Ode to my roads

Posted: February 26, 2011 by drchrispower in Cycling, Training, Uncategorized

As I was out on my bike today, getting in a gentle couple of hours at the end of a rest week, I got to thinking about where I was riding, and how lucky I was to have such amazing roads on my doorstep.

Let me explain. Team Has Bean are divided, cut up, diced-and-sliced in several ways. Two of us are a bit older, two a bit younger. Two are English, two are Australian. Three of the team live in the South, and one grew up in the South and now lives in the North. I’m that last guy – I grew up in Sussex, in the shadow of the South Downs, and now I live and work in Sheffield, a city that for many conjures up images of factories and grim streets, but is far and away the best place I’ve ever lived.

I’ve got nothing against the South as a place to ride. If you know where to go, thereStrines 1 are some cracking places, quiet roads, and challenging terrain (I still remember being sick whilst climbing Ditchling Beacon on my bike as a kid!). But I’ve got to be honest, I wouldn’t swap it for what I have close to hand now, 5 minutes ride from my house I pass the distinctive upturned millstone sign that marks the gateway to Britain’s first National Park: The Peak District.

Strines 2Where I was riding today, and often ride, is a quiet little corner of the Peak, due West of Sheffield, known as Strines Moor. It’s a cracking little area, full of varying countryside, beautiful views and, importantly for a cyclist, loads of varied and challenging climbs. There are so many in fact, that my club, Sheffrec CC, hold an annual ride known as the ‘Tour of Strines’, that covers about 55 miles, gets in over 8000ft of climbing, and never strays more than about 10 miles from the start point!

Today was a particularly lovely day out on the Strines. It was a bit chilly, but thereStrines 3 was a low sun picking out the folds in the landscape, glinting off the reservoirs that feed into Sheffield and somewhat compensating for the vicious headwind. My legs were feeling good, which was a relief after a bit of a grim day out the previous Sunday on the Team Has Bean training weekend (a blog on this is coming soon, fingers crossed). All-in-all, it was a great day to be out on a bike.

With 5 weeks to go until Team Has Bean take on the Ronde van Vlaanderen, I’m going to be out on the wonderful roads of Strines a fair bit. And I’ll enjoy every moment.

Strines 4

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