I have been walking and occasionally running in the hills of the South Downs around New Alresford for a few years now. Our youngest son has music rehearsals every Saturday so have a couple of hours to kill. I kept putting off cycling, but the challenge of the hills became too great. The first challenge was to make sure that I could fit both my road bike and a euphonium in the boot of the ST. Luckily, this turned out not to be an issue although we were down to two seats.
The first major hill out of Itchen Stoke towards Abbotsone was the one I thought would cause me trouble, but turned out to be far easier than I expected. It’s a mile long, but actually not that steep for much of it’s length. That’s followed by a short descent and then some rolling ups and downs back towards Alresford. Then I crossed over the Basingstoke Road and headed for Bighton. Generally uphill here, but nothing too drastic. Through Bighton and heading for Gundleton was the hill I was dreading. It’s a short, steep, brutal hill that I know is painful even to walk up. Sure enough as I neared the top I was down in granny gear and had to get out of the saddle to avoid coming to a complete stop. But I made it and then headed down the hill to the climb through Gundleton. After my exertions this proved harder work than it should have done, but I was soon on the long descent to the B3047 and a gentle rolling pedal back to Alresford.
All in all a fairly slow, harder than it should have been, not that long ride. But I’m already looking forward to doing it again. I’ve got a time to beat now and few new ‘enemies’ to tame.