Formed in June 09, Here Come the Belgians is a non-elite anti-team celebrating all things cross, cobbled and Belgian.
Seeking a different experience to the traditional cycling club, its aim is to harness the energy of a vibrant internet cycling community with grass roots racing and riding based around Cyclocross and Spring Classics. There is no race programme in the style of a racing team, more a collection of individual experiences through rides and racing, in whatever location a member may be, that all can share in and contribute toward.

Monday, 12 October 2009

recharge the batteries

Pendle Hill

After a hectic few months at work I felt in need of a couple of days off to recharge the batteries and clear my head of work worries.
So last Thursday and Friday I took advantage of a lull and the promise of good weather to have some time off.
Being in HCtB is not all about racing and training you can be a part if you just enjoy riding your bike or bikes and last Thursday afternoon was definitely time to keep the momentum in my training but as importantly to be out on the bike enjoying the pleasure of riding.
Here in Lancashire we are blessed with some stunning country in which to ride and as often is the case you tend to fall into the habit of riding the same routes so with deliberate intent I set off to ride some new roads.
Setting off I hit the harder climb from home instead of taking the usual easier route and soon I was climbing from town onto the moors that surround Burnley.
Turning left on the climb out of Lanebottoms (great name) I rode along a narrow lane that was new to me, consisting of some great descents and climbs with the scenery ranging from open moorland to wooded valleys. I even had to cross two cobbled fords which were very slippy and daunting on 23's with 110 psi in!!! Just a slight wet foot was the only casualty.

The first cobbled ford
This road led me into Colne and from a quick blast through the urban traffic I headed up Skipton Old Road towards Lothersdale and the Yorkshire boarder. This is one of the longest climbs I have ridden it seems to reach skyward for an eternity, however the views across both Lancashire and Yorkshire to feast on it certainly is worth the pain and elevated heart rate!
what goes up................
The other reward was the downhill ride to Crosshills, the road set off as straight as an arrow inviting you to tuck down and let the bike flow. A sudden moment of sanity (rare for me I know) saw me sit up and scrub some speed off just in time to see the cross roads ahead.
Some great lanes just watch for the tractors coming round the corners as they are bigger and tougher than us.
Once in Crosshills I turned round and headed home via the main road, another long drag up the moss before hitting Colne, Nelson then Burnley, the final Kilns climb just to finish me off - if you ride with Crossjunkie you will know this climb!!!
Just under 40 miles under the wheels a good workout, stunning views - even more rewarding after turbo sessions in the cellar, good climbs and great descents.
The cobwebs were well and truly blown away and the batteries felt nicely topped up.

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