Snow & hills

I’ve just noticed that I’ve ridden 1999.9 kilometres this year. While this endless Winter has mostly limited my cycling endurance to a maximum of two hour rides, all of those difficult rides have already added up to a satisfying sub-total for 2013. Last year I had ridden just over 1000 km at this point so this is a nice improvement already.

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Any opportunity at the moment to give yourself a warm feeling inside should be grasped

We are still in the Cotswolds for the long Easter weekend and enjoying the bracing weather. Yesterday we went for a walk to Broadway Tower from the aptly-named ‘Snowshill’. This is one of the highest points of the Cotswolds and the snow was several inches deep. My bike was also tucked away in the boot of my wife’s car and following our walk, Mrs BikeVCar drove home and I pedalled my way.

"What are ewe looking at?" Lambing season is upon us

“What are ewe looking at?” Lambing season is upon us, much to Mrs BikeVCar’s delight

Broadway Tower on snowy Snowshill

Broadway Tower on snowy Snowshill

Before heading home, I couldn’t resist a few climbs of Dovers Hill. The little winding road has been used for several National Hill Climb championships and is quite a challenge. At just over one mile in length and an average gradient of 10% it’s tough and seemed an ideal destination for my first attempt this year at the soul-destroying activity of hill-repeats. After the third and final climb I was slumped over the bars trying to catch my breath when a little old lady drove past honking her horn and giving me the thumbs up which made me smile and wave back. It was nice receiving a friendly gesture from a car driver and reminded me of being back in France last summer.

Interesting cycling conditions

Interesting cycling conditions

Rewarding views after a hard climb

Rewarding views after a hard climb

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After the climbing I got back on the main road and tried to find a fast rhythm for the 15 km back to Stow on the Wold. I have recently joined a local cycling club in Bristol and am hoping to participate in a few of their time trials this season. I managed to maintain just over 20mph for half an hour which felt good and will hopefully give me enough confidence to attend their first event next week. I’ve been doing this cycling lark for long enough now – it’s time to rub Lycra with a few other nutcases.

Stopping for a rest by a peaceful 11th Century church in Lower Oddington

Stopping for a rest by a peaceful 11th Century church in Lower Oddington

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