The Dawn Patrol

“Let’s do it against the fence in the pub car park.”
“Wut?”
“Sorry. That sounded all wrong! I want to take a picture of the bikes.”

6:30am on Good Friday in the car park of the Pack Horse in Affetside. 10 miles into a 36 mile pre breakfast ride. A month ago a 36 mile road ride would have nearly finished me off but in the last 4 weeks I have probably done nearly as many miles as I did in all last year. Last year I wrote about bikes on the internet and organised races for them. This year I have made an effort to actually go out and ride one.
The plan was to do a reasonable (for me) road ride. Jason described it as a “spin”, but he’s allowed to as he did 93 miles the day before and The Mary Townley doorstep challenge the day after. I’d somehow managed to do 23 rides in the preceding 30 days, most of which were commutes to work or quick evening 10 milers, and I was starting to feel the benefit. Now was the time to see if it was actually working. It was.
The route was Simister, Prestwich, Whitefield, Radcliffe, Ainsworth, Walshaw, Affetside, Edgeworth, Hoddlesdon and back via Hawkshaw. All done by 8:15, so I could get on with the planned bank holiday jobs of gardening, potty training and building a scarecrow that looked like Darth Vader. Some of the climbs were a little on the rude side but there was nothing that made me want to get off and cycling along the quiet roads as the sun came up was a joy rather than a sweat drenched ordeal.
Getting fit and riding bikes at silly O’clock may have to become a feature of the summer. I enjoyed it so much that at 5:45 on Easter Monday I was at it again. This time on the FSR with its freshly serviced and none leaky rear shock. 17 miles round the local trails and not a single other soul apart from one dog walker, then back in time for breakfast before the rest of the family had even got up.


I’m already hatching a plan to do it again on Who Gives A Rat’s Ass Day Royal Wedding Day.

Tally-Ho! Watch out for bandits coming out of the sun!

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