I went out for an easy 40 mile cycle today with my father-in-law who is visiting from America for Christmas. We took a circular loop in the Cotswolds from Stow on the Wold to Chipping Campden and back through Guiting Power. This route was typical of the Cotswolds being around 90% rolling hills, 9% vicious climbs and 1% flat.
We headed out onto the quiet winter roads late morning dressed in our matching Christmas presents. I had decided to try and complete as much of the ride as possible in the biggest gear on my bike and I found this was mostly achievable except where the gradient of a long hill exceeded 7% and I was forced to either shift gear or die. The steepest gradients we encountered were 17% where I managed to struggle to the top without dropping off the front chainring big gear but had to shift down on the rear. Obviously my cadence was slower than normal but it seemed to be providing a good workout.
Overall we climbed 800 vertical metres without any major difficulties. I’m not sure if it was a result of having had 2 weeks off the bike due to bad weather, but I didn’t feel any niggles or pain in my legs today. Maybe a bit of enforced time off the bike was a good thing.
I’m hoping to get in a decent amount of cycling over the next few days as we travel around England visiting my wife’s family which contains a few cycle-nuts. This should make up for the excessive mileage being covered by my car in its final few days before we part company.