Having been inspired by watching the ‘young guns’ riding up the Devonshire hills I decided it was time for me to have crack at them.
The first ride was to trace the route of the ride into Honiton on their way to Teignmouth. I set off across country on a route plotted on GPS software with no real knowledge of the profile. Just based on roads going where I wanted and avoiding major roads.
My route was to leave Rockbeare and head for Cullompton and then towards Honiton up a long hill that got progressively steeper. I don’t know what hill is called but the road is A373. I rode it at the end of last year and struggled quite a bit. That time, not knowing the road I stopped at a road junction for a breather as I had no idea how much further there was to go. I had run out of gears and needed a drink. On restarting and turning a bend in the road I found I was only about 200 metres from the top! This time I was prepared and also hopefully a little fitter. There are several ups and downs on the road from Cullompton as is the nature of roads in Devon. The actual ascent of the final stretch starts quite easily and gradually winds up. I would guess the climb is about a couple of miles in total. This time I managed it non-stop and still had a sprocket not used on the back.
The run down into Honiton was a breathtaking descent. I hit about 70kph at one stage and even had to apply my brakes as I had caught up with a van that had passed me just before I got to the top of the climb. I think the driver was a little surprised to see me in his mirrors and put his foot down a bit more.
After leaving Honiton I made my way across country and back to my base In Rockbeare. It turned out to be quite a hilly route but very picturesque as I avoided all the major roads and stuck to back lanes, which in Devon means steep and very narrow.
Not a great distance but hard work and very satisfying.