Last night, I breezily labelled the Malvern Hills a somewhat demeaning “small but perfectly formed“. This morning in about 40 knots of ridge wind, they proved beyond doubt that any future description must include “steep, long and hard”
The day didn’t start well – but what day does at 7am? – with a frantic search for firstly the car keys, and then a black dog in a dark field, followed right up with the navigational challenge that is Ledbury Town Centre. Currently the water board are digging most of it up, seemingly so they can skewer every other major utility in grappling distance of their heavy plant.
This results in a diversion through someone’s front garden and over a hedge. Not difficult in the truck but time consuming never the less. My raffishly late arrival was made later still by a game of chicken with a pheasant. This isn’t the first time this has happened, but I had to feel especially sorry for the poor bugger since it’d just survived the shooting season.
I like to think it was striding purposely to meet its fellow survivors when I had to swerve several times to hit it. Not that the bumper delivered a killing blow, no that was left to some fast work with an SPD shoe and some tactical looking in the opposite direction. The whole ride that bloody shoe wouldn’t clip into the pedal properly – I think it still had a bit of bird brain stuck to it.
Still 750m of climbing, 18k’s, 1hr30 riding, 10 minutes comedy Body English in an attempt not to be launched into space off the big hills, and a bitingly cold wind which, of course, ensured I received a puncture.
That’ll teach me to be rude about the hills.