[[posterous-content:pid___0]]Off we set again in ‘Snail’, our van, heading for the Lake District to ride the Lakeland Loop. No sushi this time unfortunatly, but we did treat ourselves to dinner at Lucy’s in Ambleside, *ahem* not entirely sure that tapas can be considered the best pre-ride food, but gosh, it was delicious!
Alas the GF-Ti had stayed at home this time. I’d broken a link in the chain the week before, surprised really as Dura-Ace chains have done me well in the past. It’s probably only got 1000 miles on it. Funny really, I had the chain when I built up the GF-Ti but really wanted to put YBN Gold chain on, couldn’t quite justify it. I know it’s shallow but you can’t beat a bit of sparkly bike bling! I had YBN on my last ‘best’ bike and it does last longer too.
I didn’t mind too much really. I’d been coughing and sneezing all week, it’s never a good idea to get on a nice bike when you feel lousy! Also if I rode my TK2 with it’s full mudguards and lights then it should mean that we’d get good weather!
I decided to ride round with Ali today as when we come up to do the Fred Whitton I’ll be going for a time and won’t get to ride with her. That’s one of the fun bits about sportives. A lot of hot air gets spouted about them. Experienced racers often comment that sportives are pointless and that if riders want to race then they ought enter a ‘real’ race. Slower riders often slate them as being elitist as they think people will race them. Personally I think they’re a great fun way to ride, you can ride them how you want to. I find them handy training for Ironman, as often the distances are the same and any kind of pinned on number make you try that bit harder. They’re also a great way for everyone to challenge themselves, with different lenght routes for different abilities. Everyone has the right to try as hard as they want to, it’s a challenge after all!
You see quite a few strong riders helping others achieve their dreams. Groups of friends out having a jolly. Racer chasers jockeying along. MTB riders with slicks. Who cares?! Surely the fact that it’s getting folk out on bikes is the main thing? We pulled into one of the feed stations and started chatting to the girls who were making the tea (yes that’s right TEA! mmmm!), one of them started asking questions about the bikes, shoes, riders and everything she’d seen that day. Happily, Ali and I answered her questions and suggested places she could get information about where to begin. I love it when you can tell that someone is inspired. It did make me a little bit sad when she appologised for asking but said we were the first ones who’d looked approachable!
It was a cold yet beautiful day, the BBB kit seems to be working a treat in all weathers, I’d gone out in one of their baselayers, Raceshield gloves, great spring wear and I seemed to maintain a good even temperature all day. We’re still waiting for the new season team kit to arrive and in the meantime I treated myself to some Castelli women’s Body Paint bib shorts, oh my! They’ve certainly raised the game with these. I can’t believe how comfy they are. It’s like they’re not there. The padding is awesome. When riding beow your pace I find I sit heavier in the saddle and can get uncomfy, none of that with the body paint.
We had a really lovely day, Ali climbed Hardknott all in one go! It’s the first time she’s tried! I don’t know what time we did, this time I don’t care, it was about riding and enjoying ourselves, eating cake and smiling. Big thanks to Mark at Epic Events for another great day.