Feels like my first "proper" ride
So, today I went out for what feels like my first proper (non commuting) ride. An absolutely *gorgeous* day, a bit of a breeze but nothing too evil, and a quiet Sunday afternoon with little to do, so I decided to tackle the slightly hilly route I've been meaning to do for a couple of weeks, but failed for various reasons. It's a 4.2 mile round trip, but with a couple of nasty (at least nasty if you're me) hills to climb. While the distance is no problem, I've not tackled any serious inclines yet...
I started the ride out to the university where I work - it's a nice flatish ride and a decent warm up, and a good place to stop for a bit of water then down towards Tyler Hill. Before I set off while having a drink, I saw an old lady (60-70ish at a guess) on a bike head down the way I was going. As I came round the corner into the biggest downhill, my first thought was 'here we go, now I'm committed' which rapidly turned into 'WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE'. I bottled it at 29.5 mph according to the bike computer and started applying the brakes for the turn at the bottom.
Straight away the climb (about 350m at 8% from my rough calculations) begins, so I dropped into granny gear and started spinning. About half way up I notice that I'm gaining on the actual granny I was following as she's got off to walk. As the hill starts to level off she got back on her bike and disappeared round a corner, so I stop to have a quick rest and drink at the top, out of breath, legs burning and defeated by a granny :)
The ride round to Blean church was pleasant and I picked up a bit more speed as my legs recovered a bit and really started to enjoy the ride. Lovely countryside and at a relative high point between two valleys so good views. The turn onto the Crab and Winkle cyclepath came up remarkably fast, and I made the turn into mile three and the gravel path.
I stopped outside the church for some more water and to take a few photos, then set off again down into the valley again. I granny'ed back up the other side, but did have to stop for a minute to let my legs recover about 2/3 of the way up. As I came to the end of the C&W cycle path about half a mile later, and under a (flat) mile from home I happily realised I could ride further, so added an extra loop to my journey home, bringing the planned 4.2 miles up to 5.1 at an average of 10.0 mph.
A brilliant ride, and I arrived home grinning like an idiot. Added to finding out yesterday that I've managed to lose 5kg I'm feeling pretty good. It's not a huge distance, but for a bloke my size and fitness it feels like a decent acheivement. Most importantly, I can't wait to do it again :)
Route according to the GPS track here: http://spod.cx/bike/2008-05-11.html
Way to go Bcc! Sound like a great ride to me. Looks like you got some good cardio in there. To me, a good ride like that is a good way to end a day, or start one! Keep up the good work! I ride on this really nice trail in town, katy Trail. It has a lane for bikers/ skaters and a separate lane for walkers and runners. There's nothing like being among other athletes of like mind to encourage you to go that extra mile or to keep up with the pack. Keep up the good work.
PS: As a rode in a park one day, I was huffing and puffing up a steep incline. An older lady was walking down it. She saw me struggling and as I rode past she gave me some profound words of encouragement. She simply said, "Be strong." This has helped me countless times, so I pass this one to you.
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