Sunday, 30 March 2014

I could have danced all night...

I took no photos on my first ride. Because I didn't want to stop. The bike just danced under me. Over the hills and a great way off. We rode to Ripon. 55 hilly miles starting in Calderdale with the climb up over Oxenhope moor (the reverse of the Tour de France route) and through Keighley (where new Tour de France tarmac was being freshly laid, ready for July).  Then up from Addingham into North Yorkshire and the gorgeous cycling lanes of the Dales.

I felt at home on the bike, climbing with a steady speed I'd never managed to realise before. Waiting at the top of every hill for Chipps - who has started muttering about how he needs a new bike. I suppose that's the penalty for winning the Granfondo, it makes everything else pale slightly beside it. 

The weather turned just as we hung a right, climbing the lonely road towards Pately Bridge into the wet. But the bike was no less happy in the rain and wind. The Green Howe descent into the town is alarmingly steep, but at no point did I feel out of control. Half an hour and we had cleared the clouds, and the sun shone on the last stretch into Ripon.

A chap on a Pinarello breezed past. He was halfway up the next hill before pride won over staying back with a (much less competitive) Chipps. I couldn't let the GF be overtaken on her first proper outing. Off we went. And with a tiny bit of acceleration she sprung into action. Flying along as though we were meant to race. Catching the chap a couple of hills later, I had to explain, slightly pink-faced (with embarrassment rather than exertion), that I was only chasing him to see what my new bike could do. And then wait at the next junction for a bemused Chipps. 

And before we knew it, we were in Ripon. Just a brief outing to look at a new van.

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