Tuesday, 8 May 2012

..may the road rise with you.....

Another day off and another day without rain but ominous looking clouds kept popping over just to keep me on my toes, so I layered up and hit the road, I was still on a bit of a high from my ride on Sunday so thought I'd tackle a hill or two today. A quick blast along the A39 and the first little bump of the day out of Carhampton to Blue Anchor then along the seafront and up the hill towards Watchet. I had planned to tackle Elworthy Hill again but I've done it twice recently and not enjoyed the walk so thought I'd try a new hill and headed off towards the road known locally as Sticklepath. The road down the hill from Watchet back to the A39 is a bit rough and I had a little headwind to contend with as I made my way to the crossroads, across the road and the first bit of the climb. The climb up to Raleighs Cross is a bit of a three hills in one climb, you ride up a bit have a breather bit and then climb again, three times, you get the idea. The sign at the bottom of the road says 17% for two miles, was this a good idea ?
Which way ?.....
After the first little climb its up again but a little steeper but offers nice views out towards the Quantocks and its through the trees which I like for some reason I seem to find being amongst trees very calming.
Half way up, views to the Quantocks
A little down to Chidgley, time to take on some food and fluids before the next up and the steepest bit of the climb. According to Strava the next bit is a mile long with an average gradient of 9%, its steep but winds its way up the hill so you never see the full severity of the climb which seems to help me, if I see a climb stretching out before me it does tend to dent my mojo. I sat up, controlled my breathing and dug in on the steep bits and before I knew it I was spinning along to Raleighs Cross and the pub. I was so chuffed I didn't stop and just kept going and hit the road to Wheddon Cross, my lower back and legs were burning but I wanted to keep going, its a nice ride along the top but up here today it was a bit chilly. Every little up now needed a bit more effort as my legs were telling me it was time for a break, but I spun away and finally stopped at Wheddon Cross, on my own so back to the bus shelter today.

Down the wind tunnel to Timberscombe, I still free wheeled like on Sunday most of the way down but did start cranking it after the big sweeping left hand bend down to Timberscombe and then onto the flat roads to Dunster. A little up out the back of the village and through Alcombe, I even rode up the Hopcott road back home, I must be starting to go a little mad wanting to ride up hills.

Distance:31.21 mi
Avg Speed:12.1 mph
Elevation Gain:2,779 ft
Another good ride and I'm so chuffed I got up the hill, the slightly warmer temperatures help the lungs to, I may be the slowest man in Somerset but I really enjoy riding my bike.

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