Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Pop along to Shaftesbury.....

A few days ago I met with Jon Joynes for lunch and a natter..... Jon was one of the team who rode with me on the Ten Countries in Ten Days (10in10) ride back in 2013....
In actual fact Jon is the only one of the riders whom I have cycled with since that adventure.....

It's always nice to meet up with friends, especially if you have shared the adventure of a trip such as the 10in10.....It's almost as if there is a bit of a bond that is formed by the pleasure and pain jointly experienced by all who were in the team.......

Jon and I met up in Shaftesbury in North Dorset.....
Although on this occasion we both travelled to the town by car, I've cycled to Shaftesbury on a number of occasions in the past and it is a great destination for a cyclist.....
One of the reasons is Gold Hill.........
This is the cobbled hill immortalized in the 1973 Hovis Bread TV advert directed by Ridley Scott and it really is a picture-perfect chocolate box scene..........

It's a great hill for a short... hard.... cobbled hill climb........
In Simon Warren's book 'Another 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs he rates it as 7/10. 
On his scale 10 is the hardest........

The thing with attempting this hill, is that because it is a bit of a tourist honey trap you will always become part of the attraction.....tourist eyes will be on you.....watching your every revolution of the pedals.......you dare not fail to reach the top..!!!
Worth a go though!!

When you've completed that..... just head about a mile south of the town and you will come across another hill listed in Simon Warren's book....
This one is the Zig Zag hill and he rated this an easier 4/10....but don't be fooled as it is still an enjoyable and worth while climb for the cyclist hill climber.....

If you are ever in Dorset with your bike........ pop along to Shaftesbury and give those hills a spin.......
Gold Hill - Shaftesbury

9 comments:

Chandra said...

Hi Trevor,
The place you went to ride at, Shaftesbury, looks like quite hilly country and very scenic. I am glad you got to ride there.

I used to ride on cobblestone streets back when I was in school and I didn't think much of it back then. It was the street that took us to the computer center and that's all there was to it.

I wanted to share another thing with you. In a past issue of Bicycle Quarterly, they did a designed study of; the effect of tire pressure on cobblestone streets and rumble strips. I know the author of BQ is very familiar with Paris-Brest-Paris, the Randonneuring route and you may check out the article on BQ's site. You may find it very interesting and quite possibly good information for a future ride on a cobblestone road.

Peace :)

PS. What kinda Chocolate box - like the one from "Budda and the Chocolate Box"? (by Cat Stevens) :)

Georgie Ormrod said...

That's a lovely picture - so pleased its not spoiled by cars or gawdy bright bins (invariably something like that spoils pictures I take).

Ahh cobbles, boneshaking and just plain scary in wet weather. Got plenty round here :-)

Trevor Woodford said...

*Chandra*
Thanks Chandra..I will check the BQ site out and look at that study.... In actual fact when I cycled on Belgium cobbles during the 10in10 ride I hated it!!! I really suffered with the constant vibration etc....

Ahh... 'Buddha and the Chocolate Box'..that's an album that I used to have before going digital.. It had a nice PURPLE cover :-)

*Georgie Ormrod*
Yes Georgie cobbles can be pretty dangerous in wet weather....

Knowing how many cobbled roads that there are 'up north' makes it all the more surprising that Gold Hill was chosen for the location for the Hovis Advert...
The voice over was even in a Northern accent and we were led to believe that it was in the north of England...I wonder why?

rlove2bike said...

That looks to be some tough riding. Hills are are one thing, but add in the cobbles, WOW!

Trevor Woodford said...

*rlove2bike*
I've seen a number of riders come off on those cobbles...certainly can be a bit of a challenge if the conditions are damp...

J_on_tour said...

Strange I never thought about cyclists using Gold Hill before, maybe because I think of it as a tourist spot like you say. Sounds like it's best to try it first thing in the morning if you're not sure about achieving it !!

Only stopped off at Shaftesbury once as a passenger on an alternative route from Weymouth to Bristol. I remember vaguely being in a teashop at the top of the hill which is all the more poignant for what you said about being watched by tourists. As it was in my pre-digital days, I spent a bit of time trying to compose and re-create the postcard scene. Thankfully there weren't too many people walking up and down the hill ... as tourists preferred to view it from the top !! Thanks for the detail on the advert, one wonders how familiar it would be to both tourists and the general public had it not been for that advert.

Trevor Woodford said...

*J_on_tour*
You are right of course J...if it wasn't for that Hovis advert I doubt many people would know of Gold hill...

David J said...

What a beautiful stony street. Looks like a place that doesn't see so many sunny days. Not sure I'd like to ride up it.

Trevor Woodford said...

*David J*
Riding up it is a bit of a 'rite of passage' for most riders in the area David....
Mind you it can be quite dangerous in wet and slippery conditions...