Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Hilly Billy


Write up and quick vid to follow

Well the last day of our long weekend has arrived so before we have to go to work again (boooo hissss) we thought we'd make the most of it and do some more hills. The day had begun a little overcast and I was in the City centre visiting solicitors, Wagamama and of course Evans. Rang Mr Pete up to say I could kick off 1.30ish but I did have to ask permission from the missus first as I have been doing lots and lots without her and she was feeling left out a bit.

Earlier on in the morning my legs were tired and weary but after a big fat lunch they perked up again. Wasn't too sure how my matey would get on though because he usually sprints the first road to the roundabout as a warmup but not today. He led as usual to set the pace, again a little slower than normal but we did have some big climbs so maybe he was saving himself. I daren't ask!!! Headwind, was usual to Shaw but once on Huddersfield road (9-10miles) on the first big long climb we couldn't feel it as it is well sheltered until you hit the top. Nice and easy through Denshaw and Delph getting ready for big climb. We hit Holmfirth road and just kept on Petes rear wheel. If I saw a cyclist ahead or one behind catching up it would have been a different story, no point in zooming ahead as I did this earlier in the week as there'd be no point pete coming. I'd save that til later. Descended into Holmfirth. I dont mind this one as you can see miles ahead and theres only one tricky bend so kept up quite well without touching brake too much. Stopped at the foot of the next big climb up to Holme Moss for a cig break ( see piccy) banana and chat then I was in unchartered waters. He had done it before years ago. No 2 minutes head start this time I just zoomed off and said Id meet him at the top. It was harder than I thought and got harder towards the top. I kept trying to put some good efforts in and gain some momentum and speed like I do on the previous hill but my legs wouldn't have any of it due to the gradient so had to be content with big, long power strokes to get me to the top. Seemed like a long version of Blackstone edge's hill.

{Pete and I previously discussed how I get up hills so easily like hand position and leg speed and technique. I am a great believer in adapting style to suit the 'surroundings' and it took a lot of experimentation to find a method that suited my massive legs(arse, I needed a way to use the buttock muscles as I can leg press over 250kg). In fact it was a technique I developed from using the spinning machines at the gym as the resistance can be increased massively until you can barely pedal. I tend to use my gluteal muscles which channel the power through the leg bones and knees and not my thigh muscles or calves. If I do it right my legs rarely get fatigued. I incorporate a slight rocking motion (left-right some people say it is bad pracrtise but vital to my technique or other leg mucsle groups will come into play.) Also I pull on the handlebars and sometime go into a slight aero position. Hill climbing is all about rhythm and my technique is no different. Sudden changes in gradient can upset my climbing. I also never stand up whilst climbing unless it is extremely steep. I have no idea of the ideal way to climb I just found a method that suits me. I just need to find a setup that uses my thighs and calves efficiently for the flats and descents. If I pedal too fast my muscles really tense up and if it continues can lead to cramp very quickly.....any ideas?}

Back on topic... Got to the top and had a good sleep until Pete arrived and woke me up :) He looked quite fresh at the top actually, must have been taking it easy. Took a few photos and a short video and went down the other side. OMG it was scary as hell. I must have had my brakes on all the way down. I must check my brake pad wear before I ride out next. Woodhead road seemed a bit dangerous with all the fast lorries but the traffic generally kept a good wide berth. I sprinted up the steep shortish hill just after the junction with Woolley lane where we then turned right at the lights. This killed me, i dont like having energy left over after rides so it was good fun. Quick stop at the BP garage for a milkshake and a very easy pootle home.

Another 60 miles clocked up. Done quite a lot this week and last. Next ride will probably be on sunday as Im working lates the next 4 days. Then I fly to Vegas for 2 weeks so no cycling :( Next ride will be to work 2moz as my car is in the garage and it is fixed so they are swapping it back witht he hire car. Last time I rode to work was 3 months ago when I had my accident. Wifey said Im not allowed to ride on my own since then but has got used to the idea again. So will post how that goes. Vanquish's time for a run out me thinks.

1 comment:

  1. I can still remember pulling a heavy bob trailer over that hill. It felt like I was climbing forever.

    I got to the top and just sat in the middle of an empty car park making a cup of tea.