In which an ageing climber comes to terms with life closer to the ground.

17/12/2006

The ride we do most

Filed under: — Mike Chapman @ 4:43 pm

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The ride shown on the map has become our most frequent, particularly in the winter. It is about twenty miles, against the grain of the land and nearly all the cycling is either up or down hill. There are five or six major climbs with arrows on the map. I like it, apart from the workout provided by the hills, because it has a superb café/Post Office three quarters of the way round. The coffee and soup of the day are superb. No danger of this particular Post Office being closed down.

On Sunday Lynne and I visited the Velodrome as participants rather than spectators. We reckoned that if it was fun watching it when we had never ridden on the track, it would be even more fun if you had. We joined a beginners group ran by a man of about our age that made it very clear who was in charge. I had fifteen minutes of practice and then joined a group of six blasting round the track in a line taking turns on the front and all the time being directed by the man in the yellow fleece. It was weird to be going around a corner at one point and having somebody above me, below me, behind me and in front of me. You must look carefully before changing your line.

As Lynne said afterwards, “I have not been that apprehensive about an activity since we went climbing. I felt the same. The fun for me was cycling with a group taking turns at the front and hitting those 42 degree corners and trusting that you were going to stick.

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