25 August 2015

Nerd on a Bike

My family spent last Sunday back in the Peak District.  We rented bicycles for a few hours and did the 12-mi (19-km) circuit around the Derwent and Howden Reservoirs in Derbyshire.  The Upper Derwent Valley is beautiful!  I was fascinated to learn that the dams in the reservoir and the surrounding land were so similar to the Ruhr Valley in Germany that pilots in their Lancasters practiced bombing runs in the Upper Derwent Valley in preparation for Operation Chastise in 1943.

We had a few climbs to make during our cycling, but nothing like the hors catégorie climbs found in the Tour de France.  I never cracked on the climbs, but I can easily see how the best cyclists crack on long and difficult climbs.  Lugging one's mass uphill isn't easy!  The photo below shows a nerdy physicist away from his modeling computer and in the saddle on a bicycle (click on the image for a larger view).
My cycling was made more fun with a backpack full of water bottles, umbrellas, extra clothing, wallets and purses, and other miscellaneous items.  I really enjoyed seeing all the bell heather on the slopes in the distant background.  We were helped by a few tailwinds in places, but fought headwinds in other places.  The exercise was great and so was my deepening appreciation for how unbelievably difficult it must be to complete stages in the Tour de France.  We only bicycled a distance about 10% of a typical Tour de France stage, and we weren't in the middle of a three-week effort.  I hope we can get back to the reservoirs during the next year.  We need to do the circuit twice!

No comments:

Post a Comment