Whiteleaf hill & overshoe virginity

Whiteleaf Hill, Chilterns, UK

I was going to ride with the Willesden CC clubrun today but left a bit late so headed to the last place I rode in the Chilterns – Longdown Hill, where I defended my club hill climb trophy a few weeks ago. On the way out I spotted McCarthy and shortly after Willesden’s own Mike the Bike, both heading into town.

Today I finally unwrapped the overshoes I’d bought during last year’s very cold winter. It was the first time I’ve ever used full overshoes, normally preferring toe-warmers. I have to say, I really like these Adidas Climaproof booties. I didn’t really think about them for the ride and didn’t notice my feet getting particularly cold or anything. So job well done. Of course, now it’ll be another one of those things where I go “why the hell didn’t you try these things sooner?!” Stubborn idiot, I am.

adidas climaproof

I’m having some sick ideas at the moment about attempting to break the club’s 24hr TT time trial record. It currently stands at 459.07 miles (19.13mph) or 738.80 kilometres (30.78kph) and was set by Simon Doughty in 1995. Meurig James broke all the other club records last year, including 272.367mi for the 12hr, 3:45.18 for 100 miles, a 51 minute 25mi and a 19 minute 10mi! I’m not sure if he didn’t attempt the 24hr or didn’t break it.

There’s usually only a single 24hr TT in a year so you only get one chance. In 2011 there’s going to be two, the usual Mersey Roads 24 (Rapha inc. video) in Cheshire and a southern one, the Sussex 24hr.

So, I was doing some testing to see roughly what power output I’d need for 32kph and was finding it to be quite high. I’m hoping that was just because I’m running a huge anti-p_nct_re Schwalbe 25 on the rear and I’ve not adjusted my PT from 700×23. As it stands, holding 260W for 24 hours is not going to happen. No way.

I lost interest in that, cycled out the A413 and through Great Missenden then up and down Longdown Hill, then over to Whiteleaf. I picked the wrong turn so missed the intro but there was a through road so I could join the climb again. It looked completely different to how I remember. Lots of red from fallen leaves and quite foggy.

Then a quick little drop to an unfamiliar crossroads, a phone/GPS consultation and I was on my way back through Gt. Miss. and back towards London. Of course, I’d taken off my mudguard so it was now raining.

Just east of Uxbridge there was a guy I’ve seen before, Tim, who asked if I had a pump. He had a slow leak. Unsurprisingly he was using the devil spawn tyres produced by Continental (boo hiss). I ended up escorting him the 15k back to Pitshanger Lane (hinting he should pay the Bike Whisperer a visit), stopping every couple of kay to reinflate his tyre. It was a pain but I should earn some serious karma points right?

Bit of a cold, soggy ending but a good ride with some new (to me) product testing done, some new terrain explored and some miles in the legs, which was the main aim after all.

4 thoughts on “Whiteleaf hill & overshoe virginity

  1. mist looks nice, but can’t imagine a cold ride would be too much fun! Although a bit of exertion should at least keep you warm :/

  2. Same. Best race I ever had it rained buckets, nearly hailed, I stacked 1/3 into the race and chased the rest by myself with a leg covered in blood. Loved it.

    Why don’t you check the long range weather forecasts and see which 24 will have to worse conditions?

    FWIW, my advice is to do the 24 and don’t worry about other people’s records. Treat it as an adventure. Treat it as an investigation. Tell your ego to shut up and just ride.

  3. My Todo list includes finding out which course is bumpier and what wind conditions are likely to be.

    I’m ONLY doing the 24 to try and break a record. I don’t actually want to ride for 24hrs.. although it will be interesting to see if I can.

    "Ego, is not a, dirty word.." 😛

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