Due to my unwillingness to start a ride in the rain I have missed two biking opportunities, Saturday and Sunday. Both of these days actually turned out to be not too bad by lunchtime.. but too late for me.
Today was a fine opportunity for me. It was a national holiday today, August Bank Holiday. This will explain the pun in the title to any non-Brits to whom our holiday system must appear a mystery. Bank Holidays here are famous for bad weather to deny those who work and to whom these days are highly valued the pleasure from them they desire. The forecast for today though was good, no rain being the important thing. It was very dull and dismal still at 8:30am, my start time but I had put it off too long, I had to go.
I put a tough course in my Garmin. I was going to ride the Brickhills Challenge Sportive route. It takes in all the major climbs around the Brickhill area south of Milton Keynes and down as far as Leighton Buzzard. The actual route is about 52 miles with lots of stiff climbs but first I had to get there. It was around a twelve mile ride to get to Woburn Sands to join the route and then the same back afterwards.
The route duly entered in the Garmin I set off. The route didn’t appear to be functioning as it should so after about 3 miles I stopped to try and sort it out. This finally involved turning it off completely and starting it up again. Eventually the route came up and I started to navigate it succesfully and all appeared well.
It appeared that way until after about a third of the ride and having climbed three of the hills, one of which was a ‘biggie’. A climb of about half a mile but its like a wall. It was the climb up Church Road up from the little village of Bow Brickhill. It is definitely a small chain ring and biggest sprocket you have got at the back type of hill. Mostly a gradient of over 10% and some stretches even steeper, I was too busy checking the road a few feet in front of me, nose to the front wheel to bother to look to see what the actual gradient was.
It was after this climb as I cruised across the top past Woburn Golf Club that I went through the various screens on the Garmin and saw I only appeared to have done around 3 miles!! I pressed the timer button and instead of saying ‘Timer Stopped’ it said ‘Timer Started’! I was more than annoyed to say the least. I had just done 3 tough climbs and about 20 miles of unrecorded cycling. Ordinarily it wouldn’t have bothered me too much but this was to be some kind of landmark ride for me. I had omitted to start the timer again after I restarted..
At least I did the ride and its under my belt so so to speak but it would have been good to have documentary proof. It just means I have to do it again sometime to get the record straight. I did manage to edit the ride time and total distance on the Garmin Connect program however but the all the climbs aren’t there. It would have been nearer to 3500 feet of climbing I think.
This is the ride as it appeared on my Garmin and you can click the image for the stats. The dead straight line heading south is the unrecorded part of the ride it should have looked just like second diagram
And this is the ride as it was planned with the missing sections showing.
You will see the various loops emanating from the central area these are designed to take in most of the climbs of any note in the area. Its a good ride to do so I wont really mind doing it again and properly but I’ll maybe give it a week or too!
The other exciting thing to happen today was when I was almost home the bike developed a mystery rattle. It took me a while to figure out what the problem was but it came to light when the saddle moved underneath me. The two bolts that hold the saddle level had come loose and they were rattling. I was about a mile from home by this time but I stopped and tightened them up by hand just to get me home. It wasn’t worth getting my tools out so near to home. I guess its a testament to the state of British roads with all the rough areas and potholes to be found or rather avoided as much as possible to avoid the vibrations, bumps and general shaking up.