Today’s ride was a short easy one, well apart from the wind. 

It was a constant wind, according to the met office 25mph. And man could I feel it. 

As always on the short route to Ripley and back, it’s a tail wind down Bilton Lane, headwind along the cycle path and a nasty sidewind/tailwind on the busy main road to Ripley. Coming back, and the wind was blasting me from the side and front, but back on the cycle path, it was a tailwind. It’s that moment, where you can’t feel the wind, it appears calm, apart from the leaves moving. It isn’t until you stop you feel the wind again. 

Heading back off to Bilton Lane, dreading the headwind that I was bound to encounter going back up, I crossed the viaduct, and on. A couple where walking their scratty little dog off lead, and something told me that it was going g to wander. And surely enough it sauntered right in front. I stopped just short of its nose. And it just stood there, giving me a distainful look. With a muttered “sorry” the owners wandered off. 

And back onto Bilton Lane. And there was my enemy, that wind. Bilton Lane acts like a giant wind funnel, and I’m battling through it. Half way up, and I’m averaging 300w just to try and maintain 10mph, even with me as compacted as possible to present a smaller area for the wind,  But eventually, the end was insight. With my heart feeling like it was about to burst I finally turned off into the shelter of St John’s church. 

But then, another wind tunnel on St John’s road, before the mother of all headwinds on Skipton road. But home I was.. 

A wee ride out

It was a beautiful day, and again I got a little carried away on a ride. Only intending to complete a 20 mile maximum, I ended up doing nearer 40. But, I did make a conscious decision to ignore the Garmin, and just enjoy the ride. No worrying about power, speed, distance or cadence and just get back to the pure joy of riding my bike. Switching off the mind and just enjoy it. 
Started off on the standard dog head, which unfortunately contains a short segment of a road I really hate riding. Last week I saw another cyclist wipe out. It’s a fast, busy main road and always makes me nervous. But it dos’nt last long until I’m back on lovely quiet back roads. 

I sat a while at Farnham to regain some energy, and just enjoy the day when a cyclist rode past, who, shall we say was a big chap. I caught up with him at the bottom of Farnham Rise. I take my hat off to him. He was attempting a hill that beat me many times, but there he was, plugging his way up the hill. I offered a few words of encouragement as I rode past. 

I set a new personal best on the descent toward Staveley, before turning onto the next hill. Yet another one that beat me a few times. I can now push my way up, albeit not fast, but at least I’m not stopping. 

Before I knew it I was blasting down Pottery Lane and into Ripon. 

Sitting outside the Cathedral for while watching the tourists walk past I decided to head out toward Fountains Abbey, or at least the Deer Park. 

So off I went, in completly the wrong direction. So after several Google Maps checks I eventually headed out in the right direction. Along the canal the road is a horrible broken and tatty road, causing me to curse several times as I rattled around on the bike worrying about crushing the crown jewels. 

Then I was on Studley Road, and I completly lost all energy on the hill and had to stop. I watched as some rich farmer played with his helicopter flying low over the village, hovering and rotating before flying away and back again. 

Through the village of Studley Royal and into the deer park, over no more than 5 cattle grids. And now, a long slog up hill to get to the carpark area and a bench to have a sit down. 

Studley Deer park is a beautiful place to visit, with vast deer herds, wonderful old trees, and the ruins of Fountains Abbey. it’s a designated World Heritage Site of some 800 acres features an 18th-century landscaped garden, some of the largest Cistercian ruins in Europe, a Jacobean mansion and a Victorian church designed by William Burges.

I sat admiring the lake, watching the ducks and geese fight for the tourists attention. I watched as another cyclist stopped, posed his bike and took a picture, I smiled as it’s something we all do. I’ve no idea how long I sat there, but eventually I got back on the bike, and headed home by the same general route I came down. Now feeling drained and ready for home it was a general slow limp home. 

Sat at home, I wondered why my legs were hurting, and it appears I caught the sun, right on the top of my knees.