Retirement is great but I do need an incentive sometimes to ride. Still wet- cool and windy and with the number of other jobs I have to do in the garden and house- I will not ride as often as I want to. But this morning and Mick- one of my neighbours came over and suggested a ride after lunch. OK- but then I had to decide on where to go. Normally it would be down to the coast and take in a few hills but it had to be shortish as I do have urgent jobs at home. Up inland and it can be quite hilly in this area. Different sort of ride to what I normally do and the hills are short- sharp and many but with the occasional long one thrown in. There are the downhills of course but they never seem to last long on this ride. Only a 15 mile ride but average of 12mph and no idea on the amount of climb.
Just to give you an idea- and next time I do it I am mounting the video on the bike. Just done a 200ft climb for a mile and you descend- for about 1/2 mile on a twisty lane that is not more than 12ft wide. Then the first climb after a slow corner and 100ft climb at 8% 1/4 mile further on and another of the same. Several smaller climbs and a few descents then you get to the end and 200yards that start at 10% and the final lip where you join a main road at 20%. If you are not going uphill- you are braking for the corners on the gravity assisted parts. Not one you can take with speed either as it is narrow and twisty.
We then had a 2 mile gradual ascent and I was looking for a particular hill. Didn't find it but we turned off the main road and a good descent. The hill I found instead put me in granny very quickly. Didn't look that steep but Mick was puffing aswell so it must have been. It just went on and on and finally finished at a T.Junction. We went right and found the hill I was trying remember the route to. Wished I hadn't it is only about 10ft wide- has moss growing down the middle(So is in shade and not used much) and high banks on either side that had fallen in with the "drought" we are having covering the road with mud in places. This must be 15 to 20% but only 1/2 mile in length. Needed the MTB for this one and not only the tyres as the lower gearing would have helped.
Time to go home but I now had a Tick-Tick-Tick coming from a tyre. Must be a stone embedded in the rubber and it would puncture shortly. Stopped wiped the tyre and rode on- still there so stopped and inspected the tyre to find nothing again. Rode on and still there so 3rd stop and found the problem. The mud and debris from the muddy climb had collected under the crown of the forks and the slightly offcentre tyre was hitting the detritus that has collected. Scrape it off and it was downhill all the way home. Barring the few short sharp climbs again that have been a feature of this route.