Facing East…


Thursday, 18th September

Chesham – Wendover Woods – Wendover – Great Missenden – Chesham. 22.86 miles

This afternoon, I thought I’d found my own personal Mecca. I’d set off with no real idea of where I was planning to go, or even where the roads would take me. For the first time, I turned right at the end of the road, and headed in the direction of the promised Asheridge and Bellingdon, and found myself almost immediately on the not inappropriately named Hivings Hill. I’m not sure what it has to do with hives, but it’s certainly a hill. As I grunted my way to the top, slowly passing the staggering pedestrians, I allowed myself a little smile. At last – I have somewhere to ride my bike the way I like. Up hills. I’m not sure if it was the fact I was riding a bike up a stupidly steep hill, the fact that I’m a fat man in lycra, or the inane grin on my face, but the pedestrians looked at me like I was mentally defective. Who am I to argue?

Sadly, my joy was short-lived. The road flattened out into a shallow ascent that continued steadily for around six miles. After the climb of Hivings Hill, this looked flat, and it took some time before I realised that I hadn’t had my legs smashed by Annie Wilkes wanting to me write a blog post about her and was, in fact, still climbing.

Slightly less painful than the roads through Wendover Woods

Slightly less painful than the roads through Wendover Woods

About seven miles into the ride, the road suddenly went steeply downwards. I’ve no idea how long the descent is, as I was just hanging on for dear life. The road was up to the usual standard, and it was all I could do to stay upright. Once onto the steepest part, the road takes a left-hand bend, immediately followed by that most fearful of obstacles – a main road junction. I’m sure you will appreciate that feeling when your pants change to a smelly brown. Mine did exactly that.

Composure finally regained, I took the A413, the location for The Adventure of the Masturbating Youth (as told in Pockmarks, Potholes and Pillocks…), in the direction of Amersham. I’d originally intended to take the 12% road, then descend through Chartridge and into Chesham, but since this road was about half a yard out of Wendover, I changed my mind, and carried on to Great Missenden, before unadventurously turning for home.

Not really east.  More like north west.

Not really east. More like north west.

Todays bike: Pinarello Paris with full 9-speed Ultegra and Mavic Open Pros


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