Sunday, March 15, 2009

A sunny 65.5m ride

Another long bike ride today in gloriously sunny 16C weather. I met up with Mark Halliday, Rich Harran and Ian Vanstone at the White Horse in Ampfield at 9:00. Executive summary:

Went to: the countryside
Distance: 65.5 miles
Highest point: 143m
Total climb height: 640 m
Average speed: 15.2 mph
Total time on bike: 4:19

We went anti-clockwise around the route above. We saw very little traffic and lots of countryside. The detour through Crawley (the most North-Easterly point) was partly to miss out a section of the main Stockbridge road but mostly because it's a really pretty village.

For sustenance I took a packet of Thornton's Belgian chocolates. I figured that the calories wouldn't be a problem over that distance.

The road out of Pitton was fun. It's steep at 14% but not too long - 40m of ascent. It's probably the steepest hill I've done.

Steep hills are particularly challenging on my bike because I have a regular "double" crank, not a "compact crank". This means that my easiest gear is not very easy at all. My small chainring has 39 teeth and my biggest cog at the back has 27 teeth. Everyone else has compact cranks and has the luxury of a front ring with just 32/34 teeth.

We stopped at Mark's house in Romsey and he heated us up a lovely risotto (mushroom, chicken, ham, butternut squash, other veg, stock). He'll make a lovely wife for someone one day.

Riding in a group of four was good. Riding two abreast on the quiet roads meant that we could talk easily and the rear two could draught the front two. I'm looking forward to a bigger peleton when Alan Chatt, Ed Altenburger and Alex Mitchell get their bikes.

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