Rothbury Revisited


The boys were late getting to mine but we did get out today, these are my photos of a mostly lovely day. In light of  the recent postings about working instead of playing and of course in light of the fact that I can’t climb and want to change that to a can I promised myself to throw my heart soul and body at todays ride. I wanted to see what I was capable of on a big girls bike, lighter, smaller but sans granny ring.

We set off at what felt like a good clip and I felt strong, the others beat me up the hills almost every time but I wasn’t as far behind as I thought I would be. This was our route: Ashington-Bothal-Morpeth-Pigdon-Netherwitton-Forestburn Gate-Rothbury. Same as last time.

Somewhere past Netherwitton there’s a hill. I pushed and worked but I couldn’t do it. I stopped to calm my breathing and slow my heart and set back off again. The boys waiting at the top got the laser stare of hell from me as I drew close. Not because they beat me but because I was unable to contain my fury and frustration at not being able to best this up, I managed it on the tourer last time. Cue stinking mood till the 20 percent gradient drop Whoooooo. I love the downs. Then up Forestburn Gate, a long long up that I climbed entirely in the granny ring last time. This one I climbed non stop, albeit slowly. We stopped here to phone the Magic James so he could meet us for lunch and enjoyed the long steep drop into Rothbury, the thrill marred only by the thought of getting back up it.

Pleasant lunch stop with lots of chat and we set off for home. Getting out of Rothbury is mean, it’s up, then some  steep up, then some more up. As Andy and Keith disappeared into the distance in front of me I was forced to stop before I tipped sideways. And again further on. Looking ahead of me cursing both of them, myself and for some reason Magic James, somehow this must all be his fault, it just must, I pushed as hard as I know how and then a little bit harder. No good, one more stop just before the last up.  Back in the pedals and up to the top where the boys were waiting for me, pulling up beside them I let rip a diatribe of such epic proportions that it started a discussion on breathing techniques and lung capacity. After that we settled into the ride home, still working my legs off but the worst was over. The rest of the ride was hard, sweaty work but was marred only by misaligned cleats on my new shoes. We were back at mine shortly after that. I think it’s safe to say that we were all pleasantly exhausted.

I am so so tired now, I have never worked that hard with the possible exception of my first club ride. I think I expect too much of myself and I’m probably progressing faster than I feel I am but I would gladly accept any honest opinions on me and my progress, especially from those that ride with me. Is that a bit narcissistic?

What do you think of my stats?

47.54        distance (miles)

4.02.13    Time

11.7           Average Speed

41.2           Max Speed

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22 Comments on “Rothbury Revisited”

  1. Joby Says:

    You are being too hard on yourself chicken.

    You need to stop getting frustrated at these hills – they all conquered us at one stage.

    I was terrible climbing when I first started, and had to get off and walk – I’m happy to admit that.

    Am sure, if you ask the people I cycle with now, they’ll agree that I’ve conquered that fear.

    Time and patience.

    Who gives a fuck if you have to climb a hill at 5mph. Your fellow riders will always be waiting at the top and am sure that some of them will be grateful for the rest.

    Who gives a fuck if you have to walk a little bit? It makes you a stronger person, and when you finally achieve your goals – you can turn round and say “fuck you”

  2. Suzanne Says:

    Just because you stopped to catch your breath on the hill doesn’t mean it beat you, it’s not like you threw your bike in the hedge and caught a bus home!

    And men have bigger lungs which means more oxygen to the muscles. They prob have 3 x the lung capacity that you or I do.

    And you had a grand day out whilst the rest of us were stuck in doors.

    And the photos are great, nice pins Carrie!


    • notthewowy Says:

      there were a few close shaves between the bike and a hedge like :p am not so sure on the pins like, my thighs need to do a bit more shrinking. It was fab being outside in the sunshine today hen

  3. andy phillips Says:

    good stuff. lovely pics.

    Re you stats been in france too long . Whats that in Kms



  4. andy phillips Says:

    I think you are doing very well. You have not been cycling that long and are putting in some good distances. Not many people in percentage terms can do what you do.

  5. Andy Says:

    You do push yourself really hard, which is good, but you also expect to achieve all your goals at the first attempt, which is not. Give yourself credit for what you do achieve, which is considerable, and allow yourself other peoples honest compliments about the big successes rather than giving yourself so much grief over the comparatively tiny failures.

    Really proud of you today 😀

  6. lost Says:

    As Joby said, we’ve all struggled on the ups. Even me. I’ve been cycling for 15yrs and track racing for 5, but I still have problems on hills.

    They’re not there to test us, they’re there to make the land look nice and to stop things being boring.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Do have rest stops when you need them. Just because people are further up the hill than you doesn’t always mean they’ve found it easy. They may just have a different climbing technique to yours, they may do hill reps to improve climbing skills, or they may just go hell for leather not caring if they nigh on kill themselves cos they know they’ve chances of recovering further along.

    You’re obviously a competent cyclist or you’d not be on the club runs. You don’t need to be better than the other guys, but you are doing better than you think you are.

    Take it easy on yourself sweets. Batter the hills into submission and not yourself 🙂

    • notthewowy Says:

      Aye, It’s just that I have no real basis for comparison, I dont envision ever being an out and out climber and I try hard not to get peed off at other people for getting up them before me its more frustration at having to stop.

      Your reassurance is appreciated. Thanks. 🙂

      • lost Says:

        You’re more than welcome 😉

        We’re all here to support each other, cheer each other on and up, and we’re here if you wanna ask any questions.

  7. The longer you ride, the longer you can ride, or so the saying goes. If you feel that hills are your weakness, just rider them more and for longer periods. What once was 4 hours, will soon be 3.

    • notthewowy Says:

      Hi there, Thank’s for your support, it is appreciated 🙂 I’ve bookmarked your blog to peruse at my leisure, looks interesting.

      More hills is exactly what I am doing. That’s why we went out this way. It is coming, just slowly and I was never blessed with patience. 😀

  8. Mate, hills, I’m 18st and pounds, how do you think I get up the hills? Farkin’ slowly that’s how! But I’m now pedalling hills I never thought possible last summer. The improvements will come and indeed have come, but it’s never as fast as we impatient folk want.

    Oh and 47 miles and moaning about hills? Behave yourself…

    • notthewowy Says:

      Well good morning young man. Thanks for your input, I wasn’t really moaning, ok, I was but I do get well frustrated at myself sometimes. I am getting better at them that’s forsure.
      Aye, I forget that most people would consider that a large ride, it’s a 36 mile round trip for me just to get to the meet for my club ride so my Saturday miles are rarely less than 60. No wonder I’m always tired on the actual club ride.

  9. Young man, I like it! 46 years old and I get called a young man! 🙂

  10. danny winthorpe Says:

    Keep on going Carrie,
    well done,

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