Monday, 16 April 2012

Uphill slog....

I've been working on a some new routes lately. With our trip to Provence and the mighty Ventoux looming up, I know that I need to ride uphill more - simple as that really. There is of course nowhere in England that can offer the prolonged torture of riding up steep gradients for 20km or so, all I can do is seek out the hilliest routes possible and ride them over and over.

My first route starts with familiar roads into Market Bosworth, then I turn around, ride down the hill I've just climbed and back up the other side. From there I ride to Newton Burgoland by the most direct route - it's a lumpy ride with a series of short steep pulls. Now I turn right and climb up to Heather - (pronounced Heether). This is part of the Sustran routes - marked The Bosworth Trail - a winding climb that I hadn't done previously - with a couple of nice views from half way up. I always thought it looked tough when driving up it but surprisingly it wasn't too bad. Then it's another brief drop before a longer climb along a busier stretch of road to Ibstock - I found this one quite hard and was glad when the top arrived. From there I go through the town, turning left before the main road and again climbing up towards home. This road was a pleasant surprise, some attractive old buildings - Ibstock Manor House being one of them, plus a short drop down to a ford in the road - I slowed up and decided to cross it without dismounting - just about made it although I could feel my wheels sliding on the slippery concrete under the water.

I've cycled a big loop at this point but it's not far enough. When I rejoin the main Hinckley Road I cross directly over heading into Odstone village and rejoining the road to Market Bosworth - another short but steepish climb and then - I turn off at Carlton and another loop which takes me back to Market Bosworth from a different direction, this way includes a climb from the Wellsborough side up into the town - quite steep and by now i'm tired. Then it's back down (and up) towards Carlton again - second time up this climb! - From there I turn off right and head for home. About 25 miles or so covered.

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