Thursday, 23 April 2009

"Find me some Hills"

said Mrs H over the Easter weekend.

Originally, we had planned a trudge up Snowdon, but although great weather was promised, the kids looked at us like we had 2 heads (each) when we suggested they come along.

Not wanting to release our house into their clutches for any longer than necessary, we decamped to Stratford on Avon with the bikes instead.

With the intention of a gently paced ride with a few climbs we set off out over the "Col de Loxley", a regular for lunchtime training and on to Alderminster. A quick blast along the A3400 led us to the Ilmington turn, and an appointment with Campden Pitch, the hill which killed my rear wheel 2 years ago.

On that occasion, I halted half way up, chest heaving, and broke a spoke on restarting. Mrs H is made of sterner stuff (and has the advantage of being made from far less of it) and was not for stopping. At the steep point I was momentarily in danger of being dropped, but the 26-30 ratio of the Kinesis got me out of it. Mrs H made it to the top having "nearly got off" once again.

The inevitable quick descent led to Dover's Hill and another 16% challenge, again ably met and dispatched, followed by the long drag up to Broadway Tower and a saddlebag full of butties. Through the Lavender Farm and down Snowshill into the Cotswold tweeness of Broadway was not Mrs H's cup of tea. She does not yet enjoy the combination of speed + traffic + potholes + potential messy injury.

Despite the busy traffic, I could not resist directing her back up Fish Hill on the main road. Thankfully, there is a crawler lane so we were little threatened by passing traffic. Again the occasion was risen to, and the hill conquered stopless. The route back to Stratford was largely then downhill, and we rolled back in a shade over 4 hours for our 47 miles.

Next on the joint agenda is the Dean Bluebell Doddle with 1200m of climbing in 53km. I think we will both make it round.

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