August has been my most productive month with just over 700 miles under my belt. This included a trip to visit family in Yorkshire. I planned to take my road bike so worked out two routes beforehand. One 50 mile ride with 4,000 ft of elevation and another 70 mile route.
I was not disappointed. I set off early on the first ride and straight away had a two mile climb - my in-laws live in the bottom of a valley - and then rolling hills for the next few hours.
I couldn’t wait to try out the 70 mile loop. I knew it was going to be tough as adding on the extra 20 miles meant there was another 2,000 ft of elevation.
The hills were going to hurt.
Sure enough, not long into the extra 20 mile section I got to the bottom of a valley and was confronted with a sign; '20% gradient'. 'Malham Cove back breaker to cattle grid' (the name of the Strava section) is a third cat. climb that's over a mile-and-half long and hits over 28% in Malham Cove.
I managed to make it and only stopped once to take a photo half way up. Once at the top the view was breathtaking!
These two rides have been the best I’ve experienced in my short time since being back on a bike. And that's despite almost having to swim the last five miles on the 70 mile ride after being hit by rain of biblical proportions.
I was back to my home turf this previous weekend and completed my first 100 mile ride in under six hours. I wasn’t planning on doing 100 miles, I just wanted to recce the route of the Punchuer sportive (I’ve entered the event in October) and see if I could finish inside the gold time of under four hours. I managed it in 3 hours 44 mins.
It starts in Ditchling, around 10 miles from where I live, and finishes at the top of Ditchling Beacon: 62 miles with 4,035ft of climbing. By the time I had got back to Brighton I had done just over 80 miles and I thought I may as well go along the coast for another 10 miles before heading home to round the day off.
This time last year if someone had said I would doing rides of up to 100miles I would have laughed.
I’ve managed to fit in a bit of time off too, enjoying my first week off the road bike since I got back into cycling last October with a week camping in Dorset with the family. We took our mountain bikes but I only managed a couple of very short rides as there were too many holiday activities to do. Was a shame as there is some lovely countryside in that part of the country, perfect for cycling.
My total mileage for the year now is 4,300 and have managed to raise £1,350. I'm pretty confident I can reach my target of £2,000 by the end of the year and hope to hit 5,000 miles by the middle to end of October.
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