With the Tour de Yorkshire Sportive only 28 days away I thought I had better go and pay the route a visit and see what all the exclamations of … ‘you’re doing what?! … how far!? how hilly!? you’re mad!! were all about.
Last week I had touched on a little of the route .. the flat bit .. which was blinking hard BUT we were going to go deeper into them there hills!
Jay said he would come with me, for 2 reasons, one he needed to stretch his ‘cycling’ legs and two, he knew I would get lost.
Every time I think about going out on my bike and right up until the point I climb aboard I have bike belly. I start worrying and I can’t really explain why.
I think my main worry is that I will end up flaked out on the side of the road not being able to get back home. I say, I am not, but I do think there maybe a little bit of embarrassment about it too, my own embarrassment about me.
I write the above BUT as I write it I say to myself … NO I don’t care what people think … fatty on a bike I may be BUT at least I am trying.
I think it is more the fear of failure that keeps me off the bike… If you don’t do it you can’t fail.
The first 12 miles of our route I’ve done before so I knew what to expect … 3 miles per hour up Litherop Lane! I just can’t get up them hills!!
After 12 miles I was in unknown territory. The only thing I knew for sure was .. there were going to be hills … lots of BIG hills.
I knew it was going to be hard, I have done the C2C a couple of times (when I say done c2c.. I have ever actually completed it all) and there’s some pretty big hills that I did climb on that as well … BUT …
….. hells bells … these were not hills, they were bloody great big brick walls !!!!!!!
Massive, Humongous, Ginormous rock faces, you can’t classify them as a mere hill that’s blinking insulating to hills!
How do you do it?
I just cannot understand how you climb. I know about rock climbing, crampons, ropes, harness and all that stuff BUT climbing on a bike?? How the hell do you tell your body to transfer energy and ability to your pedals to propel you upwards and onwards??
the powers that be… i need HELP! Tell me your secret to conquering the climbs!
or just getting up a hill would be a start.
I’m not bad at descending, quick burst on the pedals at the top then hold on for grim death till you reach the bottom, oh and make sure your brakes are in good order.
On every descent, I could have beaten Jay to the bottom (though he will have you believe otherwise!), heavy bike, heavy body makes for great down hilling against a light bike and body. As we descended (unless I was already at the front) I held back and held onto the brakes as I didn’t want to overtake Jay. My bike handling skills are not as good as his and we didn’t know the corners, so better to air on the side of caution.
What goes up Pea Royd Lane takes a long time
I am not going to ‘walk’ you through every aching ‘step’ of the climbs I couldn’t climb, they were so numerous it would take for ever BUT I will example one such climb, Pea Royd Lane.
We cycled from Wakefield to the start (and finish) of the Tour de Yorkshire Sportive at Fox Valley Shopping Centre. I knew the write up on the sportive said there was a climb straight after the start…. They weren’t bleedy kidding!!!!
We lunched at Fox Valley ….. where we came across Madison Genesis mechanic glueing tubs whilst the team where on the road, Bradford to Fox Valley. Lovely guy and NOT just because he gave us a trophy each!
……..then it was ‘onward and UPWARDS’ very literally! We came out of the shopping centre turned right then immediately left and there …. there it was … another hill, Pea Royd Lane!
Ok, crack on. I huffed and puffed for .3 of a mile then the ‘switch back’. The route shot up to the right BUT as I looked straight forward there was ‘a sign’, what looked to be a train station sign, calling to me … I’m here for you, jump aboard!!
Stood astride my bike I hung my head over the handle bars and thought, … ‘yep jack it in, your crap’ …. I looked to my right and whimpered at the sight of ‘the wall’, looked straight on, hung my head, paused, then thought ……..
…….better go straight forward, turn round and get a run up at this F’ing demoralising wall they call Pea Royd Lane.
How can something so nasty be called Pea Royd Lane, that’s more of a joke name, a laugh. Well on doubt the route planners had a bloody good laugh putting this ‘climb’ in!
BUT the views
It goes without saying that I got but a few yards up the climb when surprise, surprise I was off and walking. In one way the walk wasn’t so bad, it was pushing the bloody bike that spoilt it.
I don’t do myself any favours either (with anything), I ride so slowly UP hill (bet you didn’t think anyone could go at 1mph without falling off!!) I am always afraid that when I do finally come to a stop that I won’t be able to unclip fast enough, so I end up riding with on shoe clipped out, which of course does make it any easier for me.
if only someone could run up and steal my bike from me now and make my day!
They do say, the going up is worth the coming down, hummm. When I’m struggling to get up, I couldn’t care less what it looks like, either up there or on the way down BUT …
oh man, when you’re up there, when you finally regain the use of your lungs and you’ve stopped coughing and snotting everywhere, you look up and WoW….
With a lump in my throat I survey the stunning landscape I call home, I think of my bosom friend Elaine and yes, its all worth it, Elaine is worth it.
If you have never been to Yorkshire, why not?
Come, take in the beauty of our county then take away the serenity it allows you
Thank you for reading my blurb.
Cycle safe and smile, you know you want to!