Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Hill no 93 - 88 Penbarra

My last hill in Wales. This felt like a bit of an achievement to be honest - Wales was back where we started last year, our dog was still a puppy, Mila was just a bump, my legs were a lot fresher and unaware of the challenges that lay ahead.

The climb starts innocuously enough through the village, past houses and up a steepish slope - nothing too brutal though, but still healthy enough to get me breathing hard.
The road calming measures that Simon mentioned were just paint/rough lines on the road - they gave you a bit of a judder as you went over them, but weren't too bad.

I remembered to turn left at the junction (I hate it when you have to do turns on a climb as the paranoia that you have gone wrong is massive) and enjoyed a flattish section, before it got hard again and you can hear me clicking through the gears to find one that I could climb up.
The road ramped up to 19% and rose straight ahead of me for a bit - I had the classic front wheel lifting when I was in the saddle so again, I was in and out just to keep the legs working hard. The road was pretty narrow, but when a car came the other way, he very kindly pulled over and let me go through.

Just before the cattle grid, you can hear my phone ringing. Entirely reasonably, I ignored it as I remembered that after the cattle grid there was going to be a steep left hand turn and the gradient would ramp up. It was at 20% approaching the corner and going round it, the gradient bit in and caused my legs some pain (apologies for the bellowing as I went round!)
The cloud hadn't lifted unfortunately, so we were unable to get really good views going down - but it was pretty special even with the cloud present. Took my mind off the painful climb anyway! A little flat stretch then preceded the final effort to the top - which you could see clearly stretching in front of you.

A nice, tough climb and a good way to round off the Wales hills.

Youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-1n2Xl9vEs&list=UU_-Huk3Gbwz9QNbiVD1X_jw&index=1&feature=plcp

1 comment:

  1. A good, tough, challenging climb with great views across to Snowdonia at the top. The section after the right hand bend follwoing the hairpin reminded me of Wrynose Pass, although perhaps not quite as steep!