We set off with no destination and with a couple more riders, Bob (Rochdale Tri) and Paul J ( MCC and triathlete). We headed in the general direction of Todmorden via Chadderton, Shaw,Milnrow and Lost's favourite.... 'Kiln Lane'. Before we got into Shaw, 10mins away, we were all waiting for Steve for a few minutes who had obviously made the most of the Christmas break :) So Bob told us to go ahead whilst he waited for Steve. I led the way for a change whilst the others hid in my shadows from the blustery, swirly wind. The mini roundabout before Kiln lane, I was waiting in traffic whilst Paul cut across to get a good head start on me. I was having none of that so caught him up and went past. Pete led for a minute but struggled in the wind so I took over again just before Hollingworth lake. Pete was also suffering from the lack of miles and was giving his all to keep up. Paul and I on the other hand have been very busy over winter. I have detailed my training earlier and Paul has been doing lots of running and races.
He can run 10 km in 38mins, very recently!!!! That is unbelievably fast and shows what fitness he possesses. Got to know each other a bit better, even though he is a member of MCC ( not very long) we have hardly seen each other. Once in Walsden I told Paul to take over leading duties whilst I took a breather before the big Bacup Rd climb, so that was about 5 mins worth. Paul hadn't been up before so I told him not to got too fast too soon as it will drain you towards the top as it gets steeper then levels a little then steeper. I was expecting him to zoom ahead but I was feeling good, thats why I led virtually all the way,so far, so he was just keeping up with me til about half way. I started to put the pressure on and he slowly dropped behind. I got to the top and looked back and couldn't see him but he caught a little on the descent (not too good on those) and he was less than a minute behind at the bottom. Pete told us to go on as I think he was going a longer way to get more miles on the clock as Paul needed to go back so I went with him. Went via Whitworth but had earlier planned Edenfield road. My favourite bit I have ever cycled is in Whitworth as the road levels out, high and very close buildings protect you from the wind and can easily do 30 mph initially and then hold 28 on level groud.Its less than a mile but soo satisfying. I just had to go infront there but sat back the last few miles home.
Roughly did 40miles with 16.3mph average ( although quite low, for the conditions I'd say it was very good going.
Plus points; New seat post is fantastic, very comfortable position, much further forward and height. I could easily do 150 miles with no pain on Jamis I would say. Nike 2nd hand shoes, no need to break them in, fit perfectly, superbly vented ( a bit too much for winter :) ) Blackburn computer is now working 100% as I changed the magnet to the proper one which came with the unit d'oh. The wind isn't bothering me, maybe because I'm getting used to it or maybe the cold is more annoying
SAT 31st Jan: Could I possibly be allowed out 2 days on the trot? Hell yeah! Original plan was to travel to Ramsbottom/Rawtenstall and meet Lee H ( RochTri) for an early morning ride but he had a house viewing. He wants some good training with someone who's good so chose me :). I was on my own but went towards Rawtenstall via Edenfield rd. I was on Scottie my new bike!! Roads were dry but full of salt and the wind was worse than yesterday. It was also much colder, ice still on the roads so must have been close to freezing at 8.30am. I felt my legs didn't have the power of yesterday and I thought I was riding Vanquish again ( the 'metal monster') as the bike was sluggish as hell even though it weights around 6.8kgs! The hills felt I had a 2kg wheelset on, the wind was harsh and unforgiving. Not the best day to bring out the 'best' bike.
Braking was brilliant on my carbon rims for a change and hit the descents as hard as I could but any extra wattage I tried had a negligible effect.
Rawtenstall to Bacup was a drag and I was looking forward to climbing Tod/bacup rd. I concentrated on sitting technique and a smooth pedalling motion rather than standing and hammering it out as the legs were a little achey. Nice descent into Walsden as it is well sheltered on both sides. Saw an unusual amount of MTBers today, must be something on. Also saw lots of roadies too and seem to overtake them with ease. The short run to Hebden I enjoyed immensely as the wind died momentarily. I turned right to climb Cragg Vale but gave way to 2 roadies who came from the opposite direction but were also headed up Cragg. One had a lovely Focus but didn't get chance to see the other one as I skipped past with little effort. I greeted both and just as I passed the front of the 2 I heard a bike brake and wheel skid then a clunk (of a bike hitting the ground?) I was virtually next to the white lines so gave him enough room, must have startled him or lost concentration but I daren't look back. So I dont have a clue what happened if anything. It was overtake galore on Cragg, about 7, 4mtb's and 3 roadies. I have dreamt of this for ages. Target after target appeared over the horizon, kept me on my toes so I wouldn't ease off the gas.
Last mile or so I like to stand, which I did, but I was acting like a kite, catching the air and being forced back. I apologise to my legs for putting them through that :P That's the hills out of the way and its all downhill more or less back home. Foolishly I forgot my helmet today, I am an advocate for the wearing of a helmet but I have to admit cars were giving me a lot more room. Could the day of the week make a difference. I don't really want to experiment with this one and will carry on wearing it. I have noticed too that other cyclists don't like to acknowledge cyclists without helmets.
Im not going to post a conclusive review of the new bike as I wasn't happy due to inconsistent weather. First impressions aren't terribly convincing though. My back is aching, the seat seems too far back even though I have a similar post to Jamis and a little high, I spent 99% of the time in the small chain ring (39t), maybe i need a compact chainset or the wind was really that bad? There's an annoying creaking sound coming from headset/fork when I stand up to pedal too.. It was easier to stay in the drops, braking was solid and handling was surprisingly amazing, better than amazing. I was very very very confident at taking tight corners at 35mph. Blackburn computer was spot on again 2day. Gloves were soaking wet and my body would have been too but I had everything zipped down, it was worth it in the end. You can see the extra big water bottle too which holds 1 litre ( usually 700ml) and I have bought a few of them about £3.50 from Decathlon Stockport. Great for those long rides. I have used Fizik microbar tape on Scottie which is the best I have used so far and costs pennies more than the regular stuff.
50miles exactly covered today, 3hrs dead, average 16.5 mph and 4000ft of climbing! Maybe it wasn't a bad ride after all, its just that's all what it all seem to add up to. I did mean to lay off the hard stuff as I am at the velodrome for 3 hrs tomorrow (Sun) but I just can't help it and when I get the chance to go out I make the most of it.
Just a quick piccy of my preparation meal to give me the energy for 2moz. This is after KFC, 6 pieces of chicken, 3 fries and gravy. I have to keep up with Jobys snacking somehow.