Friday, 30 July 2010

Climbing in the middle ring

Although I was night riding since my trek was at work I was able to ride in on kiwi and not have to struggle on a mountain bike. Amazingly enough I flew in breaking 16mph for my commute for the first time ever. I didn't even think I was working that hard, I think the lack of traffic helped a lot!

Anyway its been a couple of weeks since I last rode with Chris and I think I had forgotten quite how fast he is uphill. Well last night gave me a reminder. This time I took the geared bike and we met up at Cookson Cycles just as it shut. Initially he tried to get me lost as we round our way round Bury and out onto Owl Betts Road. It didn't work as most of the time I could see the Windmills on Scout Road and Winter Hill so I was sure I could get home. Every hill involved me going backwards while Chris flew up them, not before reminding me not to use granny ring - I thought that is what it is there for? Up onto Scout Moor and down a descent that was new to me, but great fun. Still only climbing in middle ring, but it was really hurting. A look through my bag and I found a cereal bar. Up over onto Holcombe Moor and I gave in, granny ring was needed, by me anyway! Up here we saw loads of other riders. Over towards the Strawbury Duck and some exploring of trails gave me some more stuff to add into rides. As we were heading over Turton Golf Course Chris asked what hill we could see, when I said Winter Hill he jokingly asked if we were heading up there. It started me thinking, by this point I was already really struggling....but it would be a good challenge, we could climb up the Belmont Descent maybe.... Well next thing I know and that is where I have us, Chris disappeared like the mountain goat he is while I plodded up in granny. By this point I was struggling to hold a line and realised I should have eaten a lot more! But keep going I did. At the top we still could only see one red light as the mast was completely in the cloud. Chris fed me some Shot Bloks which I think got me home! We went home the way I normally climb as I didn't want to have to think and I certainly didn't want to have to lift my bike over another gate.

Once again he killed me and once again it was a great ride. Bringing lights meant we could stay out longer as well. No photos as I forgot the camera.

73.85km 1247m ascent


  1. i take it your not using granny in order to get fitter faster?
    keep me updtaed though, if it works i might have to start trying dif tactics to hills than my usual sat down granny spinning....


  2. I think the idea is you get stronger. He just told me I didn't need it. hurt though!

  3. sounds like a brilliant work out. can you do those climbs on your ss?

  4. I banned myself from using granny around Riv/Darwen (i.e. local) riding about two years ago with one or two exceptions (one fairly direct route up to Darwen Tower being one of them) and whilst it makes things harder and builds strength I'm not entirely sure it is always actually "faster" and it didn't make the transition to SS at all easy either (32:20 atm) though I have realised I am quite a spinner really.

    On the Trossachs Ton I caned it past people on the Crow Road climb who were in a signifcantly higher gear than me when I was on my roadie triple granny, I was turning my pedals over a hell of a lot faster though as I blew past them.

    The granny ring is essential equipment in the Lakes, slightly less so in the Dales and Calderdale but I'm generally happy to have it when there.

    (Yes I know it is very late/early, at my mum's and can't sleep, probably due to picking up my Nana from hospital and having to come to terms with the fact she is in fact old....)

  5. Some of them I haven't tried Kate, but some of them I know I can't clear ss!

    I had to give in Julbags and use it eventually...I was tired and sore!

  6. I seem to drop into granny a bit too often these days, stuff I can get up no probs on SS i spin up in 22x32 on geared bikes. Probably comes from riding FS and road where sit and spin is the name of the game. Dunno whether this is a good or a bad thing.