Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Lothersdale Alps

Just south of Skipton is a small area of hills with the village of Lothersdale nestled in its centre, leading over the hills sometimes dropping in to the village are over a dozen paved roads. Time for some hill action!

The first hill, Cowling Hill Lane, is probably the longest at around 3km of continuous uphill and with the steepest section close to the top but with fresh legs it wasn't too bad though the next section up to the pub at Black Lane Ends was a bit steeper. A long blast down to Colne then along to Earby and one of the roads that I'd not ridden before - Coolham Lane. Unfortunately the lower section of the lane is complete with speed bumps, quite annoying at 12KmPH! A short effort and the first of the steep sections is done with but there was a long way to go and another couple of steep sections before things eased off.

Then it was down in to Lothersdale itself and another blast up Side Gate Lane that I'd done the other day. A couple of minutes quicker this time even with meeting a couple of SUVs on the narrow lane. Not much time to recover as my route cut down to the dale again and the only bit of the road I'll do twice to get to Mitton Lane. I hadn't biked this one before and it's hard work from the start but it's the middle section that's hardest. Fortunately it's short and then it's down to Earby and immediately back up one of the longer hills of the route on Moor Lane.

Steady away sees me at the summit crossroads. One more hill to do so down to Carleton via a fast blast before knuckling down and setting off up Park Rd. I've done this a few times, it's never easy but this time I was in a gear lower than normal - the previous hills having had some effect. Finally the top and just a downhill and blast home in a time of 2hrs14.

With just over two weeks to the Skipton Sportive, I reckon I need a bit more distance and hill work to make it feel comfortable.

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