Distance: 19.2 miles
Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Today I received a letter telling me the names of the other participants in the cycling challenge in November. The idea is that we can all get in touch with each other and get to know people a bit before we arrive in Vietnam, and hopefully support each other in training and fundraising in the mean time.
I figured out I had better start really training for this challenge if I am going to ask others what they’re doing, and so got my bike out today for my first proper day of training.
I’ve done plenty of local rides before this but from now on I need to make sure I am cycling on a regular basis. I am going to aim for three times a week to begin with. I also had the idea of contributing £5 to my sponsorship total each time I skip a training session without genuine reason, though I am yet to decide whether this is as sensible as first thought. Hopefully I won’t need to.
The route I took today was an experimental one. I rode from the Avenues area of Hull to Cottingham, where I knew there was an access only road on the way to the bypass to Beverley. I had a feeling the road allowed walkers and cyclists to go on somewhere else however, and decided to make this my route.
I suspected the road would come out at Willerby, but was surprised to actually find myself in Skidby by the time the narrow path came out onto a main road. I don’t have a full knowledge of this area but can usually figure out the direction I need to be going in, if not which precise roads to take.
My heart dropped a bit (read: a lot) when I looked ahead and saw the size of the hill it would seem I had to tackle. I had struggled with my bike’s gears through Cottingham, being seemingly stuck in one particularly hard one (the numbers have long worn off), and was finding even slight inclines – the type cars wouldn’t notice – really difficult. Seeming like it was that way or further out though I set off, being glad that I had escaped the city and allowed traffic lights to give way to sunny countryside (tip: watch out for horses, they come out of nowhere!). The hill had hidden a road before I got to it, and opting to go left I found myself on a road I didn’t recognise.
Only about 0.75 miles along though it became clear it was heading back into Cottingham and so I turned back and found an incomplete tarmac path running parallel to the huge hill. It’s a good path that I’d recommend to cyclists as the terrain helps you up slightly and takes you out of the way of cars travelling at 60mph.
The rest of my ride consisted of choosing villages as I approached the roundabouts at the time. I cycled through Willerby, Kirk Ella and Anlaby before heading back into Hull.
I was pleased with the distance for my first ride, and though I’m not watching the length of time it takes competitively, I thought I had been out for longer than what it had been.
Overall it was a good ride, I just need to get my bike’s gears seen to before trying large hills again. There are some problems with owning a bike the same age as yourself and this seems to be the biggest. Hopefully they won’t cost much to fix or I’ll be out trying to match lycra shorts with vintage cream tyres and a wicker basket on my town bike!