Tuesday, 25 February 2014

On the road again...

The winter storms seem to have started to lose their grip on the UK so its about time I got back on the bike and started getting to grips with the remaining climbs. Last year ended badly for several reasons and this had the knock on effect of me not completing all 100 climbs by the end of 2013.  Missing a significant goal like that was really devastating but my personal situation meant that I had to focus on both job hunting and studying for an important exam. I've since taken and passed the exam and a new career beckons so time to sort out the bike riding bits of my life before I get too busy.

So, 2014 is here and it is finally time to get this challenge out of the way once and for all. Because I’m trying to start a business time, and money, are going to be tight as the year progresses and I, hopefully, get busy. Because of time constraints the remaining English climbs are going to be tackled in a series of fairly brutal long weekends.  First up is a return to Yorkshire including a first time trip to the infamous Rosedale Chimney, apparently the steepest road in the UK. Can't say I'm looking forward to that one, although the adventure of getting back in the car and visiting stupidly steep bits of road with my bike is something I'm looking forward to steeping back into.

Answering that age old question of just how many cameras can you charge from one laptop?

The plan for my trip to Yorkshire is fairly simple; drive up on a Friday, take on four climbs on the Saturday and then try and get as many in on the Sunday before I have to head home. Its an ambitious approach, especially as the remaining climbs are all pretty tough ones but it seems to be the most time efficient way of dealing with them. Hopefully I’ll be up to it. The training was going really well in January and then February happened with its strong winds and sideways rain. I lost a fair bit of momentum simply because riding in gale force winds really isn’t actually that safe. Plus I got fed up with cleaning my bikes every couple of days.

Recent training rides have seen me winch my heavy Karate Monkey up and over every steep hill I can find (and through every road surface imaginable including slurry that had washed out of a field over the road; thats a ride I'd rather forget). These rides have been mixed with shorter rides on my single speed in an attempt to build a bit of kick back into my uphill riding.  I’m not entirely sure its worked but as my first hill climb of 2014 is going to be Rosedale Chimney any weaknesses in my preparation will very shortly be exposed. The faithful Uncle John has been cleaned and lubed. The cameras have been charged and my mighty Fiat Qubo has a full tank of fuel...best get on with it I suppose.