Avoiding Pine Cones & Hill Climbs

Trials and tribulations of getting better at road cycling.

Road Cycling View
When I first started doing more cycling on the road, you’d normally find me in the hills. They were the roads I knew most and at the time were what I thought to be the most accessible. When the longer miles were a lot tougher for me, the promise of a good view would always keep me pedalling!
This weekend we returned to the hills, but not on a route I’d previously ridden.

Apparently up the ‘easy’ side of the hill we were climbing…it was a long way up! From what I can remember, there was one small section you could briefly recover before it turned into a long slog up again. I could tell I’d not ridden steep hills for a while!

Views in Wales
Following Ryan’s rear wheel, I was actually enjoying the route. It was just good to be out under the blue skies amongst everyone else enjoying the sunshine too. I kind of feel like Mother Nature knew the UK needed a weekend of good weather with everything that’s been going on lately.

Coming up to a junction in he completely wrong gear, riding up the hill around the corner was interesting to say the least. It was an ‘out of the saddle’ sprint just to get up it without having to stop…and I somehow managed it!

What goes up must come down, and approaching a descent Ryan told me I wouldn’t need my brakes, I was desperately trying not to reach for the brakes. Despite doing Downhill MtB for a few years, descending isn’t exactly a skill of mine yet. On closed roads free of potholes I’d probably be a little more confident, but the reality is obviously the opposite!

All the way down, all sorts was going through my head:

‘Don’t touch the brakes, just don’t touch the brakes’

‘Gah you just had to touch the brakes didn’t you’

‘Pine cones….yep definitely need to avoid those!’

I was glad to get off that road….

The ride was quite eventful in some ways to be honest. Riding along a country lane and a bird hunting for food swoops down from a tree above me. It was one of those surreal moments because it so rarely happens.

The time passed fairly swiftly just like the miles. I wasn’t expected the 24 miles my Garmin showed after I pressed the stop button!

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