WHEELING my lovely new bike to the start line of my first ever ride out with a cycling club, I was a bit alarmed to hear our route would be taking in Gringley-on-the-Hill.
Hill? This was the Notts/Lincs border. There weren’t supposed to be any hills involved.
But, being in training for the Great Notts Bike Ride, I could hardly back out at the first challenge.
And so, accompanied by my 14-year-old son, we set off from Misterton, chaperoned by Dan and Colin from Gainsborough Aegir Cycling Club.
Dan is a qualified cycling instructor and set a steady pace, chatting as we went and giving tips on use of gears and positioning on the road.
And then suddenly there it was, looming in front of me.
The hill at Gringley.
My son took off, climbing it easily and then standing at the top to watch my tortured ascent.
“Just keep your wheels spinning and get down to a low gear,” advised Dan as I started to feel the strain on my legs.
He said Gringley is the highest village in Notts, which wasn’t much comfort to me.
But he was kind enough to stay with me most of the way up before pulling ahead.
That last few metres felt like torture but I didn’t give in to the temptation to get off and push.
Made it! My heart was pounding but I felt a great sense of achievement.
Dan said we could take a break in a pub round the corner but I’d got the bit between my teeth now and didn’t want to stop.
Besides which, what’s the best thing about going up a hill?
Freewheeling down the other side.
Dan’s super duper bike computer said we clocked 30mph on the descent, which was possibly the fastest I’ve ever been on a bike and felt fantastic.
By the time we got back to Misterton we had done 15 miles in just over an hour.
My only problem was being saddle sore, but hopefully I’ll build up some resistance to that as I increase my mileage.
Bring on the next hill!
For more information about Gainsborough Aegir Cycling Club rides go to the website at http://community.lincolnshire.gov.uk/GainsboroughAegirCycling/.