Monday, 13 April 2009
Hell of North Dean
This ride was originally named the Chill Ton, the strangled pun describing a ride of 100 miles in the Chilterns. Since the ride was grey and damp, coincided with the Paris-Roubaix and I live in a village called North Dean it got re-named despite us coming no closer to pavé than the smoothly cobbled high street in Tring.
A core group of Team Southern VCM (Phil, Gareth and me) rode out into the mizzle (yes, it is a word, Gareth) with Singular riders Sam and Steve, meeting up with Lisa later on for the tough bits. The only goals being to ride 100 miles, keep to quiet roads and have fun in the knowledge that this was pretty far from hell.
The route starts off with a few spiky climbs before heading off onto the Aylesbury vale and then into Oxfordshire for some rolling respite, before the final third re-enters the Chilterns, saving the harder climbs until the end (naturally).
Now, I have a reputation for being mildly obsessed with the Red Kites that live in abundance here, but we were all in for a treat as one in particular apparently put on a show for us; it turned at little more than head-height before swooping to snatch a mouse or vole from the field beside us, keeping pace as we chain-ganged past.
Degrees of brokenness were achieved, the finest in bacon and muffin cakes (a cake and a muffin? Oh yes) were consumed along with almost everything else edible in the house, gently fizzing legs and that deep-down satisfied feeling of having ridden enough to fill the head with happy drugs. All were agreed that we'll do this again and soon. Maybe with sunshine too.
Here's the route which ended up at nearly 105 miles and over 4000ft of climbing. Foof.