It weighs more than you might think. Keen fans of cycling will be aware that climbing is all about power to weight ratio which is why I must have subconsciously decided to burn all the skin off my arms and knees.

A gentle off

Due to some widespread tenderness amongst the peloton. The first 40 miles were gentle rolling country and a great warm up for what was to come.

boris bike

Fast through and off

Through and off is the way that a group of cyclists rotate in a group rotate to change who’s at the front pushing against the wind. This is great fun and can really speed up the whole group as long as everyone works together.

That can, however, sometimes be what’s known in trade as a “big ask”. Whilst coming round as fast sweeping corner I decided that I was cooked and that it was time to rotate. Baggy, it turns out had other ideas.

As I pulled forward ready to move over he looked over and with a look of aggressive determination sped up. So I sped up. Again Baggy gives me the look and speeds up. So I speed up. By this point we were up to about 22mph from a base of 16.

We were both now well clear from the group but neither of us was slowing down. Up to 24mphl.

“Baggy am I clear to move over?”

Baggy bursts out laughing remembering that we’re supposed be working together and not racing.

This story has caused muck amusement in latter recounting. :)

Lunch is the most important meal of the day

There is nothing better than a long, fast downhill finishing with a gentle rolling finish. As we were just slowing down there was Keith, ever ready, with lunch spread out on a picnic table. A beautiful sight.

“Unnaturally breezy”

So, one of our kind sponsors was able to supply us with a large amount of sports drinks. Now we’ve been drink quite a bit of this stuff and now have a theory that it make have had a subtle affect on team.

One point whilst waiting at a traffic light was noted by the group as being redolent of a well known scene from the film Blazing Saddles. Best left there I think…

Finally the last hill. Yay!

Mike's mountain

A 14%er. It looked horrific but it was all OK and we all got up it for high fives at the top.

The next Final last hill

Of course it couldn’t be that easy. So up we went to a proper hill. Maximum gradient 22.4% up to the Lecht Ski resort.

I’m really pleased I got up there having been worried about gearing before we set off. I would love to have something like this locally to get the measure of.

real mountain

Side winds, hard on the brakes, brakes fading and rims so hot they blew a tyre

Getting down was a bit interesting. My top speed got up to 42.7mph with strong cross winds it was something of a “brown trousers” moment.

Baggy opted to apply more braking with the consequence that his rim over heated and his tyre popped. Luckily this was at low speed to pretty safe.

Finally the last hill! …again …and again

You’d think that would be it. It wasn’t.

More hills. Nothing so bad as the ski resort climb though.

Too tired to eat Chinese take away …almost

Right I’m pooped and need to go to sleep. Tomorrow brings some bike fettling and some blessed flats. who am I kidding, I lurve hills! :)

ps. Our Instagram feed on the home page is full of incriminating evidence if you want to see some picies.

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