With the event now closer than ever my excitment is building rapidly and it really is something that i am going to enjoy. The training rides are now extending into unexplored areas of road and countryside that ive not travelled before which is as much an exploration as it is an endurance and hill climbing challenge.
Saturday 16th August i found myself taking a new route out to the surrey hills via Esher and Old Woking, a relatively flat journey until Esher high street which very gradually gains hieght which then leads to a series of ups and downs on the way into Cobham. A town i spent time in frequently as teenager dating a young lady and faint memories passed through my thoughts as i rode into the area, and then I keeping on riding. The roads flattened back out as i picked up my speed towards Woking and the rice cake i had devoured as i peddled through Cobham sustained my energy levels around the countrylanes that led me to the first leg burner....Newlands corner.
My lack of knowledge regarding the route shone with all its glory as i took a mouthful of an energy bar after i passed over a crossing that took me to the beginning of the Surrey Hills, a mear 100metres later and i was dragging my 90kg ass up the incline. A slow climb that i will now know is coming and next time i will be better prepared ;) What goes up must come down as they say so i slammed into the handlebars and flew down the otherside happy that a lesson had been learnt.
The A25 goes up and down frequently but nothing of great difficutly acures, I pass by white down lane (normally my 2nd climb of the day with its 20% gradient at points) to climb leith hill from the arbinger common side as a opose to the dorking end that has a steeper rise. Flying down the other side of the hill was great fun and i felt for the guys, and one woman on a cheap mountain bike 'go you' who were climbing as i went down. Passing through dorking i headed towards Ranmore common lane which has a fairly steep gradient and goes on for a fair bit of time, this climb ive ony ever tackled once before and it was just as hard this time as it was then! Through the common i went ending at the road that would ultimatley take me to Boxhill, the final climb of the day.
By this point my legs were stinging, i had to stop at the pertol garage to purchase a top up of h2o for my bottle and then i arrived at the base Boxhill feeling tired but optimistic, by now im 50+miles in and once over the hill im officially heading home. OMG.......the most painful climb i have ever had to endure was the one i did on this day on this hill and it felt great to push through it physically and mentally and go past the hordes of cyclist that accumilate at the summit of Boxhill knowing that i had really been at the limit and made it over in one piece.
The route home changes slightly each time from Boxhill and this time i wanted to do the longest one so i went home via the A217, once i joined it i got stuck into my one and only energy gel of the day which coinsidently gave me the biggest kick up the backside and i flew home like a bullet, i was very happy at the sudden surge in energy and it made this session one to remember.
I ended it once i got in with a large chocolate protein shake (thanks to my little sister and her never ended supply of supplements) and 15 minutes of leg submerging in a cold bath to bring on the recovery, i do this technique frequently and i can asure you it does work.
Next big train will be Sunday going for the 100 session, my pockets are going to be busting with calorific goodness.
Take care out there and thanks for reading