The climbing challenge is all over – I completed it with 2 days to spare. With 2200 metres still to climb this morning, I decided to make the most of some fair weather and finish it off before the storms return. I decided to climb the final metres in the most efficient way possible – hill repeats of the steepest local hill.
As well as the few hills on the way there and a small bump on the return, I climbed Belmont Hill 17 times today. It typically took me about 10 minutes to climb and descend which means I spent 3 hours stuck on the same damn hill. It was strangely hypnotic, and like most routines it became easier when I let my brain run on auto-pilot and zoned out, just focussing on turning over the pedals. On Belmont Hill, the road is well maintained so pot-holes and gravel aren’t too much of an issue. And it isn’t a major road so the cars are generally going slowly and give plenty of room for cyclists.
However, as fond as I am of Belmont Hill, I won’t be climbing it for some time now. In fact, I plan to have a few days rest from cycling altogether and then generally avoid hills for a while and get back to enjoying cycling without such a focus on slow suffering.
And from the responses on Strava from today’s ride I think I may need to adopt a more ‘normal’ approach to riding before the men in white coats come knocking: