Today I did a 70-mile route with almost 6,000 ft of climbing. It incorporated these hills (and a lot more!):
All these are quite tough so I’m proud to have done them all in one ride. I was quite anxious at the start of the ride, wondering if I had bitten-off more than I could chew. It was a pretty hot day but not unbearably so. I took the whole ride fairly easy; so I was surprised to find, when I came to analyse the data later, that I had beaten my previous times up Carter’s Hill and Toys Hill and on various other segments. And I didn’t even do my usual trick of falling asleep when I got home! I feel a bit of a cheat because I cut-off the very steep top part of Toys Hill; it fitted my route better. Just at the point where I turned off Toys Hill there is a great view to the south. While I was taking in the view (and the photo above), a couple of other cyclists appeared – they had just come up Toys Hill too. We got chatting and ended up swapping hill stories! It sounds a bit sad; fishermen compare the size of fish they have caught; cyclists compare the severity of hills they have climbed or heard about. It’s better than talking about the weather I suppose!
White Lane nearly got the better of me – what a slog! As I was climbing it I was thinking that it’s the toughest hill I had recently climbed. So I was surprised that it only scored a 5/10 in Simon Warren’s book , compared with 7/10 for Toys Hill.
Once the main hills had been conquered I had a short break in a park in Cudham. I then had the small matter of riding 28 miles home. The rest of the ride was less extreme. The only negative thing about it was that I really could have done with more liquid on such a hot day. I had to ration the last half of my second bidon and I was pretty dehydrated by the time I got home. Also I had to take a two mile detour at the end of the ride because an off-road section I had planned was not navigable so I had to turn back and cycle around it. That’s not what you need when you’re so close to home and wanting the journey to be over!