So the plan for today was to cycle to Leeds for a client meeting then to cycle back with my mtb buddy Keith who keeps insisting that he has found a really good off-road route to Halifax. Now what did I do with the bike after yesterday’s fun? Oh no it’s still caked in mud and has a flat tyre so no time to ride in after sorting it out. Still when I have a plan I like to stick to it, and I’ve been meaning to step-up the distances I’m covering so what do I do? Drive home after the meeting, and ride back to Leeds just for the sake of it, it is #30daysofbiking afterall! Now obviously most of this ride was outside the South Pennine area, however I did manage to get a couple of shots before leaving Calderdale.
Now part of the attraction of this ride for me was that it goes through the Spen Valley. I grew up in this area and was looking forward to seeing the old place and how it had changed since I left for Calderdale 10-years ago. I found myself being a tour guide telling Keith about the surroundings we were riding through, a real novelty for me as I predominately ride in Calderdale and still don’t know my Blackstone Edge from my Blackshaw Head, and please don’t ask me about Stainland, Holywell Green and Sowood (can never remember which is which!). On my way through Cleckheaton I happened across the bike shop where my first proper bike was purchased, a Peugeot road bike!
This got me thinking about the importance of a good local bike shop and how we should use and support them or lose them forever. This one has been around for over 25 years (I remember it opening!) and I hope they are around for many more to come.
Back to the ride … not much more to say really. Beautiful day, shorts and short sleeves for the first time this year, some lovely trails and fun descents! All was well until I hit Brighouse for the second time, we rode on the canal towpath but it felt like going up Cragg Road! My body was starting to object to the punishment I was inflicting on it. I was kept going by Keith’s wise words, I was out of my comfort zone but there would be a big payback in terms of strength and stamina gains. The Haribo also helped me up the final hill! Overall I did 43 miles, my longest ever ride on an mtb, I can’t wait for my body to stop aching 🙂