Archives for posts with tag: GT

Wow, it’s been ages since I wrote to you all, that’s crap, I’m sorry.

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks, and I didn’t ride the bike between 19th August and 1st September, leaving my August stats at about the same point they were when I last updated you.

 

128 miles in a month from an almost standing start isn’t bad, but given that the vast majority were earned in 13 days, it does feel like a low total for a whole month.  The break in cycling was caused by a work trip to Los Angeles and San Francisco for five days (made bearable by a free upgrade to British Airways First Class), then a weekend away with the family (and jet lag) followed by another couple of days out of the country in Europe, then my wife had to go to Switzerland for a couple of days, leaving me holding the baby! Sheer exhaustion was a major factor and by the end of August I was feeling tired and grumpy, and stagnant.

September hit hard and I was itching to take the first available opportunity to get out. Saturday 1st September greeted me with glorious sunshine streaming in through the bedroom window.

It took me 25 minutes to find all my kit, bottles, little white socks etc, but soon I was ready. I set out on the shortish 6 mile loop I’ve done a few times now, but it only took 25 mins or so, and I was in a zone where I was really enjoying the ride, and not suffering a great deal, so I decided to turn right, instead of left, and add on the Hever Castle loop I’ve done previously.

Mindful of my recent bonking incident I’d purchased some HIGH5 energy gel plus‘s, and necked one in Hever Castle’s car park, rather than waiting until a point where I’d run out of energy.  The gel was VILE, quite simply horrible stuff (not at all like the Vanilla Bean Gu I’d been able to try recently, which was delicious), I really can’t describe how nasty these things are. I will not be buying them again and will stump up for the Gu shots. YMMV. That said, they’re effective and I’ve taken a few now, and avoided gagging for the most part.

The route was lovely, mottled shadows from the trees, and nice rolling hills. yes, nice hills. I’ve completely revamped my riding style recently, and am making sure that I am riding well within myself, including changing down to the granny ring before starting an ascent, rather than when I ‘run out of knees’. I’m finding this hugely sustainable and my average speed hasn’t dropped one little bit!

I was home in 1 hour, 10 mins, and cycled a total of 16 miles, another target bites the dust! The garmin, with heart rate monitor shows me using just over 1,110 calories for the ride as well, which I’m rather pleased with.

 

If you click on the image it should take you through to the activity detail. I prefer this link as Strava only credits me with around 550 calories. Boo!  I think I’ll start to explore variations on this route, taking in Bough Beech reservoir at some point in the near future, despite the fact that it’s likely to be a solid wall of ‘up’ as it’s set against the infamous Toy’s Hill.

The Tachyon is long overdue for it’s 6 week service, and this is beginning to show. My front brake is really only for show at the moment, and the front deraileur is rubbing a bit, but leaving the house at 6:45am and returning at 7:30pm is not conducive to cycle shop opening hours, along with too many weekends away. I may need to suck it up and drive all the way to the office with the bike in the back in order to take it to a LBS which in reality isn’t all that close to anywhere useful to me.

No weight update as I’ve still yet to shift any. As a result I have pledged to cut my wine intake significantly, as I really don’t need to drink as much as I find myself doing out of habit of an evening.

I’ve been a bit nervous about the two sky rides I’ve signed up to, one Edenbridge to Hever loop of about 11 miles, and another a 30 mile route around Sevenoaks, including up and down the Weald once or twice. I got off the turbo last night determined to get some road miles in after work tonight. So, when I got in I quickly swapped the 600cc Bandit for the Tachyon, and one helmet for another and hit the country lanes. And I didn’t do too badly…

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I stopped twice to catch my breath, for just over a minute the first time, and for a couple of minutes the second time as I decided to take my inaugural Bike/Signpost picture at a pretty duckpond, about 6 miles into the ride, with 3 left.

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Feeling rather pleased with myself after all that, small steps I know!

I also ordered some ‘aspirational’ cycling kit, starting with the Team GB Bibshorts. I haven’t mentioned them to the boss-lady… They weren’t exceptional value let’s say.

Despite my back being much better I really can’t bring myself to go out on the road for the first time during the pouring rain, I’ve never had a problem riding in the rain in the past, I just don’t want it to be the Tachyon’s inaugural ride.

I suspect there’s also a deeper fear at work, still not totally comfortable with the clip less pedals, and, you know, what if I’m just too unfit to even get a couple of miles?

I’m up to around 30 mins on the trainer now in the lounge, so think I’m getting on ok – I’m certainly extending my times each time I get on the bike. Like the rest of the UK I’m praying for a break in the weather.

Still not nailed my food intake, my self control is a real issue and it’s beginning to get me down.

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A former colleague has signed up as a Sky Ride leader in the Richmond area, and although it’s not my patch I thought I’d look into what else they were doing in my little corner of the work on the Kent/Surrey border – frankly there’s not much organised cycling around my way, it all comes from Dulwich/Hayes and down the Downs.

It turns out that there’s a few sky rides in my area, with two starting at the end of my road, and one starting at the bike shop I bought the GT from – Bigg-In Bikes (aka http://www.woollyhatshop.com/ online), which actually covers a ride I used to do of an evening last summer. This one is on the 15th July, but at 17 miles might be a bit too much to attempt so soon.

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I quite like the look of the 29 mile ride at the beginning of September though, which is around Sevenoaks, maybe 10 miles east of me.

Here they are – to look for rides in your own area look at http://www.goskyride.com and if anyone fancies the Cycling satisfaction ride on 2nd September leave me a comment and let’s try and meet up.