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.



Fog, no brakes and The Blue Egg

Today was one of the first road rides for Back On Track that involved more than two riders.  It is always great to get out but even better when there are more of you.

I’d been watching the forecast and decided to delay the start of the ride. The walk to school had demonstrated the amount of ice under foot and it was a slippery affair.  Also according to the weather app I utilise, the fog was clearing at 1100.  I’d looked at another app and it clearly stated there was no fog, I wonder where they got their information from?

At 10am we met in the usual spot and decided on a nice gentle ride out to the Blue Egg.  A popular coffee shop/post office/garden centre with cyclists.  Good food, cracking coffee and a warm welcome.  I say a nice gentle ride, we all seem to have a different dictionary definition.

A foggy and cold morning so off we headed.  One of the guys had washed his bike since the last ride and discovered he still had the brake quick release open.  This became evident whilst descending Tilty Hill, not a particularly steep hill but with no brakes and a T junction at the end, does provide a bottom clenching moment.  Obviously we showed our concern with the usual smiles and asking if he needed to change his cycling shorts.

Attached is a short video, still playing with the GoPro and editing software.

Feeling slightly moist from the dampness in the air, the Blue Egg was a welcomed break.  Wet cleats and a tiled floor is always a test for a cyclist’s ability to walk.  Funnily enough we picked a table closest to the door, avoiding any Bambi embarrassment.  After warming up, a couple of coffees a piece plus cake, it was time to head home.  The fog had closed in and the temperature had dropped.  So the best thing to do was cycle home faster than we arrived, the old let’s take it easy approach.  It never fails.

The ride home was hard and the weight of good cake was starting to be noticed.  That is my excuse and I will stick to it.

Finally home and I could begin to thaw out, once the bike had been washed, of course.

Don’t think much to the Essex Road Mudpack