After a difficult couple of months for personal reasons, and interrupted training schedules due to my holiday, the training is well underway once more! A two-week holiday was just the chillout that I needed amidst all that has been going on. Luckily for me, it was all inclusive which usually means that I pig out for the entire two weeks that I am away. This time around however, I made a conscious effort to eat well, with the knowledge that I have the bike ride approaching (and my first full marathon shortly after that!). I also managed to get to the gym 10 out of the 14 days that I was away and although I did not use the exercise bike there, I kept up with my S&C programme. As a result, I have returned home in great shape and was able to get back on the bike again last week, feeling just as good as I did prior to the holiday.
So, as I mentioned in the 3rd episode of the blog, I have got “the bug” for this cycling now. So much so, that on Thursday evening, we were cycling our normal route up to Dunham Massey when I had a drastic realisation that my equipment was not good enough.
We were on the return leg, coming down the mile road from Carrington to Flixton (admittedly after the usual pit stop in Lymm). I turned onto the mile road, and my cycling buddy says, and I quote, “right, let’s get a shift on”. So, I happily obliged, picked up speed and in the process, overtook a pleasant cyclist, who was on a relaxing ride, wearing his pink cap. Shortly afterwards, I had reached terminal velocity and I was starting to feel a little bit fatigued trying desperately to get more speed up. At this point, the cyclist wearing the pink cap accelerated past me, looking extremely smug with himself. I couldn’t help but completely throw my toys out of the pram. There is no way that I should be being overtaken, and my competitive nature meant that I came to the conclusion that it was my bike that had let me down. I was in 14th gear, trying to go faster, but the bike wouldn’t let me.
I headed out on Sunday on a 16 miler, with a time of 58 mins 28 seconds, averaging 16.6mph, which is above the speed that we need for the London to Paris ride. Considering I was in a new riding position on an unfamiliar bike, I was very happy. It is amazing how much of a difference a better bike makes!