Life/Cycling Balance

it’s been a ridiculously busy week, one those utter humdingers where you don’t even have a moment to yourself. i worked three 12 hours days on the bounce and then went to London. in amongst the work i tried to keep cycling, getting up at six to go out and do an hour before work with a couple of hills. the weather continues to be absolutely lovely and i’m now resting ahead of the weekend’s race.

this morning i went out up over dundry, it’s one of my favourite climbs because it’s long and relatively shallow before pitching up in a short series of nasty little kicks at the end. the view as you gain height up over Bristol is lovely, especially in the crisp morning air. i then cut across towards Belmont – sometimes i go on up and over Redhill but this adds a further 5 or 6 miles and i really don’t have an awful lot of time; it’s a very tight window and i have to ensure i’m really on the ball if i take the extended detour.

Belmont is a very popular climb on the edge of Bristol, used by most of the local roadies. it’s about a mile and a half with some changes in gradient and is a tough climb, it’s very easy to overcook the beginning. I’ve ridden up it very fast indeed and this makes life hard because i find it hard to get near that on a day to day basis. it’s a big segment on Strava and the top spot in the high score table is taken by Scott Easter who rides for Felt and is an elite mountain biker. He managed a 3.41. there was a hefty tailwind that day, i know this because i grovelled into it going the other way on my commute. a couple of days previously on a becalmed afternoon i managed a 3.44. Anything under 4 minutes, not in a hillclimb (without the benefit of wearing the number) is a very quick time. today i scraped to a 4.04, with my bag of school stuff – clothes, sandwiches, fruit, books and so on. i think that in clement conditions i can probably go quite a bit quicker, but it’s about choosing the right day – or waiting for a hillclimb, in which case it doesn’t really matter, you just muller it right through. at the top i came across a friend, Adam, who was out and about on his lovely Mercian at 7am. the sun was radiantly bright and the stillness of the morning felt lovely, the first warming spring day. it’s the best part of the day.

post belmont.

this weekend i’m riding in the Bath WTTA event. I don’t think a podium is in reach because lots of very strong cyclists are riding, but i will give it everything. the course is sufficiently hilly to suit me, so i live in hope.

The BSCC roadmen are riding tomorrow at Blackawton in a two-day race. It’s brilliant to see the red and gold out and about.

the rock island line is a mighty good road

and here’s some leadbelly:

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