Hills from hell

Last year I struggled to climb hills. So this winter I have been searching for hills to improve my ability. Yesterday I found a series of hills straight from the depths of hell. Mostly ranging from 13 – 18% they took some effort to climb but were nothing compared to the worst of the lot. It was pure evil. A 19% start turned into 22% midway through a bend and lasted for what seemed like an eternity – with my speed dropping to a lowly 4 mph it really did take an eternity to climb.

A series of short but severe hills around 30 miles even look like flames

I’ve been reading a few articles about hill climbing technique but am generally finding that just going out and taking on hills seems to be the best advice. Yesterday I rode one section which included a long drag that I have previously found very challenging, but actually found quite easy this time – to the extent that I began to wonder if I’d taken a wrong turning and missed the hill. However I don’t think any amount of training will ever make a 22% hill seem easy.

Looking for salvation from the hills at the St Thomas A Beckett Church in Pensford

I’ve entered a couple of Sportives for 2012. One is the 100 mile Dartmoor Classic on  24 June and the other is the Tour of Wessex, a 329 mile 3 day event at the start of June. I will be doing both events with friends who are experienced cyclists so I have a lot of training ahead of me to be ready. I think a training programme might be a good idea to prevent my usual tactic of training as often and as hard as possible and probably resulting in frustrating injuries.

The roads were muddy but thankfully dry

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2 thoughts on “Hills from hell

  1. tootlepedal says:

    Lovely picture of the church. I think the capacity of cycling to provide opportunities for photos is often overlooked. It is much easier to stop and click than in a car and you get to see a lot more places than you would do by walking from home.

    Impressive hill work. My view is that contour maps were made so that the intelligent cyclist can avoid hills but each one to his own taste.

  2. jerzak80 says:

    Yeah it’s a beautiful church and I love the viaduct in the background. The first time I cycled through the village I stopped to take a few photographs and ended up being told the interesting history of the disused viaduct from a local gent who was out walking his dog. Being out on the bike is definitely a great way to get to know the local area to a wider radius from home than you can reach by walking.

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