Posts Tagged ‘route’

Pilgrim’s Way long loop

Rode this yesterday, in reverse of the direction mapped. It’s a nice route, although I’ve no idea why it’s called Pilgrim’s Way. Went fine until overshooting a cross-roads at Longfield, then bonking. Missed out the small loop to the west via Oxted, and returned from Chevening to Hawley Corner and through Biggin Hill. Stopped off for a massive slice of lemon cake to get my sugar levels back up, then nearly puked.

Which is worse – puking or the bonk? Time for a new poll?

In the process of getting lost near Biggin Hill on the way out I discovered a monster climb 50 mins from my house. Stock Hill. We will meet again.

First foray from West Norwood

Allow me to point out that West Norwood rocks, for a number of reasons – not least because I can ride this hilly 4-5 hr route from my door:

View West Norwood foray in a larger map

Rode it last Sunday with Millsy, who has been bending my ear on recovery smoothies and base amino supplements among other matters. Actually felt pretty good.

The route takes in Toy’s Hill along with plenty of other rolling sections, and has plenty of room for expansion for longer rides.

Hilly Denham loop

I rode this hilly 60-mile loop from Denham yesterday. It goes up Whiteleaf (double chevron) then cuts back round to take in another couple of chevron ascents to Dunsmore:

View Denham loop in a larger map
Denham is 25 mins from Marylebone, is just further west than South Ruislip, and is pretty much the quickest way to bypass the traffic out west of the smoke. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth the hassle and extra time, but actually it’s much more pleasant to sit with a latte on the train then ride straight into the countryside, than to sweat through traffic lights and exhaust for 90 mins to reach the same spot.

Totally done with winter

I fell off my bike today, twice. I was attempting another run at the Gerrard’s Cross loop (without the extension):

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This is a nice route which I did a fortnight ago. It was cold then, and it was cold today – but today, after the snow and then the heavy rain over the weekend, the quieter roads were slick with ice. I saw one major vehicle stack-up, and another smashed car abandoned in a ditch.

I powered through the slush for about 2 hours before coming off on the 13% gradient down from St Leonards. I trudged through snow until the slope flattened out, then remounted. Then fell off again. Following this I decided to cut the ride short and headed back through Wendover to Princes Risborough.

It must be spring soon.

The bread and butter

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Here’s a map of my route to work. 5.38 miles each way / 10.72 miles per day. Not bad for keeping the legs ticking over 4 days a week. It takes me at about 30 minutes, although I’ve never timed myself. It’s a good route:

  • Descending Dartmouth Park Hill really blows out the cobwebs in the morning, and provides a tough climb to finish on the way home at night.
  • The whole area around Belsize Park, Chalk Farm and Primrose Hill is pleasantly quiet, green and varied – this route cuts out the clogged Kentish Town Road / Fortess Road stretch.
  • Regent’s Park is good for a burst of speed if the legs demand it. It’s hard to see how I will ever get tired of drafting and overtaking other riders on this stretch.

On a general note, I really feel that, if you live in London and within 45 minutes to work by bike, and you’re lucky enough to have two legs, functioning lungs and a brain, you should be riding to work. Your life will be enhanced immeasurably. When I ride to work, I arrive:

  • Wide awake
  • Endorphin-charged and happy
  • Showered and fresh (I have a shower at work – you’ll need it)

Whereas, on days when I don’t ride and have to take the bus or – in a worst-case scenario – the tube, I arrive:

  • Grumpy
  • Sweaty
  • Tired
  • Poorer by £1-£2.50

Naturally, I don’t commute on the Wilier. I’ll be introducing my hack bike soon.