Getting Better

Throughout June I have been riding to Watford from Aylesbury.
It’s a route that I have become used to, having ridden it many times now.
Although 27 miles sounds like a reasonable distance, it’s a pretty good route.

tring-hillOn my mountain bike, several sections of the route were especially challenging.
In the morning on the outward route, Tring Hill was a great challenge.
However it was much more challenging in the evening, riding up the other side of the hill. The problem with this side of the hill is that it is much longer and builds up into the hill.
It also has some bends in it, so you think you’re nearing the top, only to realise that there’s a slightly higher summit a few meters further on.
It feels like a real energy drainer when you’ve cycled 46 miles already and mis-calculate your pace and tackle it with either a bad choice of gear, a poor strategy or both !
bumpy-northchurchFurther along the route through Northcurch and through Bourne End, there are two really bumpy sections.
The road surface is so poor that it feels like you’re riding over 100 meters of rumble strips.
Lately I’ve developed a strategy of standing up where possible over these sections, which saves me getting bruised too quickly.

This is really easy to do as the Northcurch sections are quite short.
bumpy-bourne-endThrough Bourne End it reminds me of the road to Mordor, long and really bumpy (sorry for the Lord of the Rings reference!) – photo number 3.
In the evening this is funnier as I’m on the road from Mordor back to “my Shire” !

kings-langley-hillThe last challenge on my route is near to the Watford end of things.
This is part of the hill approaching Kings Langley, which is harder to get a good run up to, due to roundabouts.
Just as you’ve got up a good head of steam, you need to brake to get around the roundabout, which is always busy with traffic in and out of the business park.
It’d be much easier if the roundabout wasn’t there, at least you could get a good pace and rally attack it !

Although I now sound like a right old winge bag, I’m happy to report that I’ve been working hard and have made good progress with the total time it takes me to cycle this route.
I guess this is due to better planning, strategy and use of my gears coupled with my improving fitness.
(You could be thinking it’s probably more to do with the latter !!)

I’ve knocked fifteen to twenty minutes of my route time, which I’m very happy with.
The sobering thought has to be that when I’m riding this route, I’m only cycling twenty seven and a half miles. At 100 miles long, my big ride is pretty much four times longer than this !

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *