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.

 

An evening at the track

At Christmas there is not much I ask for.  Loads of stuff I want but this is usually restricted by lack of funds or Lainey telling me no, this is part due to over excitement and poor atttempts at convincing her that we really need a wifi enabled kettle.

My wish list for Christmas, birthdays or if you just fancy buying me a gift is pretty short.  Jack Daniels or any kind of cycling related items and you are in my good books!

This Christmas I was given money, solely for track sessions.  For those that have not tried track cycling I would highly recommend it; 250m Olympic Track, fixed wheel bikes with no brakes and a 45º bank.  I would suggest beginning with a taster session and give it a go, I did and have been hooked ever since.  I am currently heading for my level 3 accreditation and a few nights ago attended a session in Group Techniques.  If it was anything like the Speed Techniques earlier in the month it would be a good session, and it was.  My legs are still feeling it a few days later.

I am lucky my main job resides in Islington so I pass the Lee Valley Velodrome on my way to and from work.  It’s a great place to train in the winter, mainly as the track is warm and I can get my legs and arms out. Easy tiger!

It was a cracking two hours and I was lucky to meet some familiar faces from previous sessions. It does start to get a bit competitive but it’s a great way to keep up the winter training.

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Lee Valley Velodrome has a lot to offer so for those not interested in the track, there are other activities available.  With warmer weather just on the horizon, you could try the 1 mile road circuit, an ideal place for a chaingang session.  If the off-road scene is more your style then there is the Olympic BMX track and MTB circuit, all situated within the confides of the road circuit.

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Group Techniques – The Washing Machine