The terror of Black Hill

The weekend was spent training for my various follies. While I was running around Horsforth and cycling up massive hills (more on that later) Bex was away doing the coast-to-coast (a lot quicker than I’m planning on doing it). Unfortunately nature and bad luck conspired to inflict 60 mile an hour winds, driving rain and a bad crash on her. Her hand has swollen up to about 5 times its normal size, we spent a long time at the hospital getting x-rays and the like but apparently nothing is broken, the doctor did say that it was the biggest hand she had ever seen though, so that’s something.

I tried to organise my weekend on my own so that I could get on with following my ‘training plan’ for the marathon. This plan instructed me to do 30 minutes running on Saturday and 65 minutes running on Sunday which seemed reasonable enough. However I also wanted to go for a bike ride at some point so the Sunday run was dropped fairly quickly in favour of that. I headed out on Sunday morning to absolutely glorious weather, my route followed more-or-less the same path as my previous medium-length cycle (with a detour through Weardley village and then back again – saw lots of pheasants and not much else) however I was keen to avoid Pool Bank and try to find a slightly more forgiving hill to head up. This would prove to be impossible. I turned off just before reaching Pool to cycle up ‘Black Hill Road’, I should’ve realised then that places called ‘Black Hill’ are rarely nice gentle meanders and soon found myself struggling up a 20% beastie. A nice lady cyclist hurtled down past me and cheerily shouted “it gets worse”, at which point I got off and pushed.

Here’s the route (the angry purple bit is the big hill):

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