I have cycled 1,000s of miles together with these wonderful people. Thank you to the original and very fabulous Vietnam to Cambodia Cyclopaths 2017.
Caroline, Chris, Claire, Jim, John, Julia, Marianne, Matt, Mick, Paul, Paula, Roland, Ruth, Sheena & Steve
Bad weather and curiosity got the better of me last weekend and so I subjected myself to an indoor training session on the turbo trainer.
Let’s be clear, I have absolutely no desire to train on a bike indoors. There is no company, no scenery, no breeze, the dog wants to join in and every minute seems like an hour. Let me out on the open roads any day!
Well, maybe not ‘any day’, 50mph winds rendered the weekend too dangerous to venture out, so I spent a hard hour taking the ‘Sufferfest 4DP Challenge’ in the hope that I might prove to be fitter and faster than the last time I tried it.
Despite giving it my all, my weighted average power increased only from 120w to 127w and I peaked at 36km/h rather than 35.3km/h. Figures that are hardly going to propel me up the Alps any noticeably quicker or easier!
Further analysis shows that I had more power on the short sharp bursts (anaerobic power), on my maximal aerobic power and on my functional threshold power. I can only imagine that this must be a good thing!
My neuromuscular power however has dropped a little. My immediate thought was this was perhaps not surprising, given that I’m training with a degenerative neurological condition. The power of the mind to create a story that is not based on anything factual! My detailed report suggests that I simply wasn’t paying enough attention and mis-timed my bursts of power!
I breathed a short sigh of relief before realising my report essentially said ‘needs to pay more attention and must try harder’.
No excuses, I know I have a proverbial mountain to climb as well as 24 actual mountains!
- Early start
- Lots of kilometres (90)
- Lots of hills (1,000m+)
- A brief coffee stop
- Back by 2pm
The Weather Forecast:
- 7-10 degrees (‘Toastie”)!
- A ‘fresh breeze’
- Early start
- Lots of kilometres (76) – many of them slow due to head on wind
- Lots of hills – 1,166m of them with segments of up to 20%
- For ‘fresh breeze’ – read ‘overpowering gusts’, head on slowing us down, side on knocking us over, unpleasant at best, dangerous at worst
- Fast(ish) – No chance, thwarted by the wind
- Home by 2pm, another training ride completed
I couldn’t meet the Sunday cyclists as I wanted to play taxi service for my son, so I set off alone around midday, when others had done their cycle, had their coffee and were on the way home to relax.
Doing the same route that I had done alone last week, I tried to go that little bit faster…..or so I thought. I was actually 10 minutes slower, only 1km/hr slower but soul destroying. At last though, at 50 years old, I’m developing a competitive streak. I’m already planning when to do the route again but faster!
Cleeve hill boasts to be the highest point in Gloucestershire, indeed the highest of the Cotswold Hills. I was disappointed to learn after making the claim on several occasions, that from the highest point by road, there are a few hundred additional metres to climb to reach the actual highest point! Not manageable by road bike but not to be deterred, a wild and windy walk with a friend and our dogs, got me to the highest point in Gloucestershire this week!
Cleeve Hill has become my training ground for solo cycles. For the first time today, I cycled up over down the other side to Winchcome and turned round and did the reverse. My stats will provide the basis for assessing improvements in speed training both uphill and downhill – sincerely hoping that there are some in the next few months!
Not the Highest Point in Gloucestershire!
The Highest Point in Gloucestershire!
Pleased with yesterday’s cycle, I started to think about how long it might take to to cycle the first day of The Raid Alpine challenge……..
My Latest Stats
Moving Time: 3 hours 30 mins moving @ average speed 15.4kmh
Duration: 4 hours 30 mins
Day 1 The Raid Alpine
Est Moving Time: 10 hours 30 mins
Est Duration: 15 hours
Start: 7am, finish 10pm. I need to recover, refresh, eat, blog, sleep, prepare, repeat…..six days in a row
There are not enough hours in the day!!!!
And then I read that there are only 23.934 hours in a day!
And then I remember how exhausted I was after my most recent cycle!
Before panic sets in, I remind myself that the hills yesterday were extremely steep in parts, the roads wet, slippy, with potholes, debris and few passing places. This made even the downhill slow!
Fast forward 175 days and I’m hoping all of the following will make a difference:
- A lighter bike
- A lighter me
- Better road surfaces
- 175 days more training
- Improved nutrition
- Optimising timings of meds during long cycles
- Beautiful scenery
- A new experience
- Plenty of pace setters
- A positive mental attitude
- Group support
There is no time to waste, I must get faster and fitter…………but first, some sleep!
With no offers of company for today’s cycle, I set off alone and tackle Cleeve Hill for my first ride of 2020. It is unusual for me to cycle so far alone, there is usually someone willing to cycle. It’s a very different experience, cycling alone but I enjoyed the challenge. No personal bests today on the hill but I am consistently faster than six months ago at both the uphill and the downhill. I also managed to get to Winchcombe from the top of Cleeve Hill without braking which is quite an achievement for me!
Having been overtaken by three cyclists near Staverton, I used them as pacesetters and gave chase for three miles – achieving three ‘personal bests’, according to Strava, during that burst of activity! Overall I am happy with my distance and pace this morning.
I find it much less fun cycling alone. There is no pressure but equally, there is no pacesetter and I could quite happy cycle along at a comfortable pace improving neither my stamina nor speed! I enjoyed the cycle. No coffee stop today and no conversation but beautiful scenery, quiet roads, mild temperatures, dry and so I could think of nothing better than being in the great outdoors!