Wales: Hills & Stuff
So we went down to visit Wife’s Sister & family in Wales for the weekend - it was Brother-In-Law’s 40th birthday the week before, so it was an opportunity for some good food and good wine with some very acceptable company.
I wasn’t going to take my bike. I mean, I had suggested that it might be nice, but Wife had said that seeing as we were only going to be there for a few days, to spend most of the daylight hours out getting sweaty & tired, and then falling asleep in my soup by nine was a little antisocial.
But then Wife’s Father phoned. It turned out that one of the people they used to employ had just moved into a house opposite Brother & Sister In Law’s place . . . and she was interested in going cycling with me, having spent the winter in her garage on a turbo trainer, and being a little nervous of going out on the roads alone. So, shucks, I just had to take a bike along for the trip.
I opted for my possessed Giant SCR Ltd, Christine, as:
- I’d be riding in Pembrokeshire, which is pretty damned hilly. Nothing terribly high, just lots of little bumps, which were still steep enough and tall enough to make riding Trixie The Fixie just plain suicidal
- I’d be carrying the bike on a rear mounting carrier on the car. If I’d loaded my sturdy commuting bike, Wilf, into that position, it’s highly likely we’d have never even left home, as the weight would have lifted the car’s front wheels off the road.
- And besides, 300 miles south, spring just had to be springing. Time to start acting like a roadie.
Well, we failed to hook up properly on Saturday, so I headed out exploring by myself, and found that despite my ‘fitness’, I’m just not too accustomed to hills. No, I didn’t slow down much, but it really took it out of me. Especially the last climb, where I took a quiet road off the main road, and made a mistake, going up the steep way. The really steep way. I wanted to get off and push, but I also knew that there were a couple of houses at the top, and just couldn’t face the prospect of walking past anyone who might be looking out of their window.
That last 100 yards or so was really, really tough. Pride’s a tough mistress . . .
Oh, one other thing - the scenery was so beautiful that I forgot to drink enough while I was out, and didn’t top up enough afterwards. The result - I was asleep my ten that night. Wife managed not to say “I told you so”, which I guess is a sign of true love.
- Type: Cycle
- Date: 04/12/2008
- Total Time: 1:33:00.00
- Distance: 25 miles
- Average Speed: 16.13 mph
- Ascent: 2,600 ft
- Descent: 2,600 ft