Push the tempo

Sunday’s ride turned out to be a little quicker than usual as, in the absence of the usual moderating influences, the pace shot up from our the usual “steady” to something closer to “moderate”.

The only evidence I have for this is that my average speed on my computer went up a from 23.9km/h, after last week’s 126km, to 25.0km/h after 270.9km. That and the anecdotal evidence that every time I looked down the current speed was between 30 and 33km/h rather than the more stately 27-30km/h range I have grown accustomed to on the club ride.

Not that I’m complaining you understand, I managed to stick with it pretty well, even managing to chase back a couple of times when I found myself out the back. OK, I was last as usual up every hill and sweating like a garden sprinkler at the end of it but I felt I had the right legs on.

My “right legs” do however seem to be the ones that encourage me to attack a hill from the bottom and then find that everyone else starts to go past me from about halfway and I have to apologise for holding things up when I get to the top and everyone is waiting for me. I’ve tried to curb this instinct as best I can and nearly found the right balance on Ranmore Hill but was still last up there.

There was a curious incident on Box Hill as both London Dynamo and Sigma Sport arrived at the bottom around the same time and it got a bit competitive. I found myself pushing really hard all the way up and fair clipping along by my standards. When I rode up there earlier this year I was struggling to go above 15km/h, now I can hammer up the steepest bits at about 16km/h and feel much stronger.

I’m still struggling to find the time to get in the mid-week intensity sessions that I really need to be doing to cope with the long climbs of anything up to two hours. I’ve been trying to ride hard to and from work to make up for this but it’s no real substitute for an hour in Richmond Park trying to do three or four fast laps in succession.

On the way back on Sunday I ended up waiting with Hugh, on of the other riders, who had got into an argument with a driver after he had squeezed him to the kerb and Hugh had banged on his door to let him know. As far as I could see Hugh was ahead of him on the road and the guy gave him no room, having tooted him, as he tried to squeeze through the a gap that wasn’t there.

His strange defence included “You were riding too wide/aggressively on the road” and some strange invocation that there was some variation in the Highway Code for Surrey which meant he was right. He was adamant that we should go to the police and discuss the matter but rather unwilling to discuss my point that he was behind the cyclist and should have given him room.

Eventually I got home at about 3pm with 145km in my legs and a little saddle sore in the usual spot that i get one from a bit of chaffing. It’s gone down now but by god did it hurt on Monday morning. I’m assuming it’s just a blocked follicle that sorts itself out with a bit of rest. And on that medically undignified note I shall leave you until my next post.

But not before a final appeal – Please give generously in sponsorship, I have been lousy at fundraising so far and I’m getting more and more concerned about it as the day approaches, It’s very simple and just involves hitting the SPONSOR ME link on the right, or indeed that link just there that you’ve just read.

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