Same ride as last week today. Nice to do it in daylight and not to get rained on. Felt loads better once I warmed up and ended up 20 minutes quicker around the same loop and felt much more focused. Only got off and pushed the Singlespeed twice which was a massive step forward even if just psychologically.
One bit was unridable with my 2:1 gear. The secong bit was just lack of legs. Really impressed with the Strava iPhone app, especially now I have the dame ride twice and can start to see where I was slower and faster. Even put the Heart Rate monitor on today, but tried not to look too much, but having had a look at the log now home I was ‘in the zone’ for 2 hours out of a 2 hour 45 minute ride.
Back on the bike today for a ride, decided to head out and do a familiar route but in reverse, getting a good technical descent but a long road climb. The plan was ambitious, my last big ride was the 18th December last year. As with these things, the ride started off okay, but within 30 minutes I was questioning the sense of an evening into night ride. In Manchester. In winter.
The first incline had me worried. I used to power up this sat in the saddle today it was hard work out of the saddle. Things did not improve. Of course there was a headwind, my brakes were probably binding a bit, tyre pressure wasn’t optimal and the ground was too sticky under tread. I was able to find plenty of excuses, but no real explanation for how my riding form had evaporated in the last year. Clearly power walking to work for 15 minutes each way every day is not a substitute for exercise that necessitates breaking a sweat.
In no short order the ride was eventful in that:
- One drug deal going down out the boot of a Clio (Tesco bag of Cannabis being exchanged for a big wad of notes)
- Two new components being tested SLX cranks and XTR pedals.
- Three times I thought about turning around and going home early.
- Four sections of santisied trails – thanks for ruining some great trails morons.
- Five hundred metres of climbing and I felt every one.
Any way I used the Strava app for the iPhone for the first time. What a great bit of kit, no more Map my Ride messing about for me! Like garlic bread, this is the future. It even allows you to compare times against other riders on the same sections of trail. Ace.
So the aim is to now try and maintain a regular riding mentality and get back out on the trails more often. With my power gone, stamina and a mediocre level of trail skills seem to be the only assets I have left and I’m not too happy with that prospect. At least I am not totally destroyed tonight after a 3 hour ride and 46km.
The plus points to having a house in France are that you get certain benefits from the experience. Like Stage 10 of Le Tour de France coming to town – it passed within 4km on the way to the Col du Grand Colombier. The following day it was even better when a regional French junior race, the Ain’ternational Valromey Tour, coming right past the front door and returning the following day for the descent of the col behind the house.
More pictures here