Monday, 10 March 2008

Rides 8-9 March

On Saturday, we had our first ride out with our coaching team, courtesy of Ben Spurrier from Pinnacle, the PCA team bike sponsor (Pinnacle) and a category 1 rider himself. He was dressed head to toe in Pinnacle kit and riding one of their top end machines . Initially he met us at the PCA offices and did a brief bike fitting. In the morning, Ben then took Andy M, Andy C and I out for a quick ride, just 90 mins, with a short break in the middle covering around 25 miles. Fortunately the weather forecast had proved wrong, with virtually no rain during either Saturday or Sunday. On Saturday, the brief ride went up to Hitchin and back via Preston. On the way out flat terrain and a moderate wind from the south meant we pushed along at over 20mph for most of the time, but the trip back was tougher. I didn’t hear what Tim and Paul got up to in the afternoon.

On Sunday, Andy M and I set out at 0830 in good conditions, unlike the heavy rain forecast, and covered 64 miles. It was another false dawn to spring given the gales today, but on Sunday it brought out the largest number and range of cyclist that I can recall which was great to see. The collection included a couple of all ladies groups and the older couple who I seen before on their tandem coming up from the bottom of Pedley Hill towards Berko. There was also the usual gaggle of off-roaders around Ashridge Forest. For the first time in ages, we had a few target to chase some of which we caught, but others that disappeared into the distance. Our route was the usual 55 mile route with but with an extra lap over Ivinghoe Beacon. Having completed the 2nd cresting of Ivinghoe, we were on the road out of Dagnall heading to Bison, when I saw someone a half mile ahead and I gave chase. Having put in a big effort I caught him as we turned the corner up Bison, he casually turned towards me as we started the initial rise, stood up in the pedals and powered up the hill leaving me for dead. We caught another two cyclist along Gaddeden Row, then powered down the hill to Redbourn. I pushed reasonably hard up the hill to HRFC and for the first time since Xmas didn’t feel like my legs were going into cramp. We finished back at CafĂ© Nero in around 4 hrs 20, around 15.5 mph average, not bad for me and another steady improvement. Andy thought it was around 20 minutes faster than his ride over the same route last week.

No comments: