Right, time for an update I think. I still have 5 climbs to finish off in the South West and I anticipate them being dealt with in the next couple of weeks. I’m hoping to climb Crowcombe and Weston Hill next week if all goes to plan with Haytor Vale and Salcombe Hill following shortly after. I suspect an upcoming business trip will give me the chance to deal with Dover’s Hill in the very near future. I’d just better make sure I ride the hill after my meeting as sweaty cycling gear isn’t a good look in a boardroom setting!
It is however time to get serious and start tackling the climbs outside of my home region. Riding the climbs close to home has been good preparation and taught me a lot about choice of equipment and how to reduce the faffing time associated with getting the bike and camera out of the car and set up. It has also been useful in showing me what my own limitations are (and they are many believe me!). Now is the time to start using that approach further a field.
This Thursday I have reason to travel up to South Oxfordshire and so I’ll be taking on the climbs at Streatley and Combe Gibbet en route. Well, there will be a bit of a detour involved but nothing too ridiculous. Neither of the two hills look particularly threatening and I’m actually quite looking forward to them both.
In early June things will get a bit more intensive when I spend a couple of days up in Derbyshire in an attempt to take on 7 of the climbs over the course of two days. Some of the climbs I‘ll be taking on have fairly high ratings out of 10 in the little black book of pain so it is going to be an interesting trip.
In other news my hill killing lightweight Bianchi has been finished and…er…doesn’t work very well. It is nice and light and fits in the car beautifully but my gradient munching gears are a bigger mess than they look. I’m going to have to swallow my pride and get my local bike shop to look at it. I’m sure that once they have stopped laughing it will only take them a few minutes to sort out. After swearing at various drive train components in the garage and trying several different configurations I still can’t get all of the gears to engage smoothly so it is time to call in some help. On the positive side it is nice and light compared to the trusty Cross Check and it is (when everything works) fast. In fact I had forgotten just how fast and sweet handling a bike it is. I’m hoping to have it sorted and on the road for Crowcombe next week.