Inspired by the magnificent efforts of Froome and his Sky colleagues across the Channel over the last few days, I dug the bike out of the shed this evening and went out for an hour’s pedalling. Instead of one of my long scenic routes I decided to put myself to the test with another three circuits of the hill between Craigtoun and Denhead – my own personal Mont Ventoux.
Don’t laugh. I know that Froome and his Tour De France crew wouldn’t even consider this a hill let alone any sort of challenge but, within touching distance of my sixtieth birthday, I can assure you that the gradient of this slope is enough to get my lungs to the point of bursting as I reach the summit. After reaching the top of the slope the hill continues at a gentler gradient and is then followed by an exhilarating descent to where I start the climb again. I am aiming to get up the hill in higher than the lowest gear but on the third circuit I only managed to stay upright by moving the front wheel left and right to give me momentum. It’s a good job there was nobody around to hear my embarrassing efforts at self-motivation.
I’ll never be in the peloton but I love cycling and can’t wait to get another bike to keep at home in Suffolk and explore some of the local scenery.
Earlier in the day we did a walk around St Andrews. It has been the hottest we’ve experienced in Fife this week and the crowds were out in force on the famous sands. We found a couple of places we haven’t been to before and looked around two private gardens open to the public. Each had spectacular sea views. The scent of the roses in this garden was beautiful and almost overpowering.