I woke up this morning with knee pain, well to be more accurate pain in my hamstring ligament which attaches on the outside of the knee joint. The most common cause of this is poorly positioned cleats but as I've never had this pain before I'm doubting that. The culprit I think is not riding for a while and then Andy Brown taking us up the north face of the Eiger. My choices were rest and see if it went away or ride and see if it went away. I chose the latter and thankfully it wasn't an issue. It still feels a bit sore now though. However the state of my ageing limbs was nothing compared to the inebriated bewilderment of Big Steve. By all accounts the C&DCycles CC social night was a big success and in addition to Steve not really knowing where he was Jonesy was missing all together. The rest of the select group included Neil, Mark and Mick. Neil was also suffering so for once I was confident of keeping up. Well until Steve announced we'd be heading up the infamous Neville Holt hill.
It was a soggy start to the day and so I unfurled a very sorry looking droopy ass saver from my saddle where it sat limp. I recalled the advice of Mr McNab that hot air will reinstate a flaccid ass saver due to muscle memory. I keep a hair dryer in my man room just for this very reason and also because it loosens very tight beer keg lids. I'm sure there's another use for a hair dryer but as you all know I won't be needing it any time soon! Anyway pictorial evidence below is that hot air does indeed do the trick, so thanks for the tip Rich.
The other problem with the weather was knowing what to wear. I went for shorts and a short sleeve jersey with my rain jacket. It wasn't cold though so I was soon too hot! I managed to take my jacket off on the move employing one hand and my mouth, Neil decided the manoeuvre was too risky and stopped to remove his whilst Mark showed us how to do it pro style riding no handed up a hill barely breaking his pedaling rhythm. Really I should have videoed his splendid technique.
As if to prove the point he's just not human Steve decided to go up Neville Holt in his big ring. The rest of us struggled up on the granny like normal people. From there we went to Eyebrook Reservoir via a splendid descent, well it is in the dry, in the wet it's a bit twitchy! Steve's historical fact of the day: Eyebrook was used for practise by the Dambusters. This was not revealed for decades afterwards as it's an official secret. So not just a source of energy for a small country he also knows stuff!
At the end of Eyebrook is another significant slope at Stoke Dry and then we headed for Gretton where we had the brilliant idea of going up Rocky Hill. That really was overkill for the day and as per usual my body screamed at me to get off and walk. Well hard luck body, listening is one of my faults and I managed the grind to the top. It really is a masochistic pleasure to beast ourselves up these unnecessary climbs and as Neil remarked: "if it doesn't hurt you're doing it wrong!"
So another good ride and another day closer to that massive ride on June 20th.