Has Spring sprung?

On the road again. We had a road ride today. My first since the 5th December. I did a turbo session over Christmas and have been mountainbiking but really most of my riding has been commuting on the Beast. Let’s face it December was a pretty crappy month. What a joy to be riding in the relative warm? In fact it got so warm that I had to take my gloves off before climbing the Bostal.

We only went for a short ride but it was glorious. The plan was to let the wind work for us so we headed East with the wind behind and then came back relatively protected from the Spring like warm and strong South, South Westerly. We weren’t hammering, just cruising, after all it is still mid winter and we were enjoying the warm and the social side of road riding.

What is a climb? To you it may be a hill to be attacked. To others it is a part of the ride to be endured. To others still, me included, it is not an obstacle to be ridden up but something to be ridden over. The Steyning Bostal starts as you turn off Clays Hill and onto Bostal Road in Steyning. You’d all agree. But where does it finish? For me, the end of the climb is at the bottom of Titch Hill, Sompting.

We rode up together and my intention was just to make it without too much effort. It is always a struggle and I watched my younger companions pull away enjoying the 10 plus kilos that they had over me. Slowly I pull up towards them and at the top I was only a few bike lengths behind.

The final uphill though is not the hardest bit. The toughest part of the whole deal is as you round the corner and start the flat section. Always hard today it was going to be a killer straight into a gale. As I get near the top the climbing pain eases but the mental torement begins as I prepare for the flat. As far as I am concerned hills are not to be ridden up but ridden over, the riding over is what hurts the most. As long as I have been riding hills my mind drifts of into a racing dreamland where I try to drop whoever I am with (usually no ones as I ride alone so much). Today, Barney chuffed with his ride stopped. Who stops on a climb? In my final preparation for the hard bit, the bit that hurts, I had my head down, dribbling over the bars goading my legs and lungs into the final effort of the slow acceleration over the hill and down the road. I all but ran into the back of him. At 5 or 6 miles an hour looking ahead is not a high priority. I was probably weaving a bit too.

I was determined not to be beaten by the wind and ground the cranks slowly keeping as low as possible, the drops just didn’t seem low enough. The downhill just never seemed to arrive and even as it got to its steepest I still needed to pedal. The warm air is nice but it was tough having it blow so hard. This effort was draining but the hill isn’t over until the short sharp climb up the the school. I accelerated passed the school and that was it. The Bostal climb was over. What were you doing admiring the view, Barney? And how long did I have to wait for them? (I’m going to regret this comment, the Blog is getting me into trouble again.)

I had some new stuff in test: Zipvit energy products and my new shoes: Northwave Typhoon SBS. First comment about the Zipvit drink and gel, not too sweet. The gel was good but a bit too much and unlike a Pro I am not going to chuck an half used sachet onto the road. The protein recovery bar has worked and I am not writing this desperate for food. To be fair, electrolye drink, gels and protein bars are a bit over the top for a 37 mile ride.

The shoes? Amazing, so comfortable and light. You’ll read more about these over the next few months. They are awesome!

For the route, click here. Just so good to be road riding again!

Northwave Typhoon Evo
Northwave Typhoon Evo

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