So what was the best bit? Was it the rolling fields of Leicestershire, the flat arable land of Lincolnshire, the ancient magnificence of Yorkshire, the windy hills of Co.Durham, the 20 mile climb through Northumberland to the edge of civilisation or the long twisting terrain of Borders country?
To answer this, we need to understand the mind of a lycra clad road cyclist. Next time you find one, ask the question “have there been any hills you didn’t manage to climb?”. They look sideways, remembering that moment, they weren’t as fit as they thought, or they messed the gear change, or they didn’t eat enough food. The question hits their pride. We like to think we can go anywhere on tarmac. Failing is not acceptable. My best bit is the worst bit and is the bit I will have to go back and do again, and that is the hills of Co. Durham. It was these hills that ground me down, with their sweet little innocent windmills on top beckoning me, tilting for a fight, and I went like a lamb to the slaughter, not seeing the demons beneath.
The hill demons may look innocent enough, quite small in total height, but they are repetitive beasts which grind you down. They start gentle enough, but steepen until you rise from your saddle, stand in your pedals, slow, start to breath more heavily and then steepen some more and your breathing becomes harder, becomes anerobic and then they steepen further and further ask more. Eventually you crack and get off and push; delivering both ignomy and fatigue.
This up and down hill cycle is repeated again and again until your legs are empty, and old legs don’t recover so quickly.
Why aye Co. Durham, you win this time, but next time I will come with a new weapon: a fresh pair of legs.
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Categories: Cycling around renewables