Somethings are worth doing because they sound dumb and stupid. Others are worthwhile because they are hard. The Hunter's Bar Challenge is probably all of these and a very efficient way to make yourself feel very sick.
|All the fun begins here!|
Yes,the distance may sound short but all three hills (especially the first two) are brutally steep and more so if you are going to do it properly and go as fast as you can. It may involve no more uphill than a gentle plod out to Ringinglow but the severity of it makes this a 30 minute full-on calf burning test of power endurance. Anyway, before you ask why, here is the full route:
The route: Hunter House Road- Psalter Lane- Stretton Road- Pinner Road- Hunter's Bar- Eccelsal Road South- Greystone Road- Highcliffe Road- Bingham Park- Rustlings Road- Hunter's Bar- Brocco Bank- The Botanical Gardens- Eccelsal Road- Hunter's Bar
Why should I put myself through this when I could have a nice saunter out to Forge Dam?
|Looking down to Hunter House Road and the|
Porter Valley from a roof in Sharrowvale
western side of Sheffield. It's quick, it is very efficient and will tire you out. The most effective way to get fit is to do short blasts not big long sessions, and this does it very well.
Why else? Mention these three roads to anyone in 'The Lentil Belt' on the western side of Sheffield and the reaction tends to be the same- they are steep! That is the point- it sounds horrific and it is (or can be). There is fun in suffering. You probably will be knackered, out of breath and close to vomiting. Good.
It is worth doing because of the reputations of all three roads, because it is so simple and a fun way to keep fit. Oh, and is it far more fun than ruining your knees jogging or slogging out into the hills on a rainy day.
|Rustlings Road from Endcliffe Park. There's no time to|
admire the view, just keep on hurtling to Brocco Bank!
Go when it is quiet! Hunter's Bar is busy and traffic can properly shut you down. Late evenings, midday weekdays or early mornings are best. Clever people who are really determined will get someone to be waiting to press the traffic lights for them on Eccy Road.
Avoid the wrath of the groundsmen in the Botanical Gardens. The Sheffield Botanical Gardens are a little island of peace in the city and idiots cycling far too fast are not tolerated. Get caught and they will scream, shout and generally make you feel very guilty. Be careful!
Finally: The record stands at 20:20 by me, with a Mr Jim Emery doing it in 20:36 with a slightly longer route. Anything under 23:00 is good. Maybe. I'm not a bike person and instead ride a hybrid whilst wearing cords and sandals. Some lycra clad human with a mortgage's worth of road bike and their stomach filled with energy gels as opposed to the previous night's beer may find that easy. Anyways, it would be cool to see it done in under 20:00....