Beautiful morning for riding today. Sun out- gentle breeze and a temp just into the 60's. Decided to get some miles in before I tried the hills. Normally it is hills then milage if I am feeling OK. Did a 40 miler across the Marshes so just a couple of slopes and no real effort in doing it. Down for a coffee and The cafe was crowded out. I got there just as the tourists came out from their hotels for a walk along the front and a cup of tea to keep them going. Didn't see any serious cyclists out- quite a few Along the MUP by the sea but Family groups on MTB's.
After the coffee and up the zigzags. My intention was to do the Zigzags then down to Birling gap for the long drag back up to Beachy head for 2 miles- just to get the cardio working. Got to the turnoff for Birling and decided on that well known Rowing term-Rollocks. I felt fine so why not do a climb I have never attempted on a Road bike. Done it on MTB's with the lower gearing but a mile long 16% climb on a narrow twisty road is not my normal idea of fun. Especially not on a compact double and me not being at my strongest at present. So start the climb and it is surprising how fast I dropped from 40mph to a crawl when I hit the upslope. Kept going in lowest gear of 34/27 and met my first roadie- Coming down the hill and as he passed he yelled something about "Going the wrongway".
Kept pedalling and stayed in the saddle for as long as possible but then it was out of the saddle for the
rest of the climb- About 1/2 mile of it to be honest. It was not the easiest climb I have done but I kept seeing the Heart beat rise up to my max and just as I thought I had better slow down- The top was in sight so I just pushed a bit harder. Haven't seen 175 on the monitor all year and I felt fine- Till I stopped but that was when the Lactic hit the legs. Should have kept riding but had to stop to take a pic of the first time I climbed this hill. Got back to the bike and another couple of roadies came up the hill but on the path that is to the side of the road. As they stopped I wish I still had the camera as the smaller rider fell- Yep- Clipless. Little bit of Blood but he was more annoyed that he had put his first scratch on the bike.
Carried on home at a leisurely pace but Met a few other riders on the way back. In particular 4 mountain bikers that were on their way home from playing in the Mud. I did feel a bit jealous but I had got my high for the morning.
Oh--the other bit of my getting ready for racing. I found myself riding no handed- just so I can zip up the jersey to show my sponsor in full glory. Or should that be unzip my jersey to show off my sponsor as Irma's "T" goes under the jersey. I was just sitting back in the saddle and took one hand off the bars to zip up and realised there was very little weight on the bike with the other hand. Just took it off and didn't fall. First time I've felt confident doing that since 1965.