Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Hill no 94 - 56 White Horse Bank

A beautiful day in the North York Moors. In an effort to allow the family some holiday that does not involve following me around whilst I ride my bike up steep hills, we decided that I would make a concerted effort to knock three hills off today, leaving one only in North Yorkshire.

We are staying near a really lovely little village called Hutton Le Hole and the valley in which we are staying at has a steep slope going from both sides - basically if I want to ride my bike out of the house, I have to go up a big hill at over 20% straight away!
As I turned and looked up at the hill at the start of the climb, you can see a chalk outline of the white horse that must give its name to the bank through the tree line - a pretty sight (more of that later).

The climb starts out pretty gently and you can keep the legs just turning over and powering through - it isn't too bad here, but then it really ramps up - and starts to justify the plentiful 25% warning signs that you see both on the way up and the way down!

My drive train hasn't been changing that slickly and I have been incredibly lazy and not sorted it out properly - I almost paid the price for that when I missed a gear badly and almost came to a complete stop! It would have served me right if I had stitched myself up by being lazy.

About halfway up the hill, things aren't too bad in relation to gradient - and then, as you look up, you see the amazing sight of the white horse carved into the hillside looming over you - an incredible view. It just seems massive and I have checked the video and it comes out really clearly (which is fantastic).

I can imagine that this climb would be very different in the summer as the trees are all bare at the moment - it was still pretty beautiful climbing up though and I guess I was getting the benefit of not being in the height of summer as there were very few people about. That helped as Em was able to coast up behind me and get some great photos.

There was a great bit about two thirds of the way up the hill where there were two pheasants in the road having a scrap. They were really pecking at each other and almost oblivious to me huffing and puffing my way slowly towards them. They only got out of the way when I was literally almost upon them and I could hear them carrying on the scrap as I wheezed past.

Simon gave this a 7/10 rating and whilst there were some pretty horrible ramps on these climbs - you did get a break every now and then from the climbing - which was definitely appreciated!

Really nice finish to the hill though as you head up over the brow you get a great view of the airfield which is home to the Yorkshire Gliding Club. There were a load of planes and gliders lined up ready to go out and it was a lovely end to the climb - White Horse Bank is a great place to launch gliders!

Garmin here: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/159798076
Youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajue4Z0iJcA&list=UU_-Huk3Gbwz9QNbiVD1X_jw&index=4&feature=plcp

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