Variety is the spice of life they say so I thought a bit of hill climbing would help my all round strength for my sportive ambitions. That is how I found myself tackling Blaze Hill on the edge of the Peak District. I am used to battering my way around the north Cheshire plain between Mobberley and Middlewich in my biggest gears 53/11. In seconds I found myself on my smallest gear 39/25 and struggling.
10kph, 9,8,7,6,wobble. And I was off. After a quick breather I tried to get on again. I couldn't get enough pressure on the crank and hop on with my left; I couldn't get going again. I had to walk my bike up the last 100m like a kid. I had been defeated!
I found out that Blaze Hill has an incline of up to 25%, just as steep as some of the worse finishes on the Vuelta.
Umm, so I don't want say that I couldn't ever get up there on 39/25, but I ain't no pro. So what size cogs at the back would get me up that hill or anything else? There can't be many other steeper roads in the UK.