Sunday, 7 March 2010

A spoonful of sugar helps your legs go round.

After Wednesdays ride and mishap I finally got round to changing the gear cable on Jamis. So I changed the gear cable and DISASTER. I found out that the gear lever only shifts in and out 3 notches so the mechanism must be screwed. I've trawled ebay for a tiagra right hand shifter and missed 2 at £35. There seem to be quite a few posted on the site so should get one eventually for fairly cheap. Well it made me a bit depressed seeing Jamis in 'bits' and feeling helpless so I had the perfect remedy. Whilst at work on Saturday I visited the Co-op across the road and bought 2 bags of doughnuts. One jam and one custard. I ate 8 of them with a pint and half of milk then a few hours later I revisited the crime scene to buy a chicken pasta, greek yoghurt granola and a Snickers duo ( as a just in case for my ride on Sunday). All carb'd up I was well prepared for a ride but was not sure where I would be going or for how long. Pete and I had discussed about doing a ride with 10,000ft of climbing so I thought I'd do a little reconnaissance to see how he would cope hehe.

Had the mother in law looking after baby on Saturday night so I had a nice sleep til 6am when the alarm woke me up. I then proceeded to wake the rest of the house which made me the most popular person around. I needed to finish 'Scottie' off by changing sadddle, screwing bottle holders back in and sorting out the frayed front derailleur cable, oh and a little lube. Hopefully the bike would behave and be a lot more comfortable and smoother than previous trips. Managed to get out at 7.15am and it looked like the day would be a stunner and it did turn out that way.

I hadn't been up Holmfirth Rd for ages due to snow and ice, that used to be my usual early Sunday morning jaunt and it was full of hills! The legs were feeling terrific today so I was keeping a good eye on my average speed and keeping it as high as possible. The cross winds had other ideas though. Although there wasn't really a head wind at any point, it was all cross, which still plants a wall of air in your path and is highly annoying especially when it lasts all of the ride. I reached the bottom of Holmfirth rd with an average of 17mph, attained by not using too much effort, or excessive effort I should say 'cause I was trying quite hard. I have done it before but nearly killed myself doing it as there is a slight up hill gradient all the way. I was expecting lots of snow and ice, there was but not on the roads. The climb was fun as I kept looking at my average and seeing that I never dipped below 9mph and hit over 10 a few times. The only time I had previously gone over 10mph is with a strong tail wind. Once at the top I have been used to getting up to 30mph before the drop into Holme, however that bleedin' cross wind limited me to 20 max. Even the descent into Holme was a struggle just about hit 36mph with limited brake use, for a change.

Next climb was up Woodhead rd to Holme Moss Summit. Very steep in places. Altimeter gave a good indication of gradients which rarely fell below 7%. Previously struggled at low 5mph-6mph but was doing high 6-7mph, saving some for the climbs to follow. Once at the bottom I didn't want to hang around so had a quick drink and turned back to retrace my rubber. Up and down then up and down again I was back in Greenfield after completing about 50 miles. Went back to Oldham, through Shaw, Newhey and Milnrow and up to Littleborough and Blackstone Edge. My mums house is on the way, not far from Kiln lane, so popped in to relieve myself and to tell her Ill be back later. At the bottom of Blackstone Edge climb I had done about 70miles and was getting tired as I was still putting all the effort in to get a good average. Usually keep to above 9mph but was lurking in the high 8's. Just past the White House pub there is a left turn and a flattish/slighly up hill run to the Cragg Vale drop. I have done over 30mph across here but that cross wind was annoying the hell outta me and just over 20mph was attainable. Even the mad descent into Mytholmroyd was getting on my nerves. Well over 35mph should have been easy but not today, around 25mph.

At the bottom of Cragg Vale I saw Rochdale Triclub, about 12 of them, headed in the opposite direction. They instantly recognised me and asked me to turn and join them. I didn't have the heart to climb something like that again and I know that I wouldn't have made the 100miles. What was on my mind most was that my average would have taken a hit as going back through Tod was virtually all downhill to my house. I was expecting some sort of tail wind but was sadly mistaken so plodded on as fast as possible which was getting more and more difficult. Any gradient I had to stand up, power up and grind my teeth or I'd have rolled backwards.

Got home and the bike was caked in salt but had held up brilliantly and I nearly collapsed as I was exhausted. Actually 'Scottie' was a hell of a lot more comfortable and the 100miles wasn't a chore. The last 15 mins I was seeing red spots all over the road.

Average Speed 16.1mph
Distance 100.2miles
Time 6hrs 13mins
Ascent Funny one this as MMR-7500ft, BikeHike-8800ft, computer-9800ft.
Quite a big difference. Its a lot of ft whatever the actual figure was.

I was aching a while afterwards and took about 3 hrs to recover but the day after I really feel I can do another 100miles. Maybe its just the gorgeous weather we are having but if I did go out my train pass may have to have been used? Treated myself to KFC.

I have noticed that my bike riding is a lot like my running. My flat/downhill speed is close to appalling compared to others but stick me on a hill and we have a level playing field so to speak.


Still feeling good and still gorging on Thorntons choccys and Chicken Vindaloo I went to the gym a bit stuffed and bloated. Missus joined me as baby was with my mum. She went on gym bikes I warmed up for 10mins on the bike then hit the rowing machine. 5000m 19.28s. Don't seem to be improving but I was a little shattered after the ride on Sunday. We then both did the Tri club spinning session which was a bit boring but worthwhile.

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