The Sheffield 100

Last Sunday I rode the Sheffield 100 cycle ride with some of my “Common Lane Occasionals” mates.  My legs have only just resumed their usual function.

Well, let’s take that apart a bit.  The plan was to ride 100 miles of the Peak District with the rest of the riders.  Unfortunately as soon as the gradient went remotely upwards, gravity kicked in and everyone else disappeared into the distance. At around 40 miles into the ride a signpost gave me the opportunity to switch from the 100 miles route to a 100 kilometre route; my wheel moved unswervingly towards the latter.

Every now and then you get a decision that you can almost immediately review and be utterly convinced you made the right one.  This was one of those decisions.   Here’s some other thoughts.

The Peak District is extraordinarily beautiful. I can’t fail to look at it and see the craftsmanship behind it.  I was slightly less impressed with His craftsmanship regarding the wind on Sunday; a gusty headwind made every gentle slope feel like an 1-in-4 leg breaker.

Doping doesn’t work. I was stung by some wasps on the Friday before the ride and my left arm blew up to resemble Popeye – but unfortunately the asymmetricness was not a good look.  Mrs Cyclista advised me to take a bellyful of steroids, and I hoped that it would have the useful bi-product of supercharging me over the hills.  Frankly it seemed to have the reverse effect, and I can’t imagine why the blazes any athlete bothers with the stuff.

Gravity and girth do not mix. This ought not to be a surprise, but somehow it seems worse on Peak District hills.  The area is hardly alpine – no climb tops out at more than 600 metres and few gain more than 400 metres in altitude. But they are steep and relentless – there’s little flat road and the short hills don’t give much time to recover.  Hauling twenty five kilos more than I need to over Mam Nick ought to prompt me not to go for the fifth cream cake next tea time.  It’s like cycling with my youngest daughter permanently wrapped around my midriff, but with less wriggling (she is a wriggler!).

Savlon is underrated. I’m out of Assos Chamois creme at the moment. It gives a little tingle (see Fatcyclist’s review of the stuff at the end of this article) but it’s not cheap. So this time I slathered Savlon (and I mean slathered) creme all over my ‘contact point’ and it was good.  No wriggling around on the saddle in a vain attempt to find comfort. No saddle soreness the next day. No angry patches of raw red skin.  Just be aware that a tube of savlon looks much the same as a tube of toothpaste. As I found out to my cost.

Sadly I missed the post ride BBQ – I needed to be at church to listen to a sermon as I’m teaching the next one in the series.  I do so love Sheffield, its cyclists and its surrounding hills though.


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