor my heart rate to make sure I can last the whole day. But also because I am carrying more weight than the young guys on the ride.
The weight does come in handy on the downhills though, on anything not too technical I can leave the others way behind. One of the glorious descents was down towards Stanhope, there another climb, the last of the day.
Very pleased I managed the day and finished in pretty good shape. Great bunch of people to ride with.
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