OK, now where did I put it?

So my aim this year is to ride 5000 miles, an increase of around 1500 miles on last year. To date I am about 200 miles behind my year to date target. 

You read correctly, I log my rides in miles. Getting ahead of the game come Brexit time and you ‘Km’ cyclists get deported.

I have recently lost my cycling mojo, fallen out with pedalling the miles on the new badly dressed roads of Essex. Imagine your very own personal Strade Bianche. The idea of cycling to a cafe stop for coffee and cake has lost its appeal. That’s right, I said it. No real reason for it and unable to pin point an event which has led to this. As a shrink would say ‘all decision can be attributed to a traumatic point in one’s life’ but there maybe one.
Usually kept for the winter or those summer months when it rains, I have been on Zwift. Using the platform to keep my fitness up and remain on the bike. Plus a post dripping work out coffee is on hand and I can have two!!!  
Last week I managed to ride around 85 miles, well I say 85. I run rollers for Zwift, which offer little resistance so climbing a hill, taking into account wattage, the algorithms of the program adjust my displayed speed accordingly. For me to climb and maintain a descent speed, I pedal harder. So after completing Rapha Rising 30 mile Challenge and climbing the 3 mountains of Watopia it felt more like 50 miles on the rollers. I actually hurt the following day.  
I think the ease of jumping onto Zwift and riding within a few minutes became very appealing recently and not having been online since the London extension, it has kept things fresh but I did not see my wife in the crowd cheering me on.

I did mention earlier there was no traumatic event that lead to my recent hermit approach to cycling, I had completely forgotten one moment. I did not have matching wheels on the summer bike, the embarrassment to be out would have been life changing. We cyclists have some real issues.
A few weeks ago I felt the back of the bike dragging when climbing, I went through the process of elimination.  Cleaned the BB30, chain cleaned, brake calliper alignment but no improvement. So I removed the back wheel and investigated further, after a discussion with Hunt Wheels, they arranged for the wheel to be returned for investigation. So I needed to replace it for my rear winter wheel, you now see why I stayed inside.
The service from Hunt was fantastic, they arranged collection on Tuesday, repaired on Wednesday, phoned to update me and my precious wheel arrived Friday morning. That is impressive. It would appear there was an issue with the freehub and pressure on the bearings from the axle, Hunt replaced it all.
So has my mojo returned with matching wheels? A little but feel Zwift still has a hold. Anyway I have ordered new tyres, new cassette and chain for the summer bike so it may have to wait a little while longer for a true test.
I understand that coffee growing countries are waiting on tenterhooks for my return but do not worry about the little dip in the market.

 

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Basking in the evening sunshine

It is not often I get an opportunity to organise an evening ride but as it is currently half term in the south of the country, I decided to get out on the bike.  We had a few members of Back On Track Cycling, the rest were on shift, plus Dunmow Velo attended and some new faces from the local area.  In total 10 fellow cyclists started to pedal the back lanes of Dunmow.

The plan was for a social ride, curbing the speed that Back On Track have a habit of, you know the one, ‘let’s take it easy’, someone says then taking off like a wippet out of the gate.  It was a cracking ride and there were a few opportuities for hill sprints, well as much as Essex can do a hill.  It was great to see so many people out and something I will aim to do again

 

Who are the Back On Track Cycling Club?

So how did Back On Track Cycling start? A question that has yet to be asked by the most powerful minds of the world.

I have a main job that consists of shifts so a 48 hour week is completed in 4 days.  I was looking for something to fill my time.  I have always ridden bikes and attempted my own repairs, sometimes successfully but as a kid it’s the only way to learn.

As a family we moved to a new estate and many of my new neighbours had bikes.  Suddenly I began to assist with theirs, from this Back On Track Repairs was born.  I am lucky to have had help from C&D Cycles, based in Kettering.  This is an independent shop that is run by my best friend, he offered some guidance and I spent a week working with him and honing my skills.

Back On Track as a repair business has grown and even though I enjoy seeing people back on their bikes, my main love is cycling.  Through local repairs I have met others whose work patterns also consist of shifts and we started to ride during the week.  Just a few of us to start off with and now we have a regular turn out for cycling, coffee (some in the group even drink tea!!!) and cake.  We are still small and have 54 cyclists on the Strava group but looking forward to the summer when more will join us.  Rides are posted out on the Strava group including details of speed and distance.

I organised a ride New Years Day and another local club Dunmow Velo joined us.  In total we had 14 riders for a 30 mile loop, a nice leisure spin of 15mph average and such a pleasant ride.  Hopefully later in the year, when the weather is warmer and the sun is shining another ride will be organised, a little more of an endurance ride.

Plus our cycling kit has been approved by British Cycling and submission is ready to be entered for affiliation.

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Ian Appleby the Adonis
Back On Track at a local charity ride
A ride out
The old and new cycling jersey
Roadside puncture repair
Back On Track Cycling lead out
Where it all started, Back On Track Repairs