Posted by: lepages | January 6, 2014

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike…

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike…

Had those words and that tune buzzing round in my head on several occasions as we walked around in Guernsey over the Christmas / New Year holiday… especially when I saw others riding their bicycles…

So, day off today – good few chores to do, cleaning aviaries, repairing a shed door…. so quick check of the hourly forecast… sun and cloud all the way till 4pm…. so thought I’ll get the jobs done first and then head out… plan was to do around 25-30 miles as hadn’t been out for a few weeks….. around 30 minutes easy…. around 30 minutes at steady/tempo… and then an easy 30 minutes or so home….

Got the jobs done (successfully! I’m not the world’s best DIY person, so really pleased to get the door off the shed, sort the problems with the door frame and the frame of the door and reassemble it so it all works smoothly… well chuffed 😉 ), had an early lunch and thought I’d head off around the outer loop of the Priory Middle Distance tri route just before 1pm.

Had only got on to Prebend Street, going over the River Ouse, when I realised it was going to be an ‘interesting’ ride!

Some very strong gusting breezes meant that the ride was going to be more about bike handling skills than any worrying about 30 minutes easy/3 minutes tempo/30 minutes easy! Twas a hard ride down to Shefford… and whilst it was bright as I headed out by the time I had got down towards Chicksands the sky had covered up with some heavy cloud… which then decided they’d like to deposit their contents on me…. now not only wind to contend with, but wet roads… and wet me!!

Pace very variable, depending on the way the wind was blowing, and how wet the roads were. Turn at Shefford meant wind more behind than head or cross. Able to go for my tempo session and give a steady push pretty much all the way to just before the Sandy roundabout… but very aware of the effect of not cycling for a few weeks! A lot of work to do to rebuild endurance and speed to be ready for my target average of 20mph for the 56 (+ abit!!) bike leg of the Middle Distance tri in May!

Turned back towards Bedford and Moggerhanger – drop to easy pace (read struggle along slowly into the wind….) Queue of traffic in Moggerhanger… cycled past it towards Willington… only to find road blocked off with fire engines, police cars, ambulances…. couldn’t see what had happened…. a nice police lady kindly said ‘NO!’ when I looked quizzically at the possibility of cycling through… to which I politely responded ‘Thanks, I’ll go round the other way.’ 

As I retraced back to Moggerhanger the sun came out. Turned right and headed slowly along what I’ve discovered is a Strava segment called ‘Sheerhatch climb’. Was really straight into the wind section…. and straight into the sun! Bright sun… on wet roads… makes seeing your way forwards fun… was glad I was wearing my yellow fluorescent jersey so the drivers rerouteing could see me! All who came past kindly gave me plenty of space which was nice!

Pleasant run back into Bedford. Not pushing, but found myself holding a comfortable pace of 18-20mph most of the way back home. Don’t quite understand that. Maybe the wind dropped, or changed direction as the storm front disappeared. I’m not complaining!

Hadn’t had my Garmin on average speed. Was guessing it was going to be a pretty slow average, given some of the battle along the way. Pretty pleased to find I’d got an average speed of 18.1mph. Happy with that given lack of training recently… and the Christmas weight gain discovered on the scales this morning…

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