Coffee, cake and cycling. They certainly go hand in hand with Back On Track Cycling. Recently I floated the idea of riding without stopping for our little luxury. The reaction did surprise me; “Well what’s the point then?”
The reason for my change of tact with the group ride was to increase my endurance level. Even though we ride around 50 miles, it is more like two 25 miles rides with a nice rest in between. I am completing the Fred Whitton Challenge in May and the first rest stop is around 50 miles and to get there I need to climb a few small, insignificant hills.
This weeks ride was just that, a non-stop affair to see how the body would cope and enabling adjustments in food consumption. 0930 at the meet up point and it was just the two of us. This was known, unfortunately other riders were working shifts.
Route planned and we set off, no forecast for rain but we knew it would be windy. However the strength of it took us both by surprise. It’s as if the wind god (other gods are available, depending on belief system) saw us riding and turned the dial to 11. When you have to pedal downhill to reach 14/15 mph you know the day is going to be interesting!
The roads were damp and as we cut through towards Barkway Golf Course, at points we should have changed our bikes for a cyclocross version. Simon had removed his mudguards, he soon realised his actions were a bit premature and I did not sit behind him as I did not want to eat the Essex countryside.
After climbing passed the golf course we decided to have a brief respite for a gel. The wind was picking up but we were in open fields so nothing to stop or divert the onslaught. After a short cross wind section we were greeted with a left turn and started heading home. We hoped this would present us with a tail wind but anyone who has ridden with me, knows the wind gods do not look down on me favourably. We turned left and I think the dial increased to 12 only being given a short break on a 3% climb.
A cracking ride and food consumption adjusted to every 30 minutes but need to add salted nuts or the like to the eating schedule. The legs ached but showed how much rest we do get at stops.
More longer non-stop distance required…