I wanted to get out today, whilst the weather is good. Previously I’d put off going out on the Sundays I work, because… ah… yeah… I was quite frankly being lazy. Going spinning has helped, as I’ve said before, and I’m at that point I have so much energy that sometimes I don’t know what to do with myself. This usually means I get irritable, and probably the best description: arsy (or arsey, or assy)!!!
So, I’d had it in my mind since yesterday, that the bike needs riding. I finished work by half 9, and finally persuaded my Dad to come out for a ride. He invariably suggests the Ashbury Loop. Now I don”t actually mind going up Ashbury hill, even though I find it a long, long way from easy. What I don’t like is the top road, the B4507 from Kingston Lisle crossroads, to Ashbury crossroads. It’s steep ups and downs, coupled with hairpin corners, is not an ideal stretch to warm my legs up. Alright, I’m just being picky, but there is ALWAYS a strong headwind along there, and today it really had my legs burning. And had me doing a credible impression of a steam engine.
I let Dad decide at the crossroads in Ashbury which way he wanted to go. He said up the hill, so we went up the hill. He’s 70 and riding steady away, if not slowly. I keep going, surprisingly strongly, although very slowly in bottom gear. Coupled with that sneakily strong crosswind, it isn’t easy. But I do it a hell of a lot easier than back in the summer when I last tried.
It’s a road well known to both of us, and it’s wide and nicely surfaced until we get into Lambourn itself. We swing around past The Wheelwright Arms – one of my favourite watering holes, and turn onto the Wantage road. As we cross the bridge over the stream, I say rather wryly ‘It’s all uphill from here.’
This is demonstrated very well on MapMyRide – although the link won’t post on here currently, I may be able to screenshot it on my phone later. It doesn’t feel like uphill, until we pass Faringdon Place – where I work. Then it’s up onto the Faringdon Road (all still the same road – B4001). Our gallops run parallel to the road on the West side (or left as I’m heading). Nicky Henderson’s gallops are parallel on the East side. A nd it might look flat, but believe me, it”s not. Just ask Chris Snook (Madison Genesis last year).
Finally, a turn to the left at the top of Sparsholt Firs, and down the hill towards Sparsholt, then a left at the crossroads and back toward Kingston Lisle.
It’s not a hard route, but it made me feel better! And if anyone finds my appetite, send it back will you?!
Another thing to point out – no Garmin, no Strava. I don’t eat before I ride, and only take water with me. I do take enough to grab a coffee should I need it, but dad won’t do coffee rides…
Anyway, I feel a lot better. For everything. Who knows, I might take up running next. At least it’ll keep my over active mind from thinking of excuses to not do anything. I have 3 spin classes next week too.