From Hawes to Wetheral, 96 km, 1000 metres climbed. Back to good weather, little wind, a superb route and sensational views. Late start because breakfast was 0830. Met Derek as planned; he and Wendy had been staying locally and Wendy waved us off. From Hawes to Garsdale Head is an undulating uphill climb to meet the Carlisle/Settle line. Turned right and rode parallel to the railway, noticing that we went up and down and the railway didn’t. Sadly, we noticed a dead red squirrel on the road. Pendragon Castle caused a photo-opportunity to break out; I think we all sensed this was a relaxed day to enjoy to the full. Lunch at Kirby Stephen, where Phillip’s big brother joined the party. Relaxed ride across towards Appleby, with the Warcop ranges ahead, under the new bypass to the very nice cafe by the level crossing and garden centre, now closed. Photos and witness book duties were easy today – Derek did it all! Then a relaxing ride across the country between the A66 and the Northern End of the Pennines, with super views of the Pennines and Lake Dustrict. Two hours later we were in the Crown Hotel, Wetheral, relaxing.
My Garmi electronicals, I have deduced, are due to deteriorating contacts in the plug. So when it is on charge on the move, funny things happen. By deploying Garmin 2, all was well. Do I splash out on a Garmin 1000+ at enormous expense?
At this point, those of a nervous or prudish disposition should switch off and not read further. Tonight’s homily/discussion is about bums. I think it is safe to say cyclists think about this part of the anatomy, worry about it, treat it with great respect but rarely, for understandable reasons, discuss the best protection procedures. I have been watching a number of very intimate and detailed YouTube films on this subject (does this constitute watching pornography?), which are very detailed about the exact points of contact between all our weight and the saddle. I am not going to describe in detail what I learned, I leave that to you. However, the point is the two pelvic bones, which do all the support with very little area of contact, need looking after well. Also, the skin in the surrounding area needs TLC and absolute cleanliness. My method – wear a pair of mountain bike under shorts (very thin pad), buy Castelli shorts (very expensive but worth every penny) and apply Sudocrem liberally. So far, this strategy has been successful in keeping bum discomfort to an absolute minimum. Has anyone willing to pass me advice/experience on this subject or come across advice from Tour de France riders, who do ridiculous mileages without a break? I read somwhere that TdF riders used to put a thick beefsteak between them and the saddle.