Monday, 21 February 2011

We take to the hills....

It had to happen, we may have tried to shy away from facing up to it, but this weekend it was time to face reality.

Gary has spent considerable time and expertise working on our LeJog route for June. He has been mulling over it, tweaking it, thinking about it, changing it, changing it again.... but in the end there is a fact we can't escape from... there's going to be a lot of climbing.

Now, some of you might like riding uphill but for us its probably the worst thing about cycling - neither of us are built for climbing - we are more naturally configured to the flat; preferably in a pub somewhere! But Gary's latest route planning has revealed that we are faced with something like 16,000 metres of climbing - now that may not sound too bad - in fact it's twice the height of Mount Everest! - So, we felt we needed to start practising.

It was a grey morning, as I arrived at Gary's, it looked like we might be riding in the rain, thankfully that scenario never materialised. We set off via Donisthorpe towards Ashby de la Zouch, steady climbing all the way, from there through to Lount, turning left towards Melbourne and more climbing - then it was left again adjacent to Calke Abbey and a welcome descent before a viscious climb up the Pistern Hills - this was serious, lung bursting, leg burning stuff! - we saw the road winding away before us, disappearing into the mist - it looked like an alpine stage from the Tour de France! - we needed the lowest gears we had and even then it was struggle - we made it but it hurt!

After that and a pause for a well earned drink from our bidons we headed into Ticknall and then out past Foremark Reservoir to Milton, turning left and another steep rise to Repton. Then it was more climbing to Newton Solney, Burton on Trent, Stapenhill, Rosliston and finally back to Netherseal - it was a bit disappointing to find we'd only travelled about 35 miles and more so that our total ascent was somewhere around 700 metres - especially when we know that the first two days of LeJog will each involve climbing of around 2500 metres!!! - Oh well - plenty of time to build up to that!


  1. living on the edge of the peak district i regulaly train in the dont get any easier you just learn to ignor the pain,good luck with your trek

  2. It would have been interesting or even frightening if I had been wearing a heart rate monitor