A couple of months ago my wife brought the Beeston Sportive to my attention. Hmmmmm I thought a sportive in Beeston how exciting …. NOT but then I actually looked at the route and the brutal profile.. With the long route covering 111 miles and with climbing at over 10,000ft, helped by passing through Flash (the highest town in the UK) my interest was definitely grabbed. After speaking with a couple of guys in the club and Cat of WholeHealth we decided to don the Blue kit and ride the sportive as a group.
So the day arrived and I met up with Chris Bennett of lejogns2014 at 7am and we rode the 5 miles down to the start. The weather was cracking, dry and warm with a bit of cloud cover to keep the lobstering at bay. We soon hooked up with the rest of our Clan, Matt, Cat and Anthony and headed out.
We had a nice 40 miles of rolling Peak district countryside to enjoy before we hit our first serious climbs into Butterton and Elkstone. As described by Beeston CC and shown on my helmet mounted Contour at Tough climb into a pretty sketchy descent into a leg breaker of a climb
“leave the Manifold by a vicious climb to Butterton. A lovely section of the main Cheadle road lines you up for the exceptional Elkstone climb, long, varied and eventually turning on to Morridge visited regularly by the Tour of Britain.”
This really set the tone for the day beautiful scenery punctuated by vicious climbs of 17% -21% and stunning high speed descents as seen here on the Longcliffe descent
80 miles in and we hit the final serious climb of the day again described by the great guys at Beeston CC
“you are inflicted with the final cruelty that is Rowsley Bar, you won’t be forgetting this one in a hurry”
Boy were they right this was a brutal climb which tried at every opportunity to tear the muscles clean off your legs and with a number of switchbacks and a ridiculous percentage many quality cyclist were bought to a grinding holt (luckily I had compact gearing – Phew) But as with every climb before the pain in the legs soon passes once you get over it and the laughs, smiles, excuses and banter in general starts again. For me this is the beauty of cycling heading out with a group of friends having a great time laughing, enjoying some beautiful countryside and burying yourself. People will say we are mad for doing it and we probably are but I bet there weren’t many people on Sunday 5th July having as much fun as we had.
Oh and if you want to see me fall on my arse then check out my You Tube Channel at Youtube