Sunday, February 19, 2017

Which is tougher; Crowcombe or Draycott Steep?

Around our neck of the woods there are two climbs that seem to bring cyclists out into a cold sweat at the mention of their names. I am lucky enough to live within 5 minutes ride of the foot of one, where the other lurks about as far away from my house as I care to go in a day.

That day turned out to be today, so I was delighted that a selection of my usual road riding buddies were around to keep me company as we embarked on the Full Crowcombe ride.

Thanks to judicious use of CHO and the sight of two of mes amis du route disappearing up the final slope, I was able to record a PR on Crowcombe.  For the sake of comparison I rode The Steep a few hours later, before finally bringing my day in the saddle to a welcome halt.

Now it's certainly the case that I was slow up the Steep today. 6.30hrs of riding had taken their toll. I have ridden the Steep nearly 50 times according to Strava, yet have struggled up Crowcombe on only a handfulI of occasions. The sheer lack of familiarity plays into the impression that the marquee Quantock climb is the harder of the two. My pitiful performance on my doorstep however was every bit as challenging thanks to the days travails. I found myself stumped as I tried to decide which hill was harder.

Numbers don't seem to help.

Crowcombe 1.2km 185m gain 14.8%
Steep 1.9km 220m gain 11.4%

The Steep is longer so has a slight lighter average gradient, primarily thanks to the gradual ascent to the summit after the glider club.  I'm fairly sure that the front wheel lift is worse on Crowcombe's steepest slope, but I'm sure that the toughest part of the Steep goes on for longer, and as it comes earlier in the ascent, leaves a lasting burn that messes with the head for the remainder of the effort.

Thankfully, however, I have come up with a number that allows a more ready comparison. My power meter allows calculation of TSS, which is similar to Strava suffer score.

The Steep clocks at 23.2, Crowcombe at 22.1. Plainly therefore, the Steep is very nearly 5% harder, which means I may never again have to ride Crowcombe again.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Deadly white powder...

http://www.theguardian.com/news/audio/2016/apr/22/the-sugar-conspiracy

Worth a listen I reckon

I now know why we have no faith in nutrition advice.  SD

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sandwich Course

One of my daily duties is coming to an end. My son is nearing the conclusion of his school days, and so his sandwiches will soon be his own concern. Whilst I might appreciate regaining the time that this takes, I'll miss the thought processes of trying to mix his diet and trying to please him with healthy options. The feedback has been a great boost too.

As I wonder what he'll eat for lunch for the rest of his life, I'm struck by the sheer volume of tasks my wife does for him. How many times melancholy will she feel?

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Monday, May 25, 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015

Prayer for @slip_rehill

Our Father, who Hartcliffe in Hengrove, Hanham be thy name;

Thy Kingswood come, Thy Willsbridge done on Gaunts Earthcott as it is in Henleaze.

Give us this day our daily Bedminster and forgive us our Totterdowns,  as we forgive those who Totterdown against us.

Lead us not into Temple Meads but deliver us from Eastville,

for Thine is the Kingsdown the Patchway and St George's,

for Easton and Ashton.

Arno's