Where better than The Drainpipe, the hill leading out of Wick Rissington. Nic 'volunteered' to accompany him and Philip definitely volunteered to be in the support vehicle, i.e drive up.
Despite having completed just over 110 miles in the week, Jake was bouncing off the walls after lunch. Far from wishing for a quiet afternoon, his newly found fitness levels seem to have given him a shot of boisterous energy, oh, the benefits of youth!
After a shot sharp, thundery shower of rain we set out on a mission. Not distance, not pedalling with weighty panniers but could we make it up the 350ft climb.
With no weight to lug, Jake seemed to fly the couple of miles to Wick Rissington - what a picturesque village, lovely to see the long grass and meadow flowers on their green however, can't stop!
Nic had failed to make it up from Broadway to Snowshill a couple of weeks earlier but there were a couple of gentle slopes in between the stiffish climbs today - perhaps more achievable?
Philip 'coached' from the car and Nic puffed encouragement to Jake about rhythm, small achievable targets, get to the trees, the cow parsley, the lay-by. "Philip, SHUT UP!", was a sure sign that things were getting tough towards the top but bizarrely a downward heading vehicle was all the motivation needed to make that last effort. Just as Nic's fluorescent pink jersey was beginning to lag further and further behind Jake's straining purple, the car (which necessarily contained a driver at the very least) could not be witness to a foot out of the pedal or a slump over the handlebars.
Once past the vehicle, the lay-by, the big tree, the signpost at the T-junction was clearly visible ahead, signalling the end of the climb. Jake pushed his bike into higher gears and sprinted to the end. Nic chugged along just happy to be at the top and feeling quite incredibly hot.
A gentle, quick spin for half a mile and bikes onto the roof of the car and back home. Just 6 miles today but a goal achieved.
Work tomorrow - work, training, life balance to adjust to.