Cleeve Hill

Sunday was a great day for November. 8 degrees, sunny, little wind – about as good as it gets at this time of the year. The first two hours were a little on cold side as the sun slowly appeared to warm up the clear day. I felt pretty slow plodding along, being more concerned at keeping my hands warm. I took some very¬† flat rather uninspiring roads westward towards Cirencester. The first two hours included only 50 meters of climbing, which is not typical for me. Before Cirencester, I got bored of the flat road and turned right on a whim into a small side road. Finally, I climbed away from the flat plains towards the Cotswolds. I had a rough plan to aim for Cheltenham, but rather than use a map, just followed the compass on my sat nav – taking whichever quiet road went north west. It’s kind of fun cycling around the Cotswolds lanes, when you don’t really know where you’re going.
Cleeve Hill

Finally I hit the A40 near Andoversford, and took a fast descent into Cheltenham. At Cheltenham, it was already 56 miles on the clock, and there was the first serious hill of the day – Cleeve hill on the B road towards Winchford and Broadway. Cleeve hill rises sharply out of Cheltenham affording great views towards the Malverns towards the West. A really beautiful climb – though the road was quite busy. If you went to Wodmancote, there are some much steeper ways up Cleevee hill, but Cleeve hill proper averages 6% with a max gradient of around 10%.

cleeve hill

photo: Dean Morley Flickr

After Cleeve hill, there was a tougher climb out of Winchcombe and then the long road back to Oxford, which still took in some great views.
Cotswolds Autumn
Today was Remembrance Sunday, a typical scene in one of the many Cotswolds hills.

I got back just before sun was going down, and you could feel the temperature dropping sharply. I was glad it was no longer.
Bourton on the Water

Bourton on the water

I ended up with 190km on the clock (115 miles) in seven hours. That’s about as much as you can do at this time of the year. Bizarrely, it was my longest ride of the year, and my biggest distance since 2005!

It was a great ride. I still can’t believe how comfortable my 85 gram saddle is on a seven hour ride – it is more comfortable that supposedly ‘comfortable – extra padded saddles’

I ate quite a lot, and feel a bit tired.



6 Responses to Cleeve Hill

  1. James V November 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    I was in the area for the weekend visiting family and decided to join Evesham Wheelers for their Sunday ride as I was missing my usual with London Phoenix. We rode the same climb as you out of Winchcombe on the same day, which I can confirm was jolly steep and jolly painful. A lad with the group set the Strava KOM… Only to have it snatched by you once you uploaded your ride!

    It was a beautiful day, it’s a beautiful area, and it was a nice change from the lanes of Hertfordshire and chaingang laps round Regent’s Park.

    • tejvan November 14, 2012 at 9:11 am #

      It was definitely a great day for cycling. When I went up Winchcombe, I was sweating quite a bit with temperature rising into double figures.

  2. Marc November 12, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    what saddle do you have?

  3. James November 12, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    Were these solo miles or with a group?

    Top blog Tejvan recommend it to anybody with an interest in cycling.

    • tejvan November 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

      solo ride.

      Thanks for feedback james!

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