Triple chainrings, a basic guide

The big one: for going down hills.

The middle one: for going along the flat.

The small one: for going up hills.

That’s how I explained it to the lady who I stopped to help at the bottom of the big hill. She was struggling with her brand-new Specialized Dolce and a jumpy chain. She said that it was coming off when shifting down on the hills so I suggested she try shifting down a chainring before the hill, rather than as she came onto the initial incline and then balancing it out on the sprocket by going up a couple of gears. It’s a problem I had when I first started riding my current set-up. I’d try and drop down too late and end up with the chain jamming and bringing me to a grinding halt.

Despite the lovely sunshine it was still definitely winter out today. Popped on a nice thick jersey under the windproof top today to combat that cold Russian wind that has been sweeping in from the East. Still didn’t stop the icy windchill creeping in along with the dampness of sweat.

Today it was a case of the usual three laps and home again which, all inclusive of getting there and back, amounts to about 50 kilometres. I recently figured out that there’s about 8km between my house and the Richmond Gate, which counts as a pretty good warm up and a nice top-up to my training distances.

A quicker second lap on which I pushed a bit harder counts for trying to raise my fitness levels but I still don’t feel like I’m improving as much as I would like. It feels like I’ve hit a bit of a plateau and unless I start working harder I worry I’ll not be where I should be in the grand training scheme.

Tuesday I plan to go out and take on a good 50 miles plus just to guage where I am at in terms of being able to do the distance. I’ll probably pelt down towards Dorking and the Surrey Hills and have a tilt at a few hills out that way.

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