Cycling Myth#7 – There are no proper hills in the Chilterns

Stonor climb, originally uploaded by Alex Leigh.

Depending on your definition of a ‘proper hill‘. While I accept there are no sky reaching remnants of violent glacial or tectonic plate action, the soft southern Chilts do still offer many dishes of ‘short and steep‘ with a side order of ‘pain and suffering

Here’s one of them. Last of five nadgery climbs on a tiring loop and it’s a little monster. Steep enough to inscribe the front of your saddle onto low hanging wedding tackle and long enough to make you wonder if a third lung is a possible body upgrade. 379 vertical feet in 1.1 traction searching miles.

Weight over the front to stop it flipping skywards, hamstrings shortening by the second, shards of flint and rock to whip away hard fought grip, and a false summit hiding behind a steep corner.

Last weekend, I was able to withdraw ‘wrong tyres‘ from the excuse bank, but Sunday with fatter tyres, clever suspension and an insertion of bloody mindedness in lieu of fitness, I dragged myself up there.

Had to have a lie down at the top. And some medical assistance. And a few beers to dull the pain afterwards. Problem is I’d sort of given up ever conquering the summit again but now I’m committed to trying it every time.

Time for some quick deposits in the excuse bank I think.

Blatent Plug: Oh and if you are in the market for some digital mapping with GPS magic, I can recommend tracklogs and not only because it’s run by friends of mine 🙂

One thought on “Cycling Myth#7 – There are no proper hills in the Chilterns

  1. Mark Sweatman

    Al,

    You’ve highlighted the footpath not the bridlepath there… think the bridlepath is trickier…

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