Bike Chester - 80 miles (UK)


#1

You know me @Stefanie there’s always a story to be told :grin:
Bike Chester might start and finish in Chester (a beautiful town in the North West of England) but 78 miles of the 83 mile route were actually in rural Wales! Wales is a stunning country but full of hills and mountains… and as I discovered on Sunday, also full of remote very rural ‘roads’ that are actually what any normal person would refer to as a farm track covered in cow muck, pot holes and loose gravel. There were times when I was fearful for my safety, especially when descending a steep hill on one of these tracks only to come around a corner at speed and find myself facing a large tractor with only inches of space at the side of the track for me to pass. This happened 4 times (I’m sure it wasn’t the same farmer or tractor every time - I don’t think they are the stalking type) and the last incident the farmer was clearly not a cycling fan as he forced me off the road and into a hedge.
There is a hill/mountain in the area of Wales we cycled called Moel Famau - beautiful views from the top but a brutal climb up… and the route took us up both sides! The ride down from the first ascent was fun though (aside from the cattle grids), a good road surface and long swooping turns - I slowed down when my Garmin told me I was doing 40 mph but the sheer joy and exhilaration were amazing. Apparently one poor woman’s rim brakes gave out half way down and she ended up in a ditch; another Woman was forced off the road by a motorcycle :frowning: but thankfully neither were seriously injured.


Today my legs are a little sore but not too bad. My upper body however is a different story - my neck, shoulders, elbows and wrists are letting me know they do not appreciate me taking my road bike on what was effectively an off-road ride… only smooth tarmac in future (I’m not letting on we have a 3 day MTB Adventure to look forward to next month - but I’m sure my full suspension MTB will soften the blows somewhat better than my carbon road bike).


#2

Wow! That is quite the adventure @Michelle! I hope the hedge was a soft landing! Seems like Bike Chester needs to put up some warnings–oh by the way you’ll be riding lots of gravel and grumpy farmers or motorcycles might force you off the road :grimacing: Who knew Wales was so dangerous? That bit gets left out of all the beautiful photos I’ve seen. And 40 mph downhill! You brave woman! I’ve never dared more than 35 and experienced that mixed up feeling of terrified exhilaration. I am glad you and everyone else survived.

Your Liv is gorgeous! I have an Avail and love it so much.


#3

Wow that’s some elevation!! Great job!!!


#4

I just finished looking at the power file from this ride. @Michelle is a true athlete for overcoming such difficult conditions and seemingly endless hills/climbs varying between 4%-20% grade and finishing strong. Very impressed!


#5

Thanks @Stefanie I absolutely love my carbon Liv - such a great bike to ride. I also have the aluminium version as my winter bike :grin: And Hannah and I have Liv Embolden MTB’s Definitely a Liv family


#6

Thanks @mpatton :slight_smile:


#7

Thanks @Coach_Theia Having had time to reflect on the event I am feeling pretty proud of my achievement. Looking forward to seeing the official times to compare to others that took part - I was thinking I’d had a bad day in the saddle and was super slow BUT I think it was just a super hard event compared to others I’ve undertaken and I may well have been hard on myself.


#8

Mine’s aluminum but one day I am going to upgrade. I deserve it :grin:


#9

You definitely deserve it @Stefanie! Time to treat yourself :grin:


#10

That elevation profile is extreme! Way to go @Michelle!


#11

Do it while the weather is nice!!!


#12

I wish I could upgrade @Coach_Theia but the husband just got an ebike so the bike savings account is currently empty. :cry:


#13

That’s alright. You have a road, a gravel and now the ebike for your hubby- sounds like a great situation to me!!