Sunday Road Ride

Posted: June 26, 2011 in 2011, Rides

Domestic reasons meant I had to stay close to home, ready to dash back at a moment’s notice so I planned a cloverleaf ride, a series of little loops which constantly headed back home. In the event, the emergency did not arise so I was free to ride al morning if I wanted to.

The day dawned slightly overcast and a little muggy. It was not warm but there was no chill in the air so I was able to indulge in one of the freedoms that summer affords – minimal riding kit! There was no wind to speak of, merely the occasional zephyr which scarcely bothered the roadside plants. The forecast was for it to warm up so I needed to get the ride over before the temperature soared.

Opening the shed I mused over my choice of bike and the Boardman won. To be honest, I find the bars a little narrow and the whole bike a little too compact but with tyres pumped up hard it is fast, responsive and racey. I didn’t fancy CX tyres on the road so it was a bit of a no brainer so I sallied forth to see what the ride had in store.

The initial, gentle downward slope reminded me how fast a sorted road bike can be and I enjoyed the sensation of effortless speed that eludes most mountain bikers round here (no hills!). As I got to the flyover the first signs of trouble (with a small ‘t’) became apparent. My legs were an energy free zone, I put the squeeze on but nothing happened. I selected an easier gear, deciding that I really needed a proper warm up and then I’d be fine. Well it didn’t happen, my legs were empty, I had either forgotten to put any juice in the tank or I’d selected 4 star instead of diesel.

The trouble with ‘no wind’ days is that you never get any help and it is always an effort but I can live with it. I slogged up the road from Tuddenham towards Barrow before heading right towards Kentford. In Moulton I saw a familiar face going the other way, attacking the hill I was just rolling down. This got me thinking, my instinct is to keep pedalling a gear in a regular and efficient way so I can sustain the appropriate pressure over a prolonged period; attacking out of the saddle just isn’t my style. This is probably why I got half way decent at Time Trials and less good at road racing, criteriums etc. Musing over I hit the climb out of Lidgate towards Wickhambrook. This was comparatively easy and it was then I noticed how the day had changed. Grey skies and clouds had been replaced by wall to wall blue and there was a strange, bright thing in the corner pouring out heat and light in a thoroughly uncharacteristic way. The next few miles were ones of visual surprise around every corner. A short climb through a leafy glade, turn the corner and spread out before you was a scene of utter splendour, a field full of poppies and wild flowers worthy of any Monet, leading down to a shallow valley leading to the gentle incline as the fields climbed away to the horizon. Variations of this theme were repeated all the way to Chevington where it all got boring again.

The first ‘clover leaf’ completed I was due to head out to Bury and beyond, looping round Thurston and Ampton but I just couldn’t be bothered, so almost 30 miles under my belt and I headed home. Quite unsatisfactory as a long ride (read short ride!) but I get the feeling I need to spin back into a basic level of fitness before going for speed again.

Tune of the ride was a real blast from the past…popping out of nowhere it stayed with me all the way round the ride.

Ride File:


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