Today we head over to the Lady Manners School in Bakewell for The National Trust’s Hidden Peak Sportive. Actually the peaks aren’t very hidden at all, they’re totally in your face all the time, looming up in front of you and your bike.
Today is L’s sportive debut on her new bike. Cue drum roll. To say she’s a touch nervous would be the understatement of the year. She’ll be fine, I keep telling her. She’s doesn’t believe me obviously.
L does the 38km and I do the 82km which obviously has about twice as many hills in it as we toured around the Central Peak District and Staffordshire Moorlands. Thankfully it also has twice the number of cake stops. Some of the downhills, it has to be said, were awesome. I bet L was glad we got her brakes adjusted.
Everything about the event is good really. It’s well signed, the road surfaces are good and the feed stations well stocked. Some of my route overlaps with the last Sportive we did, also by the same organisers, and they send me up past Thorpe Cloud again. Thanks guys. I really needed to do that one again.
The only downside was perhaps the rumours of sausage roll rationing at the finish and the fact some poor soul had their bike nicked from outside registration.
The weather also behaved itself, turning out remarkably mild and largely dry. Although I’m guessing the guys starting late on the longest route were perhaps not so fortunate.
L comes away with a silver certificate and is stood waiting for me with the dogs as I finish my route. After having stopped to embrace all three of them and to cherish my survival, I roll across the line to collect my bronze one. Hmmm. Apparently I’m one solitary minute outside the silver limit. Be careful who you embrace and for how long on these things.
In the evening we head over to Stapleford again and a night in the Horse and Jockey.
(Sunday 20th October)