I chose the Stroud Valleys as my nemesis. The 32 mile ride was out and back mostly the same way, so every wonderful whizzy downhill had, in turn, to be climbed, including the lung abusing Bear Hill. Bear Hill is a climb of about 500 feet in one mile, to the top of Rodborough Common. I made it without getting off, passing out, or crying, but not in one go. Several stops were required.
By comparison, we have a similar climb of about 500 feet on day one, but over several miles. Is that better or worse? It may not be as steep, but it goes on and on and on! And it’s one of many hills. I think the point is, there will be many hills, some of them quite unpleasant, so hills ought to be a key feature of what few training rides I have left.
Hill burn aside, I really enjoyed the ride. The scenery, especially over Minchinhampton and Rodborough, was stunning and the cows, horses, and donkey on Minch Common were a lovely distraction.
I was even tempted, if only for a nanosecond, to throw in Gumstool Hill on my way back through Tetbury. Only for a nanosecond mind!