Saturday, 5 September 2015

Best Hills in Northamptonshire?

Special Blue Product

Having ridden this route before, I knew what was coming, especially as the Major's IT inability meant me creating a route on Strava, Ride with GPS and Garmin Connect for everyone in the club to pretend they hadn't seen. On that Andy P informed me that his Garmin tried to send him off road at the top of Neville Holt. I'm not surprised, they may make great products but their route planner is a pile of old pants compared to others that are in fact free. It took me several goes to get the route to go up Rocky Hill like it was advising against such endeavour. Anyway I arrived at the shop to see a grand gathering of regulars and a few newbies. On seeing my bottles loaded with special blue product, Steve introduced me to his green concoction. It was USN, so I usually like it but I'm not too sure about the green stuff. Possibly this had something to do with Steve adding a few extra scoops than recommended (like he needs more power!)

Steve has green smurf juice

Organisation was swift as Andy was away (He was actually busy trying to keep his hair on with righteous indignation whilst believing everything he reads in the daily mail,) . Steve took the quickies and I led the sensible people which is how things should be. 

 We rode out into the beautiful Northants countryside on a not so beautiful day. Summer has gone and Autumn is here, soggy and grey, oh actually it probably still is Summer after all.

It's pretty lumpy on the way to the first proper hill of the day. I always find Rushton Hill and Bringhurst quite a challenge and then we hit Neville Holt which tomorrow will be the scene of KCC and WVCC's annual hill climb race. They haven't chosen it because it's easy and if anyone tells you Northants is flat make them ride up this. That will shut them up. The thing is when Isaac Newton invented gravity to help apples fall out of trees, he had no idea what he was doing because bikes hadn't been invented. However what goes up must come down remains the true joy of cycling as after the agony of the hill comes the joy of the descent. The slope down to Eyebrook reservoir really is pure ecstasy to a downhill specialist like me.

Rest at the top

 After nearly taking out a group of people having a photo in the road we rounded Eyebrook Reservoir and headed up significant lump two, through Stoke Dry. Up this hill I was supported by Stuart (aged 75) who advised me I'm doing everything right I just need to keep suffering! He's being kind, the problem remains that 92kg is too heavy for my legs. Myfitnesspal myfitnesspal myfitnesspal...I will get there!

The phenomenon that is Stuart

Another descent into the picturesque village of Lyddington where we passed an idea for a meal out next week as I've always liked the look of The Old Hart. I'll let you all know if we get there and if it's as good as it looks. Yes I know I said about Myfitnesspal but the kids are away so I want to take the Queen of Cakes somewhere nice!

From Lyddington it got quicker for a bit. A short climb into Gretton and then to the beast that is Rocky Hill.I always find this more of a mental challenge than physical. My mind tells me to give up when it gets tough and I have to tell it to get lost. I know as soon as I see the green sign at the top it's done and I just focus on stand a bit, sit a bit until I see the sign. Then you have to get away from Corby. I have nothing against Corby itself it's just those roads on the outskirts are not fun to ride on. I do however enjoy the A427 back to East Carlton. We always seem to get wriggle on down there. Then it was just back to the shop.

Barely Human

We found most of the fast group in the shop tucking into Mrs Lindsley's amazing cakes. Steve who apparently rode the whole route in his big ring (machine) described today's cakes as 'bang on.' The options were: Coffee & Walnut, Vanilla and Marrow & Chocolate. The latter wasn't too popular in the shop, possibly because Marrow is a quirky cake ingredient. However I can confirm it is delicious AND Fireman Pat (Gareth) next door who provided the marrow has described it as 'the future!'

Today's Cakes

At the start of the ride one of the quick lads dropped this light at the traffic lights. Not sure who it belongs to but Chris says you have 48 hours to claim it or it will be sold (I think he was joking, it's hard to tell.) More on Arkwright and his selling prowess he was trying to sell me my dream wheels (Zipp Firecrest,) just because I mentioned them. Apparent £1500 sounds a lot for wheels but it isn't really as with the mileage I do it's less than 50p a mile. Nice try Chris!

Whose light is this

Well I'm knackered. That route really is good as it gets round here and I'll happily do it again soon. Not sure what I'm doing tomorrow as it depends on the fickle nature of SuperSam and his 'will I won't I," attitude towards playing rugby this season. Whatever happens I'm riding somewhere somehow!

Happy Pedaling

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