Steep hills, flat hills and half hills

LeJog pedalling buddy Steve

LeJog pedalling buddy Steve

Steve my LeJog buddy has been away. I was away and we’ve both been ill. So we haven’t ridden together for a month.

Today we met at 9am for a foray into East Devon on our touring bikes loaded up with the kit needed for LeJog. The weather was overcast, 10mph of westerly wind and a temp of 9 degrees. We set off from Bridport and ascended a half hill at Symondsbury – 150 feet about 13%. Onwards along the Marshwood Vale and up Mutton Street to Marshwood. Mutton Street is a steep hill with a maximum grade of 17% and about a mile long. Following this was another steep hill in the middle of nowhere, around Thorncombe of 300 feet with a maximum grade of 14%.

Old Bat at Whitchurch Canonicorum

Old Bat at Whitchurch Canonicorum

Then followed a flat hill of 500 feet from Tatworth to the Red Post. A flat hill (according to Steve) is one where the rider doesn’t have to expend any more energy than riding in a big gear on the flat, if they are going up the hill in an appropriate gear. Many of Steve’s family and friends do not understand this classification and I must admit it has me beat too. To be fair although ascending for 500 feet, the grade was below 10%.

Next we had a long descent into Wambrook and then we went up Mounters Hill. If its called ‘Something Hill’ on a map you can generally assume it is a steep hill. This one did not disappoint – 400 feet with a maximum grade about 14%. The next 12 miles across the Axe valley just gently undulated with only one half hill of 124 feet – hardly worth mentioning.

We stopped at a garage for sandwiches at Musbury. Steve is on antibiotics and supposed to be ‘taking it easy’ so to keep the ride down to 50 miles we decided to go up a lane we had not ridden before. It had two of those nasty V signs on it but if it turned nasty at least we would know not to go there again – (said Steve). Mounthill Lane had 540 feet of ascent with a sustained grade of 16% for half of it and a max grade of 18.5%. We won’t be going there again. After that a flat hill gave us the 250 feet to reach Raymonds Hill. This is a place not a hill. The remaining 10 miles of the ride undulated back to Bridport – plenty of nice downhill and just four half hills.

It seems that any ride round here produces about 1,000 feet of ascent for every 10 miles ridden. Today we rode 44.4 miles with 4396 feet of ascent. We didn’t ride fast as we had a lot to talk about!

We dropped the bikes off into Mud, Sweat n Gears for the gears to be adjusted and a free safety check ready for the off on Friday. It’s coming round fast.

The Ride with GPS track is here.


2 thoughts on “Steep hills, flat hills and half hills

  1. Sharon

    Well done Barbara and Steve, that’s a helluva lot of climbing (especially with loaded panniers – what was in them by the way?) in a concentrated mileage! Good luck and all best wishes for the main event.

    1. Barbara

      You asked what is in the panniers:
      ,Big jacket,Socks,Gore shorts, undies, Mitts,Dark glasses,Thin leggings,Crocks
      Rohan trousers, Helly tops,Trekking shirt, PJs,Trekking towel,Light fleece,rab gilet,Dorset Flag,Box with lid and spork,Cash and cards, Passport and driving licence, Edge 800 & charger,Phone and charger,Kindle, Plane and train tickets Camera and charger and spare card Maps, Pen paper, pencil, Ear plugs and mask. park tool chain sections, pocket knife, spokes.Toiletries and meds. midge net……………………………………I could go on. (2 bars of Green and Blacks chocolate in mine for example)


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