Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Hill no 81 - 11 Rundlestone

We came down to Cornwall on the 27th December for a holiday – the aim being that I would do a bit of riding and lots of lovely family time. I would then get over to Dartmoor and pick up the 4 Dartmoor climbs that I need to just live Sidmouth and Crowcombe as the outstanding South West climbs.

Unfortunately that plan had been scuppered by the weather. Last year it was snowy and bitterly cold. This of course you can legislate against – take it easy on the roads, wear lots of clothing. This year it was unseasonably mild (a good thing), but it was hammering it down with rain virtually all the time and the wind was something else. I don’t mind getting wet when I cycle, but there is something particularly depressing about fighting a constant wind in your face – and the wind was too strong really to cycle in as there was so much road debris about. On the narrow Cornish country lanes, it was a touch too dangerous and to be honest, I didn’t need any further invitation to sit at home, eat Quality Street and play with Mila and Hobbs.
Today though (6th Jan) was our second last day down here and I thought that I had better get these climbs done, so I had to get out there. I could consider myself either “well rested” or “completely under-done”, but I wouldn’t know until I did the first hill.

We drove out to Rundlestone on Mila’s morning sleep – just outside of Tavistock, I initially went wrong (my fault) failing to follow Simon’s clear instructions and headed up Violet Lane, rather than past it. A quick U-turn (well 3 or 4 U-turns as I circled whilst Em checked the book) and I headed back down the lane and up the correct road (the B3357).

Alternately steep and then slackening off to allow you a bit of a rest, this was a long climb, but the legs didn’t feel too bad. There were some steep sections, but nothing too offensive and after a good bit of climbing, it slackened off and allowed you to gather your thoughts and energy for the next section.

Lovely climb though – up through beautiful Dartmoor, with the obligatory ponies, sheep and cattle grids to keep you interested. Wasn’t feeling too bad and headed straight on for the next climb!

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