The picture above is little more than a collection of numbers, and none even come close to doing this ride justice. A truly awesome day on the bike, all devoted to the purity of the SingleSpeed and the pursuit of an imperial century.
Originally hatched as a plan between myself and @NovaRaidersCC’s @Middy_Middy, the objective was a simple one. Ride one hundred miles, on one single gear. We set a date, bizarrely in December, and I planned a route. Shropshire’s flatter northern territories were ideal; nice fast roads, and nothing too nasty in the way of hills.
One of our newest SingleSpeed recruits, @DaipacCycling, threw his casquette into the ring, and so on the day, there was three.
Riding to the pre-arranged start point I was nervous. I’d an idea of my riding companion’s pace, and I was a little worried. I was just hoping that we’d all be able to stick together and enjoy the ride.
The early miles passed easily, and spirits were high as we got to know each other. Stories and anecdotes were exchanged, and the pace was healthy. Push on was the consensus, and after riding some of my favourite Shropshire roads it was time for a coffee and cake stop in Ellesmere.
Leaving the Café, December made its presence felt and we were glad of the climb that followed to get some warmth back into legs. The metric century was passed, and I was feeling good. We each took our turn on the front and the strong pace was maintained.
@Middy_Middy’s view was that the ride was really finished at the 80 mile marker. His rationale being that the last 20 were a breeze after you’d completed 80. I liked it, and as we passed the ‘finish line’ my spirits were high with only just over an hour to go.
As with so many great rides, this one had a sting in its tail and this one’s known locally as the Abbey Road. Running from Lillieshall up towards Heath Hill, it’s a pig of a road, even more so on a SingleSpeed. The final ramp is a real killer, but at the top I was greeted by a real sense of euphoria. All that remained was a roll off the hill to complete our goal for the day, and I think it’s fair to say we’d managed it in some style.
An absolutely fantastic day’s ridiing, in great company. When are we going to do it again?
Vive la Velo