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Monday, 19 December 2011
Pitch Black Hints Hill
Couldnt get my lazy arse out of bed yesterday morning for my planned early doors ride. When I did wake up it looked too icy. Spent a great day instead with Mrs B and the rugs at the park decorating the Hungarian Silver Birch Mrs B had planted for me last year in memory of my mom who died from cancer in 1987. Kids made their own baubles and we put them on the tree. Then went to a chinese buffet establishment at 2pm and ate my bodyweight in food. It was a 'top button undone and belt unbuckled' job by the time we left at 4.30pm. My calorie counter for the day had a minor heart attack when i logged the meal. Dropped the boy off at a party and then once home Mrs B and the girl made it clear that they would be watching such Xmas toss as Noels House Party Presents (or some such cack) and my presence was ruining their girly time together. So I went for a spin on the bike. It was pitch black but I have lights and decided to tackle Hints Hill. If you live in Tamworth you'll know it - if you dont its just a very steep big hill thats bloody horrible to run up and i was going to find out what it was like to cycle up. Its basically a straight run up the old A5 to the A38. Very undulating but quiet because the A5 relief road takes all the traffic. First couple of miles nicely lit with street lamps and I felt smoother and faster than previously. Seem to be getting more of an idea of what gears to be in and when. 2.5 miles in and towards the bottom of Hints Hill its dark, dark as in pitch black dark as there are no street lights. Save for 2 or 3 by the houses after the top of Hints Hill there are no street lights on the next 3.5 mile stretch at all! The light on the front of my bike lights nothing infront of me so I stick to the central painted line in the road to avoid hitting the kerb I cant see! I power up Hints Hill (not so much power as entirely struggle whilst my chest bursts and my lundgs collapse) and I was very glad to get to the top. I think its harder to cycle up than run up although the advantage of course is going down the other side! Up to the A38, turn and back to the top of Hints Hill is all in complete darkness which is very isolating and allows the mind to wonder...usually to wonder what the bloody hell am i doing and when I am struggling how the hell do i plan to finish an Ironman! Anyway on reaching the top of Hints Hill on the way back I have to decide do i nail it as fast as i can sticking to the middle and hope nothing impedes me because I won't see it or do i take a steady/safety first approach. Yeah I nailed it - top gear (or bottom I havent grasped the terminology yet) - and I flew down Hints Hill hanging on for dear life and for all I could see I might as well have had my eyes shut. Bloody exilerating. Garmin afterwards showed a peak speed of a smidge over 30mph and an average of 13mph. Not much for you pros but bloody great for this novice! Just got to squeak that up to 18mph by July! Got a good power on for the rest of the ride home and I've decided this cycling mularky is all about letting the bike do the work, maximising output for minimal effort! Cant wait to be out again and if you see this mushroomesque breathless man cycling about give him room and give an encouraging parp of the horn please.