10 June 2012

Climb every mountain...

Okay, so it wasn’t really a mountain, but at the time it felt like one! Today, I took a ride out to Alport Heights, the first hill over 1,000 feet you come to when you head out of Derby. And, when you take the route I did, it’s damn hard work! Were the views from the top worth it? The jury is still out on that one!

So, back to the start. I set off at just before 7:30am and heading through the outskirts of Derby the weather was dry, but cloudy, with little or no wind to speak of. The traffic was more or less nonexistent - as you’d expect for a Sunday morning - and I soon found myself in open countryside to the north of Allestree and heading for Cowers Lane. From there I carried on to Idridgehay before turning off the Wirksworth road and taking to single track lanes that headed up to Alport.

It was at this point that I started to think that it may have been a good idea to have checked the GPS data a little more closely for the route I’d plotted, the road in front of me was ramping up at a rather alarming rate! In the final mile to the car park at Alport I climbed over 450 feet, at an average gradient of 7.6%. At one point, my Garmin 800 registered the gradient at 22%! I don’t mind admitting it, I left my legs and my lungs on that climb today! When you add the rough surface of the road, the amount of grit, the grass/moss growing down the middle of the road and the water running down the hill it makes for a killer of a climb!

Garmin screen capture.

If anyone reading this fancies having a go at the route I chose to reach Alport, you need to travel towards Wirksworth on the B5023. Around 1.2 miles after passing through Idridgehay take the right turn into Barnsley Lane. Enjoy the short bit of downhill road before Storer Lane, Taylor’s Lane and then Malinscommon Lane remove first your legs and then, a short time later, your lungs. Enjoy!

On a more positive note, the view from the top was rather nice and having a number of Curlew displaying, and calling, overhead just added to the atmosphere.

The Cannondale Bad Boy takes a well earned break!

 The view from Alport Heights.

Radio masts at Alport Heights.

The Alport Stone.

From Alport it was a quick, and easy, run back down into Belper (top speed of 33.7mph) before following the A6 all the way back to the edge of Derby. A mix of cycle paths, parks and river paths got me around the city centre before picking up one of my routes from work back home. In all, I covered 40.48miles at an average speed of 16.3mph and climbed just over 1,830 feet in total. Not my quickest ride, but not all rides have such a killer hill on the route.

Stats from the Alport ride...
Total distance - 40.48 miles.
Total time - 2hrs 28mins 56secs.
Max speed - 33.7 mph.
Average speed - 16.3 mph.
Calories burnt - 1752.
Average heart rate - 156 bpm.
Max heart rate - 186 bpm.

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