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Cobbles and Climbs – Swiss Hill

Swiss Hill/Blaze Hill Loop on Strava

"STOP, just stop". "This hurts and you won't make it to the top anyway". "I don't have the right setup for this, this just isn't going to end well". These are all common thoughts that pass through your mind when emptying yourself on a really tough climb. You just don't expect it to be only 30 seconds into the ascent! That was Swiss Hill, number 71. 1387

Crashing through the potholes of Oxfordshire – The Chiltern Hills #23 & #24

Having chalked off a good few of the 100 UK climbs in Simon Warren's book, it's now getting harder and harder to find opportunities to climbs the remain ones.  Previously I did so opportunistically, taking my bike with me while working in various parts of the country and knocking off two, three or four at a time in a well planned route.  However the remaining hills are now singles or farther away.  Or just in places I don't tend to visit.  The exception being numbers 23 and 24 in the Chiltern Hills, these are less than a two hour drive from home and perfect for a day trip ride. 1369

Cold and Icy – No Excuses

For anyone not in the know, that title might be seen as me advocating manning up and braving the weather etc. But no, that's all been said before, many times by many riders and until I get the chance to ride across the Mongolian plains I really won't truly understand tough conditions. 1341

Single chainring on a road bike? Ah, go on then! – SRAM Force 1x Chainring

Road SRAM 1x Fitted

It has been several years since I reconfigured my mountain bike to run a single chainring and I haven't looked back since. Even running an old 9 speed rear setup alongside the single front, hasn't caused me any issues. So with the advent of SRAM proclaiming the greatness of 1x and now offering single ring conversion options for road bikes it's been something I've been considering for most of this year. September is my birthday month and so having received some birthday money I went ahead and bought myself a SRAM Force 42T X-sync chainring to fit to my existing crank. 1300

New Tyre – Hutchinson Sector Tubeless 700x28c

Hutchinson Sector 28 Tyre

Even the most frugal rider who resists the urge to upgrade, will still eventually have to spend some money on his or her bike. Things do wear out after all and one of those things that wear of course is your tyres. Much like on a car, it's a gradual process that you don't see happening, a process that can creep up on you unexpectedly. Unlike car tyres though, there's no legal tread limit for bicycles, so forgetting to keep on top of things won't be bringing you a nasty fine any time soon. I for one am happy about this as my departing rear tyre would have been well beyond it's limit, with fabric casing showing through the bald

Riding the highest surfaced road in Britain

For a hill loving, road cyclist these are the ultimate aims. To ride the highest road, to climb the longest climb, to achieve your maximum elevation gain, to test yourself on the steepest of gradients. It's the love of pushing yourself, of achieving the next level of difficulty that drives us on. Well the road that winds it's way up to the top of Great Dun Fell offers all of this and gives us an excellent surface, almost entirely free of cars on top. 1232

A day on the road bike in the Yorkshire Dales

Yorkshire Dales Cycling

One of the advantages of trying to climb as many of the 100 UK Climbs as possible is that you end up riding in many different parts of the UK. The Yorkshire Dales is somewhere that I might choose to ride in any case but my 'hunt for climbs' partly dictated my route on this occasion. Having already climbed Buttertubs Pass and Lamps Moss, this route focused on Tan Hill, Oxnop Scar and The Stang. Turning this into the first day of a two day trip I managed to convince two mates to come along for the ride. 1181

A few Scottish miles, Part 3 – Glasgow & Edinburgh

Bridge over the Clyde

It was a whole week that I spent working in Scotland and so to maintain my fitness for the Tour of Cambridgeshire I had decided to get in as much cycling as possible.  Ahead of time I had expected it to be more but I think I'd forgotten about the time that would be needed travelling between places at the end of the day; Aberdeen to St Andrews and St Andrews to Glasgow are decent length drives in the evening after work!  Fortunately being May there had been plenty of early morning/evening light and so I was able to get a good few efforts in.  Including an evening in Glasgow and a morning in Edinburgh. 1184

A few Scottish miles, Part 2 – St Andrews

St Andrews Cathedral Ruins

It's been a long time since my Part 1 post, but I'm of the opinion that it doesn't make this any less relevant or readable, so part 2 is here and it describes my early morning ride from St Andrews Premier Inn on the Tuesday morning of my week working up in Scotland.  Monday up in Aberdeen didn't lend itself to getting out on the bike, so after Sunday's ride up and over the Mennock Pass, Tuesday morning saw me taking to the relatively flat roads of Fife.  1166

A few Scottish miles, Part 1 – Mennock Pass

Any work trip up north has it's positive side, in that I can pack my bike and get some northern miles in during the evenings (and sometimes pre-breakfast too). So a tour of Scotland doing exhibitions from Aberdeen down to Edinburgh meant the bike just had to come too! 1147

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