RR: The Other Fleet Moss Randonee (200km) 20th August 2006



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The Other Fleet Moss Randonee (200km) 20th August 2006

As usual we had plenty of time at the start, a good crowd was
assembled, the weather was looking brighter after a few showers.

Off we went through the streets of Halifax, hilly, I worked my way to
the front to keep out of trouble, it was a fast pace and I found myself
in the front group as it all settled down. Up the first real hill, I
lead the field, strung them out and let them catch me up as the
gradient eased. The club riders like to pedal downhill, I don't so
they tended to ride past me when they could, no worries, on a bumpy
route I can get them back on the hills. This continued to Keighley when
we got caught out at a red light, they jumped it. Leo and I soon reeled
them in and rejoined for the ride up Wharfedale. Andy Corless found
himself on the front and raised the pace, rode away, the club riders
didn't like this and complained. No problem as far as I was
concerned, I jumped and caught Andy, did it on the steepest part of the
hill, made a show of it too. Unfortunately Andy stopped for a café
break in Kettlewell so I was forced again to let them come back to me.
I'd pretty much got fed up with this group by now and wanted to get a
smaller one together, one a little slower and less tetchy. Didn't
happen, up Langstrothdale they didn't wait for us so we gave up and
did our own thing. Fleet Moss was approaching, rather we were
approaching it so I needed to relax and prepare for the climb. It was
raining by now, Leo had to stop to put her hat on, I stopped too,
she's my mate, the group we well gone. I picked them off though one
by one until I caught Mike T.. we rode side by side to the top and
waited for Leo who wasn't far behind. The descent was fast, Mike had
to slow for a turning vehicle, I overtook and led the three of us into
Hawes and the first control.

I was knackered, it had been a fast and tough 83km. The food didn't
go down too well, I would have liked a longer break. On the road again,
and almost immediately on the climb up to Ribblehead, not too
difficult, steep at first and bit undulating but generally upwards.
Some of the others, lesser climbers, seemed to delight in showing off
by pedalling past me on the downhills, why ? Finally I snapped and made
a huge effort to catch one guy on the up hill part, I did, I strung
them all out again but Leo was nowhere to be seen. Café legs, I hung
back and towed here to the top, battling the head wind. The descent
past the magnificent Ribblehead Viaduct was too short to recuperate,
Mike had waited at the turn and the three of us set off to Settle. My
legs were screaming from the effort of the climb, I needed to relax and
look after myself. The others didn't so promptly set off at a pace
too fast for me to recover. I dropped off the back, they didn't slow
until I was well back. Leo slowed then Mike eventually did. Phew,
thanks. They didn't seem to get the message that I wasn't
comfortable at their pace though,, it was upsetting, very upsetting.
We'd agreed to ride together but it seems that means so long as I can
keep up. Leo always dropped back but was unable to persuade Mike to
slow down. All he needed to do was ride alongside me to chat to perk me
up.

A short stop in Settle, I needed to sit down and rest, recuperate for
the bigger hills later. They could see I was upset with them for not
waiting. Didn't really help though, it still happened a few more
times, eight times they rode away from me. Finally we arrived at the
big hills I'd been saving myself for. I was cruising now, like I said
I would be. I set my pace and demonstrated that I could ride off if I
wanted to, I didn't though, I made sure they never fell too far
behind by looking over my shoulder regularly. We had a good tailwind
here too, it was easy, I showed off, just to let them know I wasn't
shot. After the hills we rolled quite quickly back toe Halifax, I felt
fine, didn't want to stop but did, at 17:22.

Did I enjoy this one ? Hard to say, pleased about the time it took,
pleased I was able to ride quickly with the groups I was with, but not
pleased that I couldn't persuade my companions to slow for me when I
needed them to.