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Nov 29

HTRC Training Ride #8

The eighth HTRC training ride took place on Saturday 23rd November with some fine weather upon us. However we could have had all the sun we had hoped for, the effects of the previous night’s dinner (and alcohol consumption) took it’s toll on numbers with just the five turning out.

 

Check out the photos on our Flickr account

 

We had Mike McAllister, Will Thomas, Matthew Johnson and a new face in Simon Jack, as well as myself, Mark Walker.

My original plan was to head out to North Frodingham and return via Lockington and Beverley. With so few numbers and myself short of sleep, I was keen on doing a smaller ride. Matthew Johnson proved perky enough to request we take in a few hills on route so we balanced our lack of miles with much more climbing. So that’s what we did, and made it into a mini Liege-Bastogne-Liege, or rather Skidby-Brantingham-Skidby (not sure that name will catch on to be honest).

 

Brantingham Dale

Brantingham Dale, our local mini Monte Zoncolan

 

Our first climb was Woodgates Lane, which is about a mile long with a max gradient of around 8 per cent. Out of the blocks like a racehorse came Will and Matthew and it looked reminiscent to a man on man duel from behind. The pace proved too much though for Simon, who was having trouble with his gears, so he headed off early. We also lost Will who was perhaps feeling the aftereffects of his 9 pints (yes I said 9) from the previous night. I was amazed he could ride a bike after all that, let alone get up a brute like Woodgates so quickly. It was also his birthday so we let him off on this occasion.

So that left just the 3 of us, and we decided to proceed to the next climb on route, the slightly flatter Kidd Lane. But as Greg Lemond said ‘it never gets easier, you just go faster’ and so it proved, as Mike put pedal to the metal and sped up Kidd Lane. Me and Matthew just about hung on.

For those that don’t know, the top of Kidd Lane gives some great views out towards Howden and beyond. Without a seconds thought, Mike pulled over to take a picture, almost flooring Matthew in the process. Fortunately no crashes and despite encountering a scared couple of horses in Elloughton, we headed off to the next climb, Brantingham Dale.

I tend to associate Brantingham Dale as a mini Monte Zoncolan, as it starts out relatively easy then it just ramps up harder, harder, then a bit harder to around 12%. It’s a great climb to train on and it’s very picturesque this time of year with all the different colours on show on the trees. We had our usual grind to the top but Matthew was on fire. He wasn’t fading and seemed to get stronger as the climb went on. Certainly one to watch on the hills in the near future.

After the last of the brutal climbs was completed, we decided to cover the last half lap of the Little Weighton road race course in our usual through and off style. It’s a lot harder to make a mistake in terms of organisation when there’s just the three of you but at the same time there’s a lot more effort. However we still rode very smooth and efficiently and with hindsight we could have had a sprint for the line but the previous night was catching up with me, so I kept that under wraps.

My choice for rider of the day was easy really, and that was Matthew Johnson. Even if we had our usual numbers out he would have been my choice. He’s starting to develop the punch that you need to accelerate on the climbs and as I said last week his group riding is coming on nicely.

Next week, depending on numbers and weather, I’d like to try and complete our North Frodingham route as there is ample opportunity to work on group skills and its an area we haven’t been to yet.

 

Mark Walker
HTRC Road Race Secretary