Tuesday, 17 July 2012

......and up on the hill is where you find us........

Out of my book of 101 crap excuses I put it down to a first week back on shift and finishing two night shifts on Saturday morning for the reason I was feeling knackered after the ride on Sunday. Having to go to work yesterday to be refreshed on my skills also left me feeling a bit tired and grumpy. I was in two minds about going out but it was warm and sunny(ish) and it seemed a shame to waste a good cycling day. I've been thinking about doing this for a while but kept making excuses but its a local event and always well attended by the club. I also received some positive messages from some of my twitter buddies egging me on. 

I once read somewhere that the secret to doing something properly is by abiding to the 7p's but it can also go up to 12, that's a lot of p's. I've also thought about doing a bit of the route anyway just for the challenge so I decided to try it today as I was knackered, that makes sense! I did the usual slog along Bratton and as I reached the end Exmoor was hiding under the clouds, ace, I love a bit of weather. Down to Luccombe and back up to the bottom of the climb up to Webbers Post.
Onwards and upwards......
Its a bit of a steep one and a kind walker offered to open the gate around the cattle grid but that looked even more treacherous with all the debris so I decided to unclip and walk across it. I got straight back on and slowly made my way up, and up and when I saw the brow I dug in and made it to the top. I was rather pleased with myself and spun off towards Cloutsham.
Down to Cloutsham
Its a nice descent down to Cloutsham but I knew what was at the bottom and waited to see how things looked when I got there. The water appeared to be running quite quick over the ford and the walk around it looked muddy. I wimped out riding across and went wading instead, it was warm, my feet would soon dry out and I was glad I did because it was bloody slippy. 
Not today......
It was then the climb up to the farm and onto moors and it was rather good. Not too steep and a nice steady spin, a nice man in a van stopped to let me pass as its only a single track road. I was up in the clouds once on top of the moors but just when you think you've done enough climbing it ramps up again.
Summer on Exmoor 
Once I was finally on top I made quite good progress along the undulating road that would take me back towards Porlock. I was quite enjoying myself, I think the mist just added to the fun. I think that my endorphins from getting up the hills were putting pay to any tiredness. It warmed up as I neared the coast and the cloud cleared as I got to Porlock Hill. 
Home is that way........
I stuck to the road and a bit more climbing instead of taking the off road short cut to the toll road, wanting to ride up hills, I may need therapy ? For the first time ever I actually rode down the toll road and what a blast, I may just have to ride this way again just for this. Through Porlock, relatively grockle free, I even rode up the hill out which I always avoid. I was spinning along at a good pace for me but was soon passed by some lithe looking bloke, how does he go so quick ? Up the last hilly bit and back along Bratton and home. 

Here's the ride on Strava http://app.strava.com/rides/13639263. I didn't go that far or very quickly but I really enjoyed being out on the bike, going up hills !

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