Saturday, 31 March 2007
GT ODOMETER AT END OF MARCH 2007: 9314.2
TOTAL GT MILES MARCH 2007: 195.1
TREK ODOMETER AT START OF MARCH 2007: 10052
TREK ODOMETER AT END OF MARCH 2007: 10607
TOTAL TREK MILES MARCH 2007: 555
COMMUTER MILES (TREK): 229.74
COMMUTER MILES (GT): 195.1
TOTAL COMMUTING MILES MARCH 2007: 424.84
TOTAL TRAINING MILES (TREK) MARCH 2007: 237.26
TOTAL TIME TRIAL MILES (TREK) MARCH 2007: 88
(in 3 hours 48 minutes, averaging 23.157mph)
TOTAL MILES MARCH 2007: 750.1
(24.19 miles per day)
TOTAL MILES CYCLED IN 2007: 2031.4
(22.57 miles per day)
TOTAL MILES CYCLED SINCE 25 MAY 2003: 19922.2
(14.16 miles per day)
Distance: 10 miles
Time: 24 minutes 38 seconds
Average speed: 24.357mph
Results! (I = joint 39th out of 90)
After a succession of recent longer time trials, it was back to the short, sharp shock of a ten mile race today. The A4-based route was familiar: it makes up part of the course which I set my 25 mile PB on 3 years ago. Conditions, once again, were not auspicious, with a nasty headwind for part of the way back. The last mile or so was particularly agonising.
The HQ was in Aldermaston, and I'd planned my trains hyper-efficiently so I arrived 2 hours before my start time (I was off second from last). I avoided buying cake before the race, and then rued my mistake later as by the time I got in, it had all been eaten by the 100+ competitors! I have no idea of my placing yet, but I was fairly pleased. People were 1-2 minutes slower than usual, so as soon as I get a clear day, I'm hoping for something quickish.
Willesden clubmate Brian Moon also rode, and did a 28, and, far more importantly, kept me occupied on the train home with tales of cycling adventure.
Sunday, 25 March 2007
Distance: 22 miles
Time: 57 minutes 48 seconds
Average speed: 22.837mph
I seem to be stuck in this 22.8mph rut. Finished 11th out of 22, I think. Fastest rider was about 5 minutes quicker than me.
An early start - for the first time ever I got family support, with my dad waking up at the ungodly hour of 6.00 in order to drive me to Birch, near Colchester. Technically, this involved getting up at 5.00 (BST and all), so we're all a bit knackered now. The course was fun - I should've gone quicker on the way out (reached the 10.5 mile point at 25mph average), but my legs weren't really warmed up, and I hadn't cycled much at all the past week. The way back in, through some twisty hamlets, was pretty tough, and I kept overcooking it on the undulations. Looking forward to a 10 AND a 25 next weekend.
Sunday, 18 March 2007
Distance: 25 miles
Time: 1 hour 05 minutes 40 seconds
Average speed: 22.842 mph
Only 51 seconds off (what is, admittedly, a pretty poor) personal best, and quicker than last week's West Suffolk Wheelers 21, despite
(a) yesterday's century
(b) a really strong headwind on the way out
Finished 7th out of 37 riders and only 3 minutes or so off the fastest time. Happy with the time but the undulating course, together with getting to and from the start, meant that I did 60 hard miles today. That's a lot of cycling on top of yesterday, and I'm taking a few days off the bike to recover.
Saturday, 17 March 2007
Distance: 106.04 miles
Time: 6 hours 12 minutes 02 seconds
Average speed: 17.1 mph
Maximum speed: 42.0 mph
Odometer (at end): 10432 miles
Tomorrow I have my second 25 mile TT of the year, to prepare for it, I've, um, put my legs through my second century of the year. Today I was accompanied by Louis (on a classic minty Bianchi) and Wes (on his rather nice new Cervelo), who I (on my marketing victim Trek) will be doing a 50km 3up TTT with on 14 April. We seem to gel well as a team, so looking for at least 1:18:00...
Even if today was not the best preparation for a race, it nonetheless had to be done: ominously it was forecast as 'the last warm day', so it was time to put on the short sleeve jersey and fingerless gloves for the first time after the long winter months. The resultant tanlines are disappointing, but at least they've popped back into existence.
The day started at 7.30, with a chilly, cloudy ride to LSE from Ealing. A bacon roll, Oreos and coffee breakfast, and we were off: past St. Pauls, through the City, through Shoreditch, right at Dalston junction, Hackney, Walthamstow ... Epping Forest. We rolled well, out through Theydon Bois, Chipping Ongar and then through the Rodings to Dunmow. En route we inadvertantly ended up on the course for the ECCA 10 time trial...
At Dunmow, despite some unfriendly locals, bought half the cake shop and settled down on a grassy patch to eat - lots of dogs about, being walked, including a lovely 3 month old puppy who made me very muddy while leaping and nipping about.
It started to cloud over (the sun had been fighting through all morning) so we hacked off on the B-road to Bishops Stortford. I sat the front to get some practice into the headwind, and we only had one incident: I braked sharply at a traffic light and Wes hit my rear wheel virtually head on with his front wheel, and we just bounced apart!
Bishops Stortford was crowded with cars (and, bizarrely, schoolchildren), and it was nice to escape the town and do one of my favourite stretches of road from Much Hadham back, via Roydon, to Epping and then back into London. Back in the city, I had to regather wits because of the number of witless/suicidal pedestrians traipsing around on what had become a beautiful afternoon. Brought up the century in Hyde Park, 5:49:**, but today wasn't about being particular fast, and I'm not hurting - just weary from all the fresh air!
Napped almost as soon as I got in, have since eaten large quantities of carbohydrate and protein and strawberries and drank a lot. Legs don't hurt, which bodes well for tomorrow. I've probably lost a couple of minutes on what I could've done, but today was fantastic. Good cricket results too, and this bike ride made it onto the 8th over of the Guardian's OBO...
Thursday, 15 March 2007
Distance: 35.89 miles
Time: 1 hour 55 minutes 25 seconds
Average speed: 18.6 mph
Maximum speed: 35.0 mph
Odometer (at end): 10326 miles
The weather is lovely at the moment, and my legs are turning nicely. And the cafe opened specially early to give me hot goodness on this morning's ride. All is right with the world. Except fraudulent activity on my debit card, the imminent rain, and the fact I just sang Richard Marx aloud in a public space.
Tuesday, 13 March 2007
The first sign something was afoot was our dear leader's announcement that 'afterwards we're all going to a special club on the Tottenham Court Road'. The fact this declaration was made over a soundtrack of YMCA, Erasure and Right Said Fred only served to increase the palpable sense of apprehension that had gripped the stationary peloton.
My own torment came from the fact I was using multiple bikes, one of which did not allow me to sit down on the saddle properly, and at the end I noticed that I'd been labouring for an unspecified length of time in the highest resistance.
There was also some talk of this very blog, Ray encouraging my fellow turbo trainees to look up the pictures from last week. Well, once you've seen those pictures, you'll be prepared for virtually anything else life can throw at you (either that or they'll be seared into your retinas and you'll be spending some time in counselling to remove the horror).
Worryingly, several people commented that not only have they been reading this blog, but also looking at my flickr photostream. Especially the cows.
After the turbo hell, I horrified my more disciplined clubmates by devouring a whole packet of chocolate biscuits (although Derek managed to half-inch one). Still, I needed some energy for the ride back to Ealing from Wembley... Now it is time for supernoodles (they cook in 3 minutes, I can't wait any longer!), then sleep. I hope everyone else found somewhere to park their bikes on the Tottenham Court Road.
Saturday, 10 March 2007
Distance: 21 miles
Time: 55 minutes 12 seconds
Average speed: 22.826 mph
The start (and finish) straight... (this is part of a set which shows how nice Risby is).
A good day out! Risby is a really pleasant little village just outside Bury St. Edmunds, and the course - a couple of laps of a sporting circuit - was great fun. Some fast bits, some lumpy bits and some hideous headwind (often combined with aforementioned lumps). Managed to finish 21st out of 56. Very pleased with fact I'm starting to turn the bigger gears and keep them turning... though maybe I should have used them less on the lumpy bits...
Very nice post-race atmosphere (a couple of fellow Willesden-ers were there!) and a pleasant evening ride back into Bury with a couple of the West Suffolk Wheelers.
Thursday, 8 March 2007
Distance: 59.48 miles
Time: 2 hours 59 minutes 21 seconds
Average speed: 19.9 mph
Maximum speed: 38.0 mph
Odometer (at end): 10209 miles
I have a lot of manic energy at the moment, so channeled some of it into cycling this morning. Nearly 60 miles at nearly 20mph isn't bad, even if I probably should have taken it a bit easier. More impressively, I cycled the 12 miles from Manningtree to Shotley at 17.1mph last night (in great darkness with no food in my belly) with a gigantic Berghaus rucksack on. I'd been inspired by a lengthy conversation on the train with a mountain biker, a conversation which had irritated absolutely everyone else in the carriage.
I have returned to the countryside because my sister is home from Iraq for two weeks (she is a nurse) - she's been out there since November, and it was lovely to see her again - even though she was knackered, as were my parents who'd gone to get her (not from Basra, but Brize Norton).
Anyway, I was last to bed and first up this morning - up at 6.30, cup of tea, big bowl of oat cereal and banana. This did not sit well for the first 12 miles or so... the streets of Ipswich were nearly paved with warm tea vomit.
The route today is fairly familiar to me, and I decided to take heed of some of the advice I've been given recently and do some intervals - 2 miles 'off', 2 miles 'on' - I decided not to really push as such on the 'on', but instead whacked the bike into the hardest gear and did the two miles 'on' in that, regardless of terrain. So a couple of 'fun' hills (here clipless pedals come into their own - if I didn't have the upstroke, it would've been virtually impossible to get up some of the inclines). Nonetheless, this means I did about 30 miles in my highest gear, which has got to be good for power and leg strength.
Beautiful weather too: a bit frosty when I set out, but constant sunshine and blue skies. Even a few buzzing insects towards the end!
I don't seem to have dissipated much of the manic energy though...
Tuesday, 6 March 2007
Ray, in a fit of goodwill, only made us do about 10 sprint intervals before recreating the magic of Sunday's time trial at Knowl Hill ('bung the resistance up a notch!') Just what you want on a Tuesday evening...
Sunday, 4 March 2007
Distance: 10 miles
Time: 24 minutes 42 seconds
Average speed: 24.291 mph
Yes, exactly one second faster than last week...
This, the first West London Combine time trial of the season, was held on a slightly undulating (but not as hilly as I'd feared) course around Knowl Hill. I was off last, and (despite worrying about the wind and cold while warming up) found conditions pretty reasonable. I also managed to ride with a decent rhythm for the first time this year - I only wish I'd pushed a little harder at the beginning.
Still, this time seems to have placed me 8th out of 62 finishers - 2nd fastest in the Willesden (first place, both for the club and the event, was Meurig James who posted 22:47). Apparently I won the handicap, so am quite pleased.
I wrote a report for the club (here) where I am introduced for the first (and possibly last) time as a 'quick tester'.
Many thanks to Middlesex R.C. for organising the event, and providing decent cake and hot drinks; and to all the Willesden members who gave pre- and post-race advice and support, especially Chris James who also gave me a lift home!
Thursday, 1 March 2007
Distance: 35.85 miles
Time: 2 hours 01 minutes 30 seconds
Average speed: 17.6 mph
Maximum speed: 40.0 mph
Odometer (at end): 10088 miles
I attempted this yesterday, but was foiled by vertical rain. Today was much nicer: sunny, if a bit cold and breezy. Didn't really push hard, owing to ominous feelings of fatigue (and loads of roadworks!), but it was nice to get out and have a spin. Also incorporated an early morning cake stop.