As planned, I’ve started to “enhance” my morning road rides by re-fitting the knobbly cyclocross tyres to the Uncle John. I’ve been getting used to the low rolling resistance and ability to accelerate hard with the Michelin race tyres I’ve been using since the spring so the Maxxis Locusts I’ve now fitted make it feel like the anchor’s been dropped. It must have been getting too easy.
Anyway, I’m doing the same 8 mile climb as usual, sometimes in a lower gear but then when I get up to Ramsbottom it gets much more interesting. Up the road towards Holcombe Brook, then double back onto the cobbles (ouch) then up the bridleway that skirts around the bottom of Holcombe Hill. Shoulder the bike, over the stile, and then run straight up the rutted, rocky track to the summit. Over the top stile and then descend the main bridleway down to the road.
This is more like it! I’m glad I got those cycling shoes with studs in the toes off Ebay the other day as they certainly helped on the steep run up the hill. Descending off road on this thing will take some getting used to, mind. I guess I’ll get faster over the next few weeks as my confidence improves. Either that or I’ll start to close my eyes and pray.