Monday, 5 December 2016

Getting Some Country Air

A nice little ride out to Quainton.
The "tower" is the remains of a windmill, and look like it has been converted into a tall, thin, circular, house.
(Must be fun putting shelves on the walls!)
Today's ride starts off with the infrastructure I mentioned a few days ago.
The route runs clockwise, and the long, straight line is "Sapphire Way", then "Pebble Way".
I continued on Pebble Way right through Stone to the very end of that cycle route, though.
(Map is a crop of the "Garmin Connect" map for the ride, and handily contains weather information!)

Just turned off the main road heading towards Cuddington. I'll be climbing the hill at the back. It is bigger than it looks here, because the road sweeps down into a small valley, with a river running through it, before climbing back up for the hills.

First hill done. About a 60 metre climb. It is actually tougher than the second hill, which is 80m, because the first one is steeper!
Now it is down, down, down, before up, up, up for the second hill.
In general I was cycling at a very relaxed pace, just enjoying the air and the view, but on these two hills, I had to put a lot more effort in!
Nice bit of lazy freewheeling after each hill, though!

Fitness is not just about how hard you sweat, and how high your pulse goes, it is also about how quick you pace drops again when you rest for a bit.
After getting an improbable 186 bpm pulse at one point of the climb, my pulse quickly returned to normality.
The 186 bpm pulse is the highest I have yet seen (previous was 184 running, 183 on the bike).
It wasn't that I was trying to get my pulse up, it is just that I have the wrong gears for hills at the moment
(a 38t "small ring"), so I ended up standing for much more of the climb than usual (with a 26t chainwheel!)

A Strava moment.
There is no sensible reason to turn left up to the reservoir at the top of the second hill.
The last bit of slope is pretty gentle anyway.
But the little extra bit to the reservoir just about makes this a Strava "Category 4 climb"!

Looking back on that spur up to the reservoir. See - not much of a slope!

Back at the junction between the main route and the reservoir "Strava" spur, there is a handy bench for sitting at catching one's breath, or having a nice cup of tea and a sandwich.
Benches civilise rides, offering the option to enjoy the view, rather than get round as quick as possible.
There are no more significant climbs after this.

And on to Quainton, the northernmost point of the route.
Here we are crossing the bridge by the railway museum.
The red coaches outside are "Travelling Post Office" coaches back from the days when they would be filled with workers actually sorting the mail while the train was moving. Mail would be loaded at stations, and had to be sorted by the time the train arrived at the next station! The service was discontinued in about 2003, and mail is only moved in "cargo" mode on the railways these days.
The film "Night Mail" covers this in some detail.

Olde Worlde in Quainton. A feature of the bucolic Engish scene - the thatched roof.

This is the house to the left of the thatched on in the previous picture.
Remember what I have said previously about "authentic" old houses looking like the builders had too much to drink.

A bit further down the same raod is a more modern strip of houses - these are only about 100 years old ..

But the next house after that is from 1722 (according to the design in the brickwork)

Not a straight wall in the place - this is the white building to the left of centre in the background of the previous shot.

The row ends with the church.
I'm guessing 1200s, from the sqaure tower, but lots of churches turn out to have been smaller, then were expanded over the years.
Googling it now ...
... so I am a century and a bit out.
Turns out to be 14th Century, with the tower being 15th Century.

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