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.

 

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

 

New Years Day Ride

I had BIG plans for this blog, the official launch date for the Back On Track Cycling blog.  A feast for the eyes with video and photographs but tech let me down.  I say tech, it may have been user error in setting up GoPro Quik app.  To be honest I don’t blame myself, I never do anything wrong, just ask Mrs T.

I organised a New Years Day ride for Back On Track Cycling and invited a local cycling club, Dunmow Velo to join us, around 10 riders turned up.  The forecast was a little dodgy with torrential rain for 1100, this did depend on which weather app you used.  Luckily the rain held off but the roads were still a little wet.

I’d organised the ride to sit at a steady 15mph and did we stick to it, no!!!  Admittedly it was downhill for a few miles and 17 creeped into 18mph.  The pace was eventually bought back.

After a toilet break on the route, ‘even Chris Froome needs to pee’ someone exclaimed, we continued the last few miles.  Essex roads have been redressed and there is a lethal combination of loose gravel and wet roads.  Thankfully we all managed to stay up right and only resulted in one puncture.

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No point in us all getting involved so let’s all stand around while one completed the repair.

My plan was to take a few short video clips, edit them and put a short film together, showing the ride in it’s full glory, well the bits that made us look good.  My inner Spielberg materialised and the filming commenced.

All was going to plan until I came back home, plugged in the GoPro, the Quik app opened downloaded 1 of 5 clips.  Kept the 1 and deleted all the others!!!  I am struggling to use this app so will continue with GoPro Studio and hopefully keep some of my work.

Below is the video that I was left with and edited.  I hope you enjoy

I’d like to say thanks for all those who joined Back On Track Cycling today.  The ride was enjoyable and met some new fellow cyclist.

 

Happy New Year to everyone and ride safe out there.