Hello.. remember me ? I am the person that used to write regular blog posts on here.
Those posts have been somewhat missing for the last few weeks and I got out of the habit. The rides I was doing a month ago were not much to much write about. I was feeling quite depressed about my stats. Since my mid winter lay off I couldn’t seem to get back up to a decent average speed. I wasn’t even feeling fit enough to go on the club rides. I vowed I would get up to at least a consistent 24kph/15mph average speed before I ventured out with them again as 15/16mph is the recommended average speed for the Team MK C Group. Albeit that I would probably ride faster with a group than solo, targets are targets.
The weather around here was a major contributor to my lack of miles. Very strong winds with even stronger gusts of up to 50kph and the cold weather didn’t fill me with much enthusiasm to get out. Because I am pretty much free to go out any day I like I think I was getting too picky about the conditions, always thinking tomorrow would be a better day than the present one and it wasn’t. Those better days didn’t come along and one blank day led to more and more. If I had only had weekends available I probably would have made more of an effort. As I mentioned in a previous post I did however manage to ride the Kennet Valley 100km Audax earlier in the month at a fairly sedate pace, but thats all thats required of them.
Eventually I got my average speed up for a couple rides on my winter bikes. Normally my rule is not to get the ‘best’ bikes out until the clocks change but at the start of last week I ventured out on the Colnago. I had been doing some work on it and it needed a test ride. When I bought it I originally re-equipped it with a Shimano 105 groupset but In my accumulated ‘spare’ parts I recently found I had a Shimano Ultegra front and rear deraillieur mech doing nothing. I managed to find some Ultegra shifters online and kitted the Colnago out with all the Ultegra parts to match the Felt bike set up. All the 105 equipment that came off the Colnago then went onto my Specialized winter bike to match the Ribble bike set up. Much re-cabling and handlebar taping followed as a result.
That accounted for two or three days of my non biking time. So I now have two ‘winter/audax’ bikes for different occasions and two lightweight ‘best’ bikes. The Felt carbon fibre bike being slightly lighter than the aluminium Colnago but the Colnago feels just as good and lively when I am riding it. The Felt hasn’t been out yet this year. I have a few jobs to do on that before it ventures out.
The ensuing necessary test ride on the Colnago before its official scheduled first outing really lifted my spirits and the average speed. So now I am back up and riding a bit more regularly again. The strong winds persist and its always a factor when choosing my route but at least its getting a bit warmer and the days are getting longer. Now we have changed the clocks it makes afternoon rides an option again. Thats always providing there is no bike racing on TV though.
There has been a steady dribble of televised bike races since February actually, starting with the “Tour Down Under’ then moving to the middle east for some pretty boring racing in the deserts. Now the european season is well underway and just moved in the northern France/Belgium/Holland area for the Spring Classics. They are always exciting races to watch with the weather, cobbles, short sharp climbs and enthusiastic crowds and the odd crash or two making for some exciting racing. There is no complaining about the weather and strong winds from these guys they just get out there and race through it all for 200km or more. Hard men all of them, competing two or three times a week some of them for five or six hours at a time. If they crash they just get back on their bikes and carry on. I won’t mention the highly paid footballers that are always moaning they need a rest if they play two ninety minute games a week or a month out of action if they scratch their leg. Oh dear, I seem to have mentioned them!!!
So, the improving weather, my improving fitness and the inspirational bike racers are rebuilding my enthusiasm again and hopefully I will have more to write about in the future. Well, I know I will and maybe some nice spring cycling pictures as well.