The Push Hog Diaries: Stage 13 – Man v Mountain Small Insignificant Hill In East Yorkshire

It is absolutely pissing it down and I’m sat in my car, in a lay-by, on Littlewood Road, waiting for the Hull Thursday Road Club Newbald Time Trial to begin. I’ve seen a lot of riders pass by on their warm up, but no sign of anybody racing against the clock. Quite frankly it’s so wet and miserable I doubt it will ever start, but a few people I know are taking part, so I’ll stick it out and waste a bit of time updating my blog…

Almost unbelievably I managed to squeeze another ride in this week, a 20 mile ride from Beverley to North Newbald and back [for the route see The Push Hog Diaries: Stage 8 – Col de Tourmalet Trundlegate].

Although, mostly for the sake of this blog, I like to vary my rides, the round trip to Newbald is very good as you never seem to rest, if you’re not climbing or descending, you’re concentrating on a rhythm, so It’s excellent training for the Big G, I hope.

The aim of the ride was to see if I could conquer Trundlegate on my own, having only previously managed it when riding with Marvin. I also have this massive itch to scratch, which is set off every July by the Tour de France.

I see it this way, in that nothing makes you want to take up a sport more than when you watch it, either on tv or in person. As a kid I was inspired to try and ultimately fail at dozens of different sports, however, the only one I ever really did well at was Athletics. I liked distance running the best, although I remember not particularly liking Seb Coe or Steve Ovett, I would cheer on Steve Cram every Friday evening during the season, so I wanted to be like him, I even developed a turn of pace towards the last lap of the school field and finished with a sprint (I couldn’t do it now!).

Having said that, other than Football, the other sport which I watched religiously as a child was Cycling, I don’t even know why, it doesn’t strike me as the type of sport you’d expect an eight year old to sit down and watch, but I did. Now I’m older I can appreciate the fine points of the sport, I even pretend to understand it, but as a child there were two things I wanted to see:

1. The Sprint Finish – Two words to sum it up “Djamolidine Abdoujaparov“, that’s all I need to say!

2. Climbing – To me this is the ultimate in cycling, because it is such a difficult skill and to watch the riders test each other is always the highlight of the Tour, think Roche v Delgado or Indurain v Pantani or Armstrong v Ullrich or Schleck v Contador.

I’m never going to race, so no point trying to be a sprinter, but I want to be able to climb, and watching the coverage of the Tour de France makes me want it more, just like that wide eyed kid who loved to watch Roche, Indurain & Pantani.

So as I approach Trundlegate for the fourth time, it’s 2-1 to the ‘Ramp’ as some might call it, so time to even the score. Having not stopped for my usual rest, I feel warmed up and confident, so I approach the hill in the small chain ring, about fourth gear, and peddle hard to gain some momentum. However by the time I reach Flaxfield House, at the kick up point, I’m already in first gear and the chain is taught, I put every effort into keeping the wheels going and metre by metre I drag myself up the steepest part (14%) and around the right hand corner.

Now the road in front seems to go on forever, although it’s not steep, it’s still saps my energy, but I’m being sensible and not pushing myself, so no chance of getting out of breath. As the top of the hill gets closer I start to change my gears and increase my pace, before long the road levels and I’ve reached the top.

20120710-234251.jpg

Thanks to ‘Strava‘ I know it took me just over seven minutes to complete, by no means a land speed record, but a start – It wasn’t long ago I thought I’d never make it to the top at all, although I’ve a long way to go before I beat the 3:30 set by the current King of the Mountains!

Total Distance Covered: 196 miles

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