Friday, 30 May 2014

A circuit round Market Harborough with a glut of cat 4 hills

The main aim of today was to try some new roads. In that regard it was a total success and I can say I've unearthed some cracking routes, testing hills and beautiful scenery. The secondary aim was to discover how effective strava routes is as a guidance system. Now that wasn't as good. Fair play it's an addition to an already great free app but I found it quite disappointing. If you zoom in on my map you'll see lots of little spikes. This is where I went wrong. The reason for these errors is the lack of detail on the maps, the fact it keeps zooming out and no indication of when you need to make a turn. In short it is, compared to a sat nav, quite basic. I'm fairly sure if I'd programmed the route into the navigator app on my phone it would be better. So is Strava routes useless? No that would be unfair. It did get me round a route I only really knew a 1/3rd of. Had you asked me that after I went the wrong way and then ended up stuck behind a flock of sheep you'd have got a different answer.

Of those new roads 3329ft in 66 miles is a lot round here. I used granny ring more than anytime I can recall. I say my favourite uppage was the climb into Saddington, short and sharp and about as steep as we get. The top looked highly defendable and had earthworks.  Unfortunately a quick bit of research turned up nothing of note apart from a fictional treacle mine. Strange people in Leicestershire!

Top of climb out of Great Easton
Back towards Eyebrook

It was like this all the way round

Lovely hill just before I had to stop for cows crossing the road

And then there were sheep!

So the morale of the tale that I'm burying at the bottom of the blog in the hope Andy from C&DCYCLES doesn't spot it, is that if you really want a guidance system you probably do need a decent bit of kit like a Garmin. The messing about with a Strava routes dented my confidence and slowed me down. I didn't like that and was so relieved to get to Cold Ashby and roads I know.

Bit busy tomorrow
Happy Peddaling

Ps as if to prove what a beast of a ride it was I tried to stand up after finishing this blog. Both legs locked up with cramp and I was stranded like a turtle on it's back for ten minutes...ouch!

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