Sunday, March 01, 2009

Longest bike ride so far - Petersfield

I've just got back from my longest bike ride so far and it was great. Executive summary:

Went to: Petersfield
Distance: 56 miles
Highest point: 220 m
Total climb height: 762 m
Average speed: 12.7 mph
Total time on bike: 4:23
Fastest speed: 40 mph
Punctures: 0

I met Mark Halliday (who is cycling from London to Edinburgh and back again in 4 days later this year - please consider sponsoring him) and Rob Smyth at the Brigadier Gerard pub in Horton Heath at 9:00 on Sunday 1st March 2009. After a quick go on Rob's bike, a Trek Madone 4.5, we headed off at an easy pace. The roads were nice and dry but there was complete cloud cover and it was a bit nippy in my cycling shorts and vented cycling shoes.

We were following a route Mark had planned and uploaded to his Garmin Edge 705, a Sat-Nav like bike computer. This really helped us spend time enjoying quiet country lanes without worrying too much about navigation, although we did take a wrong turn after a mile or so which added an odd kink to our route but it was along a nice lane so a nice little detour really.

After about 6 miles Rob and I had a moment of confusion at 2mph resulting in him falling off. No harm done, although his brakes were rubbing immediately afterwards which made me worry that he'd buckled a wheel. But briefly applying the brakes sorted it out.

Our original route took us almost to Petersfield but by the time we got there we fancied a latte and a quick look at the town. There seems to be a market their on Sundays which meant the town was nice and alive, and we found a Cafe Nero with a free outside table. 3 large lattes with sugar please.

Leaving Petersfield the Sat-Nav took us near "Steep" and appropriately enough we went up a 2.4 mile long, 152 metre ascent, steep-in-parts hill, which I enjoyed but I'm not sure Rob did.

We stopped a couple of times to scoff Mark's home made chocolate brownies and my "kicking about the house" chocolate stash. We figured that with 4:23 of time on the bike we could afford to eat chocolate.

Towards the end of the ride the sun started to peek through and it almost felt warm.

And when I got home I found a box of 12 Krispy Kreme doughnuts so I further figured that I could have 2 of them.

My bum feels a little sore from sitting on the small bike seat and my butt muscles groan when I stand up but I'm feeling really invigorated.

Overall the Orca was a very comfortable ride over that distance - my last outing was 6 weeks ago so I hadn't had a chance to get used to cycling again so once I "break myself in" it should be even easier.

So if you're interested in doing a ride like this let me know. The more the merrier.


Evil Overlord said...

Good blog but isufficient hill info Russ! What was the least/max elevation of the hill, and was it really only 152m long? You're doing better than I am - although I'm riding to school every day (10miles per day, avg. 16mph), I haven't taken my Litespeed out for a long ride yet, thanks to weather and weekend commitments. Jim

Russell Finn said...

Doh, of course it wasn't 152-metre long climb; it was a 152 metre climb along about 2.4 miles of road. I'll correct the post.

Evil Overlord said...

Ah, it all becomes clearer. What about a ride-out over the Easter break maybe? Not sure my neck and back would cope with 60 miles - I get dreadful neckache after about 20. I think I need to get a helmet without a visor so I can look up from under my eyebrows instead of craning my head up.