Once more into the fray

An actual ride on actual roads (more or less, given the state of Herts County Council finances). I have been irritating myself with a continued resistance to getting out on the bike, with some anxiety about whether my knee/leg would cope, and how I’d get home if it didn’t. The turbo has the key advantage that I can just get off …

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… back to the turbo …

It’s getting cold, work isn’t getting any less time-consuming, so I’m back to the turbo. October was a bit cursory, in terms of riding – I planned to start a base build on October 29, so wasn’t too fussed about what happened before. A month “sort of off” isn’t really a bad idea.

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Noodling on Zwift

I’m trying some experiments to change my approach to a few things, and one of those got me onto the turbo this morning for a little over an hour, noodling around “London” in a Zwift workout – London and Leith Hill and Richmond Park (deer! and being chased by Roger Rabbit) via the magic spacewarps that exist in Zwift.

It’s the first time I’ve tried out Leith Hill/Richmond Park – I usually stick to the flat bits of London because I’ve been using TrainerRoad workouts in conjunction with Zwift, and I want points … more on that in a minute.

Zwift and TrainerRoad works well as a combination – I prefer the TR workouts/plans, not least because TR acknowledges that not everyone has a couple of hours at a time for a workout, which Zwift’s workouts assume (at least, I can’t find a Zwift plan with weekday rides all under 1.5 hrs or so). TR has low volume training plans for those of us with chaotic diaries, which tend towards a hour twice in the week plus 1.5 hrs at the weekend. That is a decidedly more achievable fit. Read more


Things learnt:

  • Stuff happens. In this case, a medical issue I had no control over and which would probably have caused me significant injury if I had continued. Sometimes you just have to call it.
  • Carry food. Even if the controls are supposed to be able to feed you, things do not always go accordingly to plan (two controls have run out of their planned food already – and that's before anyone gets there southbound)
  • Test everything completely. I did the first stage from a routesheet because the gps file somehow didn't make it onto my account – I suspect it got deleted by mistake when I updated another file.
  • Don't try and fix a valve problem on a tube, just replace the tube immediately – although that second tube also went flat overnight, damnit
  • Don't forget your buff. A door frequently opening into a well-lit corridor does not help sleep
  • Market Rasen station has a track crossing to get from one platform to the other. I didn't think those existed in the UK any more!

After 400k …

… after 400k comes a week in Majorca, in which I do rather less cycling than anticipated (one 110k ride, and a couple of short spins) plus some swimming. The post-ride soreness continued with something of a vengeance, although the 110k ride wasn’t too bad. 

I suspect that a week of recovery to let the training effect kick in isn’t too nuts, anyway. 

400k test … done

One milestone down: a 400k ride, to test kit and legs and strategies. It’s further than I plan to ride on LEL on any given day (although that is still being worked out as well). 

The ride was the London-Wales-London audax (used to called Severn Across) from Chalfont St Peter to Chepstow and back again (in a loop, not an out and back), with around 14k ft of climbing in the 407k of riding. 

Points noted on the ride: 

  • I don’t get sleepy if I keep on going (same thing happened with Dunwich Dynamo). I kept control stops short for just this reason. 
  • I need some more hill training
  • Go to the bathroom whenever possible (hunting for a suitable hedge isn’t much fun)
  • The Exposure Strada light doesn’t recharge whilst operating – may need to consider a dynamo for peace of mind
  • The Wahoo Bolt behaved perfectly (and recharged happily on the fly)
  • Saddle position needs to be adjusted (have started to work on this) as there has been some discomfort post ride (writing this three days later) …
  • Saddle pack functioned well (didn’t need anything out of it, though). It doesn’t get in the way, although I think was creaking a little in the last 100k – I need to check the straps etc
  • Handlebar pack also appeared to work out but I noticed afterwards that the add-on pack is wearing a small hole where – I think – it hits the tyre when the bike bounces in rough road. It doesn’t foul on the tyre in normal running, so I think it must be that. This isn’t helpful (it’s not worn through yet, just worn thin, but it will eventually wear through). I plan to get some gel padding to put under the bar tape, so will remove the blips at that time and see about using the Ortleib bag instead (it currently fouls on the blips). I don’t need the capacity of the full pack, just the accessory sized part. 
  • May need to build up palm calluses again: left hand ended up with a substantial blister, possibly from a glove tag. 

… back outdoors 

Still on the turbo during the week (only practical way to do intervals around here) but cycling outdoors is back under way. 

78 miles last weekend, not flat (not really hilly either) and it felt fine – the turbo clears pays off. I was tired in the evening, but no DOMS/exhaustion the next day, which bodes well. 

Still having hip/back issues off the bike – off for another MRI soon – but it doesn’t affect the cycling much, and the doc (surgeon) has continued with an all-clear to ride. During the 78 miler there were a couple of times that my thigh in particular twinged, with some glute pulling, but it was manageable and passed with a few miles each time. 

Work and so on …

Still cycling, just haven’t generally done anything interesting enough to prod me to post about it. 

I did do a ramp test with the coach – max’d out at 300W (ie: couldn’t sustain 310W), partly because I was thirsty and hot. 

Cycling today on a baking September morning was fun – noodling out with a couple of red group riders, via a few hills. This bike will head for the turbo soon; I may even switch it over tomorrow. I need to change the pedals and switch the Condor to winter wheels etc … all a bit time consuming, but I have a 170k ride on Saturday  and I think I want to do it on the Condor. 

Slowly acquiring LEL-type bike bags – presents etc – so plan to test those out on Saturday as well