Breathless at elevation……

As La Vuelta a España reaches its highest point ever in the Sierra Nevada, at over 2,500 metres (a climb I once tackled in the month of April back in the 1980s, only to be turned back by the snow), I took to analysing the background stats of my own ride today, which took me down into the ‘Bedfordshire Alps’. I share these charts with you because the visual effects are so startlingly different.

This chart is a screenshot of what I see on my laptop screenUntitled

…and this one is (on the very same MapMyRide website) what I see on my phone app:Screenshot_20170903-194806

The former makes it look as if I’ve just had a very pleasant amble over gently undulating countryside, whereas the latter has taken me into an alpine environment, with steep murderous climbs, and scary perpendicular descents. Of course, I prefer the latter interpretation……wouldn’t you?


But when I tell you that the highest point of my ride was only 132 metres, compared to today’s stage of La Vuelta, that’s the equivalent of being below sea level, and going downhill. And then I discovered the elite riders were climbing for 20km at an average speed of 35kph (let me repeat that… average of 35kph), a speed I’d be happy to achieve on the flat with a supporting wind behind me…….

If only I were a 30-something once again……..

About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on September 3, 2017, in Cycling UK and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. but we are still cycling Frank and moreover enjoying it. I wonder how many pro riders continue to cycle just for the joy of being on the bike?

  2. Your skills in the saddle and as an entertaining and informative author are excellent but you need some lessons in data interpretation my friend! There are lies, damn lies and poor graphical representations of data! The shorter x axis on graph two makes the climbs look steeper

  3. Ok, so I’ll not point out the other factors to take into consideration then!!!

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