A road ride for training.

The main difference between mountain bike riding and road riding is that the off road terrain constantly makes you change the amount of effort which you apply. Yes, a hill on the road will force you to up the power but off road the differences are more marked. It’s much rarer to be able to spin the pedals in a consistent way for any length of time and the steepest terrain requires 100% of your available energy. After 11 days without rain we had a wet day yesterday but, although cloudy, it’s dry again today. To save a clean up job after the ride and so that I could happily use my classic Whyte PRST4, which was ready to roll, I thought a road ride would be best. To make it more like an MTB ride I’d take a route with a significant climb and put a big effort in.

My garage just before the ride.

In Britain, whenever a year has a “1” in it, we have a census. With a classic Italian scooter, a choice of mountain bikes and now a boat in the garage I’m wondering if I should describe my occupation on the census form as “International Playboy”, what do you think? Apparently this is a popular choice on the form. Meanwhile, on the last census, nearly 1,000 people described their religion as “Heavy Metal”! Maybe I should just take it seriously.

The road undulates with one steeper climb as it rounds Healey Nab then, at the end of the Anglezarke reservoir, the big climb begins. It took me 8 minutes and 20 seconds and I made sure that kept it in a high enough gear to keep the power applied. It’s too easy to change down a gear to make it seem easier but you definitely lose speed if the pedals are spinning too quickly. When I looked at the app. Strava afterwards I found that it was my second fastest climb on this segment. Interestingly my fastest ever time was also achieved on the Whyte PRST4, proof that a lightweight, narrow tyred bike is faster on such terrain. After a long and steep downhill I used a private road which bikes are allowed to use. It runs alongside another reservoir and took me to a small car park. I wanted to look at access for my boat if I ever want to use it here but getting it on the water would be difficult. I’m not sure about the legality either.

I maintained some speed on the way home and enjoyed the ride on the whole. It definitely helps to make things more interesting on the roads to have at least a part of the ride where you put the work in and my big climb gave me this. The weather is likely to be stormy tomorrow so my plans for the next ride are uncertain.

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