The “Hills For Days” Ride


Saturday, 3rd October 2009

92.08 miles, total climb 7,365.7ft, average speed 13.6mph

(99.59 miles total, including the ride to and from the station)


I’m not even sure where to start when talking about this ride.  I labelled it beforehand as the ‘Alan West Death Ride’ and in reality it kind of was.

Let’s see.  No cue sheet, well, kind of a cue sheet, but then a second cue sheet, and then a third, and then a fourth.  All subsequent ones handwritten on various bits of paper and thus lost.

What else, let’s think, oh yes, the never-ending climbing, getting lost a handful of times, missing trains (with the next one being three hours later), hunger like you’ve never experienced and... well, isn’t that enough?  Oh, almost forgot, how about the road that actually wasn’t.  Yep, GPS doesn’t prepare you for that.  I mean, it was a road at some point, probably fifty years ago.

Sounds awful right?  Well, in reality no.

The expected dreadful weather never came to pass, the scenery was wonderful and the four of us laughed pretty much the whole way round.

Despite the fun, this was another difficult ride, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  We even managed to get all four of us on a bus (bikes n’ all) back to New York which got us home two hours before the train would have.

Further, we met some amazing people on the ride, one of whom offered to drive us back up the six mile hill, two at a time, that we’d mistakenly flown down.  We declined the kind offer and cycled, groan, back up the hill.

This ride took my annual total miles ridden to over 2,000 which is somewhat of a milestone for me as I’ve never put in as many miles in a single year.  Riding with the likes of Andy, Alan and Abraham has helped me up my game so nice one to them all.

As the season draws to a close, it’s rides like this which will have me excited to start again next year.

Next up - The Philly with the boys ride.