Hills, hills and more hills

May 4, 2014  |  Training Rides

Today’s ride came with a very valuable lesson – do not let Mark plan a training ride. With the hills in Italy looming ever closer the training rides need to incorporate the things we normally try to avoid. Today was all about finding the hard ones!

With Becci missing out on training today it was down to just Mark & Ian. Ian, the official route planner, decided he should let someone else be responsible for the route for a change. In hindsight he’ll say that was a mistake.

With the sun shinning, birds singing and the Peak district calling. We headed out into the countryside with a little “off roading” along a canal for good measure but soon got stuck into the smaller hills. After about 30 miles and just before the biggest hill we stopped for a tasty but incredibly massive feed at Anchor Inn – in a sign of concern Mark kept to just the one pint of bitter.

The training rides so far had all missed out on the important off roading so it was a nice surprise when the Garmin directed us off the tarmac and down a dirt path. Always adventurous we followed the instruction and cycled through what is best described as a small pond in the middle of the path to reach a gate. Awaiting us on the other side of the gate was a rocky path with a small ‘stream’ running down it.. After some derogative words form Ian about the route planning common sense prevailed and we headed back to tarmac to find a different way.

We soon were back on the path well trodden and headed up Mam Tor for the biggest climb of the day. Checkout this panoramic view from the top, via google plus.

The rest of the ride was plain sailing apart from repeated assurances there were no more hills which were generally promptly followed by a bend and another big climb…

All this lead to a lovely Mellor pub stop in the The Devonshire Arms which just happened to have love Jazz playing – you got to love how things just come together!.

By Mark Johnson

The mechanic and chief navigation officer.