It has been a while since the last Back On Track Cycling blog. This has not been for any other reason than time has flown by and it is 0718 on 13th February and I’m sitting in front of the laptop with a brew, while the rest of the house is slowly stirring.
Like some, I try and cycle whatever the weather conditions but over the last week or so I have needed to cancel organised rides on safety grounds. It has been a frustrating call but while the main roads may be ice free, the back roads of Essex may have other ideas.
One ride organised last Thursday would have been the biggest turn out for a Back On Track Cycling weekday ride, a total of 9 riders but with the forecast of snow (the amount of snow that would have bought the country to its knee – about 3mm) and the chilling temperature, the numbers started to dwindle.
It was not received well by one. As a group we had moaned at him for not being out and did give hime some stick. The photos he then sent of being all dressed and ready to go and the look on his face, did not require any words. Admittedly he did look more like a cat burglar than a cyclist.
So all of last weeks rides consisted of the rollers and Zwift, a total of 50 odd miles riding my virtual cyclist. At least he had a bit of sun whilst cycling a few laps of the London route. It was nice to be joined by two of the group but after riding Box Hill at 160w and then 300w, I promptly died. For those that use rollers will be aware that we lack the same bike support as a turbo trainer, I can not drop below 80w or else I will end up on the floor in a sweaty heap. I aimed for 30 miles and once the XP showed on the screen I stopped and dismounted in a disgraceful manner. I made Bambi learning to walk look easy.
I have missed the outdoors this week but safety of myself and those I am riding with is paramount. The cat burglar did go out but strangly enough I have not heard from him since? His ride was posted to Strava so must have returned, maybe he is still thawing out?
Next Sunday 19th I have a trip down to Sevenoaks in Kent for the Catford CC Hell of the Ashdown ride. 107km with 11 listed climbs, 5 HC’s, 4 Cat Two’s and 1 Cat One so will be a good mix and if the route is similar to the previous year, one of the climbs is about 6 miles from the start and a long slow sapping climb. It will certainly warm me up. The current weather forcast is dry and a tropical 9º but it will give me a chance to swap wheels on the winter bike and see how the Hunt wheels feel on the hills. These are my summer wheels but are light and roll well so I am also looking to use them for the Fred Whitton Challenge as well. I will not be attempting Fred on the summer bike, a combination of 11-25, 53/39 and 30% gradients it may be a bit of struggle!! The winter bike has a better hill climbing ratio 11-32 with 50/34 so watch out hills, here I come. Training for next week will be limited but will hopefully keep the miles topped up before Sunday. Shift has fallen over the weekend and with half term the bike will be neglected but entertaining a 6 year old will keep me on my toes.