Wednesday, 28 February 2007
GT ODOMETER AT END OF FEBRUARY 2007: 9119.1
TOTAL GT MILES FEBRUARY 2007: 173.5
TREK ODOMETER AT START OF FEBRUARY 2007: 9648.1
TREK ODOMETER AT END OF FEBRUARY 2007: 10052
TOTAL TREK MILES FEBRUARY 2007: 403.9
COMMUTER MILES (TREK): 149.04
COMMUTER MILES (GT): 173.5
TOTAL COMMUTING MILES FEBRUARY 2007: 322.54
TOTAL TRAINING MILES (TREK) FEBRUARY 2007: 219.66 (not enough!)
TOTAL TIME TRIAL MILES (TREK) FEBRUARY 2007: 35.2
(in 1:35:10, averaging 22.19mph)
TOTAL MILES FEBRUARY 2007: 577.4
(20.6 miles per day)
TOTAL MILES CYCLED IN 2007: 1281.3
(21.7 miles per day)
TOTAL MILES CYCLED SINCE 25 MAY 2003: 19171.1
(13.94 miles per day)
Fewer miles than January, owing to: post-race fatigue, a few bikeless days in Suffolk and some more crappy weather. I reckon I also did 40-50 miles worth of work in 2 turbo sessions, though that was more strength based then mileage. For 'commuting' miles, I have included rides to and from races. For the GT, pretty much all those miles simply come from cycling to LSE and back, so it just goes to show how much benefit you could derive from cycle commuting. I have a few more races lined up in March, plus the days are getting longer. Still looks like I'll go past 20,000 in April, thus averaging over 5,000 miles per year!
Tuesday, 27 February 2007
Sunday, 25 February 2007
Distance: 71.75 miles
Time: 3 hours 56 minutes 22 seconds
Average speed: 18.3 mph
Maximum speed: 40.0 mph
Odometer (at end): 10024 miles
After nearly 150 miles cycled this weekend, and having had to stand up for a Killers gig at Wembley tonight, I am too tired to do justice to this rather wonderful ride round some more of the Chilterns, incorporating some 'interesting' climbs. 71 miles in all, plus add on another 20 miles to get to the start at Ickenham at back from Ealing...
I reached 10,000 miles on my Trek today (I started riding it in July 2003, and it generally spends the winter hibernating!). The landmark was reached grovelling up Cryer's Hill.
An overview of the ride is already available here. I'll write more when it feels like bits of me aren't going to drop off: meanwhile, I need to balance my need for sleep with an equal desire to eat, eat, eat...
Saturday, 24 February 2007
Distance: 10 miles
Time: 24 minutes 43 seconds
Average speed: 24.275 mph
Pictures here and here.
Also a profile picture, giving the illusion of great speed:
Photo used with permission, please visit DGS photography. Apparently it was Dennis who pinned my number on before the start: I didn't realise it was him!
Not quite the same level of pain as the Ely Hardriders a couple of weeks back, but it still hurt! Still, clad in the new skinsuit, with the bars lower than ever, and with a bit more training under my belt, I did my 2nd fastest 10 mile time on a breezy but nonetheless quick course up and down the A3. I came 20th out of 47 finishers (provisional results sheet) and was 'only' 37 seconds off my (admittedly rather poor) PB, which I hope to gloriously shatter at some point in the spring/summer.
Perhaps I would've gone faster if I hadn't noticed the cameraman lurking in a layby and made an effort to smile, following various comments on my grimacing performance at Ely).
Lots of cycling today: approx 10 miles to get to Waterloo from Ealing, roughly the same to get from Alton (where my train dropped me) to Liss (race HQ), then a bit of a warm up(!), followed by the 10 mile race, another 2 miles back to HQ, 10 miles from Liss to Alton, and then the 10 miles from Waterloo back to Ealing. I have just eaten a lamb jalfrezi, pilau rice, peshwari naan and Bombay aloo - and am now hungry again.
A good day out: the atmosphere at the race HQ after the race was pretty good, and very friendly. Tomorrow: Willesden reliability ride (or 'ciclotecca').
Thursday, 22 February 2007
Distance: 32.27 miles
Time: 1 hours 41 minutes 27 seconds
Average speed: 19.0 mph
Maximum speed: 29.5 mph
Odometer (at end): 9884.0 miles
My bike has had yet more stuff done to it (excellent work by the Bike Shop, Harrow), and tonight I took off the aerobars and returned to Hillingdon Cycle Circuit for the first time since much suffering back in March 2004.As part of Willesden's 'two club nights in a week', you can take to the circuit from 5.30pm onwards (making sure you've got lights), and do pretty much what you like for the sum of £2. The sensible option is to join a group and take turns at the front. In this way, I racked up a pretty good average speed without really knackering myself. Unlike turbo sessions, this kind of training also helps to develop group riding and bike handling skills, which I am sorely lacking in. It's also pretty social, as you find yourself chatting to the various riders in your group as the chaingang rotates.
In all, this was one of the more surreal evenings I've spent on my bike: the sun went down, and we kept on going - at times this was pretty hairy as the circuit is unlit and there aren't any reflective markers on the edge of the track. Although it didn't rain, there was some residual dampness so my bike and me got filthy - got home looking more like an MTB-er, the shame.
Afterwards, back to the warmth of the tea hut, for hot chocolate and several types of cake - all included in the price - and further cycling related banter.
Tuesday, 20 February 2007
Tonight, I headed out to the clubroom in Wembley with my freshly polished bike and a towel. I was allowed to borrow a club turbo trainer and, for the bargain price of £2, spent over an hour putting myself through hell - whereas on any given day I'd be quite happy to pootle my bike over a few hills, or do a hundred or so miles, I am not a big fan of interval training. I just don't do intervals on my own. What I need is a man with a microphone shouting at me: 'when I blow my whistle you're going to go harder! Harder! HARDER!'
There is something inherently bizarre about a turbo session: a hall packed with lots of men (and the occasional lady) in tight, garish clothing, sweating and flailing around to cheesy dance beats, trying to nonchalantly weigh up each others equipment. In many ways, it is very much like Heaven used to be on a Monday night. No comment on who would win regarding consumption of most illegal substances in a professional cyclist/clubber face-off (an 'off your face-off?).
To be honest, I was a bit crap: I did the first few intervals in far too hard a gear and was feeling pretty sick after about 5 minutes. And it got worse! In the end, I had to remove my drenched shirt and my towel only served the purpose of being slightly less wet than the rest of me. Still, I managed to do possibly 15-20 minutes of absolute leg-bursting effort in the course of the hour, which can only be a good thing for future performance. Turbo makes you appreciate the smaller things in life, like breeze and the ability to breathe.
Afterwards - and this I like - tea, cake and a chat with fellow club members. The club is really friendly, which is good, because cyclists can sometimes be a funny elitist bunch. It is nice to meet people who genuinely love it, and give up the time to make sure other people do too.
I have spent £90 on some club kit, trading in the slightly baggy stuff I wore for the Ely TT - I've got the same bright green shorts and shirt combination, but a couple of sizes down to show off my ribs to better effect. I have also purchased a skinsuit for the many TTs I intend to complete this year. If you don't know what a skinsuit is, it is best you don't look up any pictures, especially if at work. Roll on Saturday: I'm entered for the a3crg 10 mile TT on what looks like a fairly nippy course. Something 25-26 minutes-ish would please me. And presumably cause similar issues with my subsequent ability to sit down as the Ely race did.
On Sunday, the Willesden are hosting the latest Chiltern Classics reliability ride (I missed last Sunday's, owing to being back in Suffolk for some R&R) - information here.
Cycling, as ever, is providing me with much needed release. This year I hope to still be going in September. I'll be irrepressible (and presumably shattered).
Tuesday, 13 February 2007
Sunday, 11 February 2007
The abiding memory of today is the fact that so much of me went numb. And then, after the race was over, the numb was replaced with absolute agony.
Sunday, 4 February 2007
Distance: 79.71 miles
Time: 4 hours 30 minutes 27 seconds
Average speed: 17.6 mph
Maximum speed: 36.0 mph
Odometer (at end): 9727.8 miles
I'd never done a reliability ride before: I assume the 'reliability' aspect comes from testing out both the bike and the knees before a season of hard, hard work.
This one started at Ickenham Guide Hut at 9 in the morning, I met up with Wes at Ealing Common and cycled off towards the start. I joined the 105km ride, in the 3-4 hour time category. About 20 of us set off in this group, joined the A40, and headed off towards High Wycombe. It were bloody freezing out, and, luckily, the first big hill (Abbey Barn Lane, alongside the 'Summit' ski centre) soon warmed me up. First big climb of the year and I flew up it! This bodes well, for I have foolishly entered this.
Anyway, the route looped down to Marlow, along some glorious uppy-downy country roads, through beautiful West Wycombe, and towards Great Missenden. The groups kept breaking up, usually around the hills, and then reforming with different constituencies. All good fun, pretty sociable, lots of huffing and puffing, I headed straight back to Ealing afterwards, bringing up nearly 80 miles for the day at reasonable pace. Next Sunday: Ely Hardriders 25 mile time trial - my first race for nearly 2 years!