I am rewriting this as best as I can, sadly, earlier today, my previous post of this title was lost forever. WordPress ate it. I hope this is a suitable substitute.

It’s been a great couple of weeks for me and cycling and yesterday, quarter of a mile before the end of my evening cycle commute I hit the big one – 100 miles in August. It’s taken me 13 days to crack and I’m very proud of my achievement.

I know some out there could cycle that in a single morning, but they probably weigh about as much as my leg, and have probably been riding seriously for some time…

Here’s the Garmin stats for August, as of this morning (including my morning commute)

I’ve not yet lost any weight, and remain 140kg or so, despite the whacking 8,000 calories Garmin (using the heart rate monitor) says I’ve burnt, I put this down to a good weekend with good friends with meals out, and hope to see some significant improvement soon.

Other metrics I’m pretty please with include my heart rate, I topped out at 190bpm on my first ride, and now barely get to 170bpm when I’m putting some good effort in, and my average has come down significantly and quickly (this mornings commute averaged 133bpm for example) and I’m enjoying learning about heart-rate zones.

Aside from my commuting miles I spent much of the weekend doing bike related things of one sort or another.  Friday saw us collect my wife’s bike from the store, and have a cycle carrier fitted to the roof of the Land Rover (meaning that the boys clothes and nappies could join us on journeys making use of the reclaimed space). Great for taking two bikes away as we plan to do in the Lake District next month. I do need step ladders to get the bikes up there though, the roof bars are 2.2 meters off the ground without a bike in them!

On Saturday we had a “Family Trial Run”, just 5 miles or so around the local area, but incorporating a killer short incline (for me anyway) from the beautiful Haxted Mill, just down the road from us (literally, we live on the same road). We decided to include a pub visit to grab a sandwich and made a stop at the Old Eden, which has been a pub for 150 years, with part of the building clocking in at over 600 years old. Apologies to There and Back Again for a lack of historical marker photo, but none really exist over here. I will make an official recommendation to Downing Street as I’m sure it would make this blog more interesting.

The boy enjoyed cycling so much that he promptly fell asleep, with his helmet at quite a jaunty angle over his face. He doesn’t need a helmet at the moment as he’s cocooned in the seat, but we’re trying to get him used to it, and make the association automatic. I’m not sure the look would catch on anyway…

Sunday saw me take on a more aggressive sort of ride, with my Brother-in-Law on his Specialized Secteur Sport.  He’s the sort of chap who likes to attack every ride, but thankfully stayed with me at a slightly slower pace (he averages 20mph on his 8 mile commute).  We were cycling from his house near Epsom to my father-in-laws in Old Isleworth, a fairly straight forward ride, with a nice cut-through of Richmond Park.  We were able to use his local knowledge to take some of the quieter back roads to Kingston Gate, when he posed a question “How’d you fancy a lap of the park?”. Knowing I’d slowed him considerably I couldn’t very well say no, so off we set. It’s quite a hilly park and at exactly 10 miles, 168 feet into the ride I bonked at the top of a hill, which Strava assures me hits 12.8% for about 3 feet near the top. I couldn’t go on, my legs were screaming and I’d run out of go. You can see it at about 46 minutes here

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/210382990 (anyone know why this doesn’t embed??)

Luckily I had an energy gel with me, which I quickly gulped down with some water, and after a couple of minutes I was ready to go. It’s all about nutrition I think, you have to put fuel in the tank to make it work. That morning I’d had a couple of poached eggs, with Smoked Salmon and 2 slices of toast, and, it obviously wasn’t enough. At the time of the bonking Garmin told me that I’d already whipped through about 700 calories, way more than i’d eaten in the morning. The whole ride burned almost 900 calories (one of the benefits of being the size i am is that you provide your own resistance training). Given that I’m trying to lose weight, eating more seems counter intuitive, but in reality needs to be a consideration. Naturally this isn’t such an issue on my shorter commutes.

Another highlight of the ride was watching a heavily-antlered deer run across the road 30 yards in front of us, and narrowly missing another cyclist. We looked around for the infamous Richmond Park regular, Fenton, but couldn’t see him.

One thing I need to keep an eye on is the pain I’m starting to get in my knee, I suspect this is plain old overwork, and I intend to cycle through it where possible. I know rest-days are optimal, but I have a week of enforced rest next week when I travel to LA and San Francisco for work, and am keen to get all the miles I can in before I go). I’m going to take an ibuprofen pill before rides and maybe apply voltarol gel, knowing that there’s a lot of recovery available next week.

A worry about the travel is the shocking lack of willpower I have, and the shocking quantity of food served by restaurants in the USA.  Something I’ll have to deal with on-the-day.

Until then, I’m going to work on changing the scales.