Thursday, 11 March 2010

Off roading isn't for me.

Being a nice morning and having the mother in law over last night meant I just had to go out on the bike at 7.30am. Don't usually manage to get out so early on a weekday but Im off work for a week so what the hell, I'll brave rush hour.

My Sidis were covered in mud from the audax completed a few weeks ago and I really wanted to use them again. They had totally dried out so whacked them against a wall and all the mud dropped off leaving a nice shiny pair of cycling footwear. I wonder what would happen if I whacked my bike against something hard. Would she come out just as clean? I got to find out later.

The route would be Norden, Edenfield Rd, Rawtenstall, Bacup, Todmorden Rd, Walsden, Littleborough and home. Roads were quiet, the direction I was travelling in, a different story on the opposite side. Cross-head wind bothered me mucho as I have come not to expect a tail wind at any time these days. I didn't have long, approx 2hrs otherwise the missus would start to get angry so I had to make the most of it. It takes me a while to get warmed up, around 30 mins or so, but once I had got going I was powering through the wind. I had a couple of hairy moments with the rear wheels sliding out - Vittoria Rubino pro Slick 25mm. Must be a little ice on the road as it was below zero that night. Once on Todmorden Rd, I took it in turn to stand up for a few spins then sit down and repeat. It doesn't tire you out as much as constantly standing but you get that burst of speed which you can continue for a few seconds until you stand up again. That was the theory anyway.

At the top the road drifts slighly right initially and on the descent I wasn't counting on a massive tail wind. So when I approached a 90degree turn about a quarter way into the descent I was shocked to see 40mph on the speedo!!! OMG thats 10mph over my comfort zone. That corner was coming towards me way too quickly and by the time I realised I needed to brake ( carbon wheels) I knew it would be too late as braking into a corner at that speed will make me lose control of the bike and I would have been splatted onto the rocks/road. I could have leaned in the corner like a motorbike and try to take it without braking but again I wasn't feeling optimistic due to the previous slippy wheel problems and my line was all wrong. Time was running out. I tickled the brake and went straight on. I was preparing to jump the curb but the cycling gods must have been smiling at me as my wheel was guided through a small opening in the curb about half an inch high and a foot wide. I then had to negotiate lots of rocks and the banking was raisied quite high but didn't seem to slow me down. I turned the bike to the right and eventually stopped in the mud and grass and next to a big rock which I leaned on. I was still clipped in and upright! I looked back at the trail of carnage and just thought how on earth did I get through that without damaging myself or the bike. The adrenaline was pumping treble time and I loved every second. I got back on the bike asap without checking it over and went as hard as I could, not quite reaching 40mph this time. At the bottom I turned right to Walsden and found the chain wouldn't stay in the big ring. 2 or 3 of the teeth on my new Ultegra sl crank were bent and forcing the chain back to the little ring.

There was now a nice tail wind all the way back home and I was able to get the big ring if I was in one of the 3 smallest sprockets on the back. 2 of the teeth seemed to have bent back into shape and one of them was a little mashed but hammerable? I was going to take advantage of the wind so went as hard as possible.

Got back totally 'buzzin' (stupid Manc word) and just slightly over time.

Distance 40miles
Average Sp 18.4mph
Time 2hrs 10mins
Ascent Just under 3000ft

Wednesday - 2 spinning sessions 1 3/4 hr
Tuesday - 10mile TT on gym bike 21min 16 secs and 1hr swim.

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