Saturday, 15 May 2010

Shorter cycles


I did used to like going on my individual marathon rides of 100miles but nowadays I get soo bored of them Im doing the shorter but harder ride. I'd do longer rides if Im in a group or can latch onto a group if in an Audax or Sportive but there hasn't been anything close by for a while. I'd like to have done the Etape du Dales as I know a guy from work doing it and some other bloggers but £40 is a bit steep. Torelli also host a Sportive, starting in my backyard, almost, next week but at £25 what's the point to do the roads I ride anyway.

Scottie hasn't been ridden on for ages, probably once in a month and half as Jamis has been performing admirably. Scottie has the Blackburn Delphi 6.0 mounted and since I have been a little sceptical regarding my averages lately as they have all been nice and high, using Jamis with the cheapo Specialized computer, I thought I'd see what kind of figures I can attain.

Sunny, warm but windy as hell again, the swirly shite we all love to hate. I really did try and take it easy today so I would be fresh for a good ride on Sunday but me being me I just can't. Nice swirly tail wind to Littleboro' but from then onwards, apart from 28-34miles in, it was a ghastly head/cross. The worst was from Littleboro' to Walsden then up the exposed parts of Bacup/Tod road. I tried to climb it all in the big ring and was doing fine until traffic lights 1/2 mile from the top which I had to stop at in the little ring so carried on using it up to the top. There are alot of places with double figure gradients on this climb and I managed to stay above 8mph even with the headwind....ugh that hurt. I remember 'racing' P.Jibson(MCC) and beating him :P up here and only managing 6mph in places without the wind, so Im deffo improving.
Edenfield Rd (climb 2) was quite forgiving with a slight tail/cross/swirl and on the way down I hit 44mph! Thats the fastest I have ever gone!! The cross/head wind followed me the rest of the way home.

Just like on Jamis I set the saddle as far back as possible and lowered the post on Scottie but the stem isn't as far angled down. I was amazingly comfortable on the hoods and could spend ages in the drops, unlike on Jamis where I can only do the odd minute or so. I also went back to the Selle Italia SLR saddle which has little padding but there were no issues to be had as a lot of my weight is supported by my arms due to the low stem ( my arms were killing the first time I tried Jamis with the new low position but dont now). As for the averages....

Distance 40miles
Average 19.4mph
Ascent 2830ft (computer showed 2850ft)

I must have stopped at every single traffic light from my house to Littleborough including the crappy pedestrian only ones, but only 1 from then onwards back home. What I am noticing from the new position is that the sitting muscles are using different muscles to when I stand, I think, or used in a different way, so when I need a burst standing up or even for long periods I start off fresh so can keep it up longer or faster. Once again the legs are not fatiguing as quick so it mustn't be a fluke or an 'off day' this new saddle position. Please don't rain tomorrow :(


  1. £40 is getting a little bit daft.
    I'm going to stick to £3/£5 audaxes.

  2. Interested to know you are a train driver, I'm a signaller. I only commute on a bike, 40 mile roundtrip, so I'm not competitively engaged, and my bike is strictly a commuter, not a road bike. However, I was struck by what you said w.r.t., changing the position of your saddle, so I did the same to mine, for my trip home after my nightshift this morning. I definitely found more power, and could feel that I was using muscles in a different way, but it wasn't uncomfortable, and I made good time. I think I'll persist with it for awhile, see how it goes.

  3. You don't look old enough to be a thomas the tank engine driver never mind a proper train driver :)