I always ride Sunday mornings and for the last couple of months it has been with a New rider in one of my Neighbours-Mick. I have gradually upped the ride values and last part of the training was going to be a few hilly bits. Didn't get it in last week and I woke up this morning feeling a bit bleugh. I did not even fancy getting on a bike let alone taking Mick out. But I would do a 20 miler and if Mick turned up- we would go together just to keep the legs turning. Got away a bit late but as we left home I told him it was an easy 20 miler. 2 miles later and I asked him how he felt. He said OK so suggested we do the hills instead.
Funny how no matter how I feel at the start- a few minutes on the bike and I can tackle anything.
So up to the start of the first hill and I kept him slow. Got him in granny and told him not to put too much effort in as this was the first hill he had tackled. Left him with a couple of lower gears he could use. I had to hold him back a few times but first rise was 800ft at an average of 8 to 10%. Gave him his head for a mile including the downhill and he recovered. Than a few rollers that I kept him behind me and the second rise came up. I told him to take his pace- just to see how he got on and he left me by about 20 yards. This was an old Coaching road where the steeps bits are short- all about 10 to 12% but in between the steep bits it levels off to flat. Caught him on the 2nd level bit and took the lead. He was puffing a bit here so time to slow him down. Got to the top and met another couple of riders taking a break. Mike was breathing hard and a bit of redness has come into his face. Next bit was a 40mph downhill so I told him to take it steady.
Out to Birling gap and the 2 mile torture road up to Beachy Head. It is only 2% initially but then turns to 3% and then 5. Then suddenly you are confronted with a short sharp rise of 10% on legs that are just getting tired. That stings a bit and I shot ahead to get a pic of Mick for his mates at work. They don't believe he rides a bike- let alone can do 40 miles on it.
Mick1.jpg Mick2.jpg Mick3.jpg
The 3 pics are on that 10% but this road is enjoyed by many cyclists that want to find a bit of speed- the easy way- as you can tell from the 3rd one.
Reckoned that that was enough climbing for one day so it was time for coffee and Pie on the Seafront and the trip home.
Mick had done 2,400ft of climbing- in 10 miles on a 30mile ride so I had better stop calling him a newbie and up his grade to Novice. When he reaches the next stage of a metric then He can start buying the coffee.-------and the Pie.