Well, I\’ve been incredibly lucky with the weather really. Nearly all my training rides have been in good sunshine and dry roads. The downside is that it has be fiercly cold, and sometimes quite breezy (understatement).
I\’m very pleased that so far I am still sticking to the training plan issued, and not missed a single run out. The last two weekends have been rides of about 25 miles. Perhaps not so far to many who have a degree of fitness already (and are in their 1st half century of life, not the second!); but to this poor old sap who\’s not really properly training/exercised for 30 years it\’s a big deal.
The new kit I got a couple of weeks ago and since has really changed things:
- Cleats and shoes. The first time I went out with my shoes clipped into the pedals was a revelation. I should think it is worth about 15-20% power improvement
- Proper padded bib shorts. The three interfaces with the bike (hands, feets, backside) all take a bit of impact. The latter the most. Cycling whilst sat on a razor blade is not much fun, and the new shorts really do take a lot of pain out of the process. I still haven\’t got the position and rake of the saddle quite right, but I can see how I might possibly survive the trip now.
- Warmer clothing. For the last 2 weeks the temperatures have been around freezing point. I have (ahem) invested in some more layers and wind+waterproof kit that meant today\’s shorter ride finished with some feeling in my feet and hands
- Energy input. Last weekend I simply ran out of gas. The last 6 miles home I was running on fumes alone. Afterwards I realised that (based on davesbikeblog) that I was running a deficit of many hundreds of calories for hte morning. It was no surprise therefore that I almost didn\’t make it home!
So what am I working on?
- Energy Input 1. Having spoken to a few friends, I\’m putting a 50/50 water/energy drink mix into my camelbak. The last 2 rides don\’t seem to have been easier, but I reckon my recovery was faster.
- Energy Input 2. I don\’t like to eat whilst riding, opening the bars, and then holding something for a bit isn\’t too clever for me! So I\’m looking into the options to get a quick decent input, and then continue the ride
- New routes. from next week the program increased the mileages again, so I\’m looking at more routes that give me some variation, and also keep me off the busiest roads in the area.
Oh, and finally. I had my first accident on board. After being out for the whole run, I unclipped from the pedals and then rode the last few yards to the house. What I hadn\’t realised was that my right foot had reclipped, so when I came to halt, and put my right leg out to stand on, nothing moved. Just like Delboy in Only Fools and Horses, I gracefully fell in an upright position onto the gravel drive.
My right knee now has 6 holes in it!
The bike is OK BTW.
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