I remember Tony once saying to me when we were coming down Ringinglow
road after one of my first 'bonk' rides. "Enjoy that feeling, you can't
buy it". I must admit that at first I had no idea what he was talking
about but in hindsight I now understood what
We had been out for 6 hours riding through the Peaks District as far out as Goyt Valley. We had set off early on a sunday morning and met a few more lads at Hathersage before heading over Abney and then on to Dove Holes. A steady Sunday ride is a great thing to do in the spring or summer. A couple of cafe stops, usually for a brew and tea-cake after noon and then a longer stop for some proper scran and a full rest. On that day we had stopped at a great cafe at Flagg after going along the Goyt valley road in blissful sunshine. I was already on the back foot then but managed to hang in until we arrived.
Its great how you can recover on the bike if you've not pushed on into the red too much. It's one of the best parts of bike riding; if you go steady enough you can ride all day. It's the climbs that really take it out of you and if you want to ride in the Peaks, there's no way of avoiding them. I'd hazard a guess that we did about 9,000ft of climbing that day.
As we went over the last climb of the day, Burbage, a climb I've always had a love-hate relationship with, the "wheel's had come off" so to speak. I was on my arse. Slightly dizzy and numb, faint with the feeling of low-blood sugar. That's when Tony said "Enjoy that feeling, you can't buy it".
It's a part of cycling that you can't fake, that goes beyond todays culture of just throwing money at it. It's where the real value lies, and it's completely free.