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So, now its September!  Is this year going quickly or does it just seem that way?

My August cycling total was 635 miles, 135  miles more than my 500 mile target.  This month I have set a target of 1000 km (625 miles).  I am going to switch to doing my measurements in kilometres from now on as it’s the accepted cycling measurement now it seems.  All the races and other cycling events are measured in the metric system and it makes it easier for direct comparisons of speed and distance with what everyone else is doing in the cycling world.  My Garmin is easily switched from one system to the other.

Didnt do much more cycling in August after Tuesdays ride except a quick 12 mile ride just to check out my new saddle.  The previous one was causing me considerable pain on the left ‘cheek’ on a long ride and on Tuesdays ride I found out what it was.  The ‘gel’ padding between the frame and leather was flat on one side of the saddle.  I only noticed it when Cyril stopped to make a phone call and the light caught it just right for it to show and that was the side that was causing the pain.

On Friday I took myself on an exploratory trip to survey the hills in the ‘Brickhill Challenge’.  A sportive ride I am doing on October 10th.  It is designed to take in all the hills around the Brickhills area to the south of Milton Keynes.  Including the climb up from Bow Brickhill.  I wanted to check out how I would get up that on my road bike.  I have climbed it numerous times on a mountain bike but that has much lower gears than a road bike.  I got up it OK, not easily, but OK!  Much to my pleasant surprise.  It’s an average of 12% (one in eight) but parts are steeper than that and I am guessing it’s about half a mile of climbing.  There are three or four other quite big hills on the circuit and a lot of little ones.  I think there are about 18 climbs altogether. Its an 82km (51 miles) circuit and it is designed in such way as to encompass all these hills so there are four big loops out and back to near Little Brickhill passing there about 4 times in various directions.  It’s never more than 10 miles from ride HQ near the Open University.  It’s a good event for anybody locally that wants to watch grown men(and women) suffer!

So, back to my ride.  It was a proper autumn morning, starting with a mist and a dew on the grass.  All the cobwebs in the garden were visible as they were also covered in dew.  I rode the 12 miles out to Woburn Sands and then picked up the route from there.  As I rode across country I got odd whiff of a bonfire, another sign of autumn I think.

Heading first to Bow Brickhill and the climb up from there and over the top to Woburn Golf Club.  Then it was towards Little Brickhill and off left down to Woburn and round to Potsgrove and back to Woburn and back to Little Brickhill.  The route then took me towards Great Brickhill but veered off left down a steep, wooded and narrow lane and round to Drayton Parslow and back up to Great Brickhill.  After that I lost my way a bit and so I headed for home having missed out two or three bigger climbs but I already know of one of those and the rest I will take in on another ride.  I felt I had done enough for this trip.  I did 80km in total which coincidentally is the same distance as the actual event and a lot of climbing.  I enclose a map of the circuit as they say’ a picture is worth a thousand words’  Not sure who says it but I heard it somewhere…   As you can see, some careful planning went on to make sure no hill was left out !

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