With the inter-club hill climb competition a little over a month away, today’s Training ride took in both faces of the Côte du Neville Holt. In reality, it’s about a three or four minute hard effort each way up to the old school house and current residence of Carphone Warehouse founder David Ross – but to us mere mortals – it’s a worthy challenge.
The ride started as usual at Sainsbury’s in Kettering at 9am and the eight riders headed out eastwards through Warkton before turning back west through Geddington and on to Rushton to avoid the closure of Glendon Road and last week’s scene of a puncture. Led, as always, by Andrea Woollcott and Darren Gillings, the pace was spritely into the light westerly breeze. Following behind them were Roy Crombie, Ian Bird, Haythem Rashed, Steve Wong, Barry Marlow and me, Andy Parker.
Twists, turns and secret messages
Unlike my normal circular routes, this one twisted and criss-crossed its way around the Welland Valley to ensure that we were able to tackle each side of the hill-climb route. As ever with the Welland Valley and surrounding area, that meant that there were a fair few metres to climb – approaching 1,000 in total in an always undulating route. The twists and turns were complemented by the odd road-side placard with messages like “Steep Hill Ahead” or “Sharp Bend”. The twists, turns and sectret messages were not from a John le Carré novel however, they were from what looked to be a sportive as we continually passed a lot of riders en route.
New Coffee Stop for Covid
The original coffee stop had to be replaced because an outbreak of Covid occurred at the Neville Arms in Medbourne. About five iles further on we dropped into the Old Milking Parlour at Wilbarston for the first time in my experience and we found a good welcome and good selection of cakes.
Splitting up is not that hard to do
After the coffee stop though, the group divided with just Ian and Andy returning on the originally planned route through Stoke Albany and Harrington with the others retracing their tyre tracks through Pipewell and on to Kettering.
The twists and turns were complemented by the odd road-side placard with messages like “Steep Hill Ahead” or “Sharp Bend”.
The twists, turns and sectret messages were not from a John le Carré novel however, they were from what looked to be a sportive as we continually passed a lot of riders en route.
A decent pace was recorded by everyone at a little over 18mph (29kmph)