23 January 2012

A 100 km pootle into the Chilterns

We really need to put some winter miles in. Not only do we have our first audax of the year next week, but also need to get fitter for the Camino.

Lucy's been slightly ill this week, but somehow I managed to convince her at 7:00 am that maybe an easy ride would help. With temperatures rising over 10 degrees, sunny spells and no rain forecasted...she could not say no. It really worked, and by 9:30 am we were pedalling out of Potters Bar, this time heading West. We normally do loops towards the north and even east of Potters Bar, but never been West yet. We've heard many good things about that corner of the UK, so I thought it would be worth trying. The loop I came up with last night looked like this:

The first bits were familiar to us, passing through a few posh (or should I say "smart") residential areas. As we were heading West we noticed the lumpiness of the area. All very nice and green English countryside, cute villages and farmlands.

Again, a lovely sunny day in January
The roads until past Aldbury were incredibly nice and seemed to be a part of the Chilterns cycleway. Maybe something we can do in the summer months as it's a pretty long route at 170 miles? Maybe an audax DIY300 (Lucy's looking at me as if was crazy). Also, we saw an incredible amount of cyclists today, probably more than 100 I would say. They kept coming past us all the time, literally. The first time we've seen more cyclists than cars! It must be a popular area for Sunday club runs I reckon...

Lucy tackles the descent into Aldbury
Then we hit Chesham. That town is truly horrible, and we got stuck in Sunday traffic as we were going through it. The ride after that was very smooth and back on mostly quiet country lanes, we even enjoyed a tailwind pretty much all the way back. We were averaging more than 30 km/h in this section, until Lucy's legs could not cope more. It was the first long-ish ride of the year and her body was feeling it. A few more crossings of the M1, M25 and A1 brought as back to Potters Bar in time to merge with the Arsenal supporters on their way to Finsbury Park.

Back in Hertfordshire, near Potters Bar, dealing with the last hills
All in all, a very pleasant ride, especially the bits in the Chilterns. The analysis says 3300 feet climb, alyhough we can hardly believe it as it was quite flat. We averaged 22.5 km/h and rode for 108 km during 4h and 40 min approx. I topped 51.3 km/h this time.

Fingers crossed for more winter days like these!

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