Last weekend me and Matt went on a group social ride with our fellow cycling mad friends Isobel and Christopher who I like to refer too as #teamcycling obvs. I covered my longest distance yet WOOHOO so I thought I’d mark the occasion and celebrate cycling my first 50 miles by telling you all a little bit about it 🙂
We set off early in the morning as I had to run an errand for work on the way so we were out of the house for 7am and we definitely saw some people just on their way home from a night out (mannn I felt old). Matt set the pace so that I wouldn’t burn out too quickly and I felt much more comfortable on my bike than in previous weeks – managing to maintain a decent speed. In general I just felt fitter not struggling as much as I usually do which made me feel like the extra hours I’m putting in at the gym are worth it. It gave me a massive boost in confidence as I had been feeling quite anxious about the bike ride in the lead up to it….
Isobel and Christopher joined us 20km in at Otley and I let them navigate us through the back roads towards our destination – Bolton Abbey. There were a few hills along the way as it is Yorkshire after all but I did manage to conquer them with the help of the others explaining what gears I needed to be in (definitely need to work on that).
Bolton Abbey is a picturesque estate set within 30,000 acres of land in Wharfedale near Skipton in the Yorkshire Dales. As a young child we spent many family days out there crossing the stepping stones over the river and exploring the woodlands.It has over 80 miles of footpaths to explore and is most iconic for it’s ruins of Priory Church.It had been a good few years since my last visit but it was still as beautiful as ever despite the cold and cloud.
If you don’t cycle or it’s not within your cycling distance do still visit! It takes about an hour to drive there from Leeds City Centre but you get to drive through other pretty places such as Otley and Ilkley so there’s plenty of scenery to look at (if you’re the passenger anyways). Remember change for the car park though it’s a little pricey. If you want to make a super duper day out of it and have your own little Yorkshire Tour I would recommend driving further into the Dales towards Burnsall and Grassington which you can have a nosey at in my past blog post. I also bloody love Yorkshire – so slightly bias ey?
Now no bike ride is complete without a cafe stop – after all that’s why we cycle right? For the cake.MMMMMM. We ate at the Cavendish Pavillion (how aptly named) which is situated right by the river. It’s an extremely popular destination with cyclists especially on weekends as many of the local clubs run social rides there. I went for my go to favourite cycling snack – full fat coke and lemon cake. Delicious and basically all the sugar!
The way back was a struggle and my pace definitely got slower but overall this bike ride was the longest distance I have ever done at 50 miles so I was pretty proud of myself! I would never have been able to cover that distance a few months ago. I think my pain threshold has increased whilst being put through my paces at the gym with my PT! I definitely don’t give up as easily as I used too and generally for the majority of it I felt much fitter but for some reason I do still mentally doubt myself so I need to start believing in myself more!
Over the winter months I’m hoping to continue building up my fitness levels and my core strength in the gym and on the bike I’m going to prioritise speed over distance by doing some shorter 40km bike rides (25 miles) but with the aim of increasing my average speed and gradually building on it from there…
I’ll be sure to keep you updated! 🙂
Thank you to this bunch for their gear lessons and entertainment throughout the ride <3