Another fast Tuesday and another crazy wind blowing around the Teign Valley though not too disruptive as in the end, some excellent data logged which equates to an improved FTP, some serious recreational power put through the pedals by both Steve and I. James was busy doing nothing waiting for a delivery to arrive and thus off the bike.
Today we had a slightly calmer start with a decent plod out of Newton which was as busy as usual.
The headwind blowing us back was again somewhat lamentable so we had a steady ride up which was still fast in perspective though not the 24 mph madness of last week. In light of this, Steve and I swapped bikes so he could test ride my Madone as he has one lined up. Suitably impressed, as I was with his SL Propel though the fit was slightly skewed for both of us. It can remind you of how dialled into your own rig you become once back on it.
A quick respite stop for a chat at Steps Bridge; Dartmoor, some jelly beans and an energy gel saw us turn around and open up the tanks with some serious full gas shenanigans unleashed with both parties putting in huge shifts on the front with what seemed like an omni present wind; neither side, nor rear or head on. Just swirling and occasionally whipping under both aero bikes rendering our collective bottoms to parp once or twice. Once home we concluded it were a sharp ride and as per usual data backs that up. My legs felt inherently fresher than last week, my heart rate was under control, 42 minutes in zone 4 though I think I have a naturally high HR (???) As an example segment, sustained power of 21.4 mph for 32 minutes is good enough for me (images below, click to make big). In context years back, I can remember thinking 14 mph was fast, then 15, then 16. You get the picture. Exponential speed is a hard thing to attain, you really have to work hard for it, but it'll do for now. The ideology of a fast Tuesday is to bring us on and ultimately, creep up those numbers. Interestingly today I was holding 100 rpm cadence at a speed of 28 mph. Happy days.
Overall, this weeks ride is literally seconds apart from last weeks three up. I want to discount the slow in and out however, which is where your lap button comes in handy on the garmin. I netted 61 pb's today of which a huge portion were gold. My FTP increased by 6 watts and my 20 minute power currently sits at 224 watts which week by week I hope to increase as my fitness progresses. In 4 weeks alone I have increased it by 24 watts. FTP (functional threshold power), figure is like a virtual carrot 25 yards in front of the bike. It always stays that distance away, but as your FTP increases your zone's go up, you ride harder and thus impact your own capability which is why riding with power makes so much sense in performance terms and rest terms. My goal is to become a 300 watt FTP rider. I often get asked how to ride a bike 'fast' and there is only one answer. You have to suffer now and again but the net result, that post ride buzz is worth every second as Steve and I mulled the merits of life over coffee and choccy biscuits.
A couple of days off now before I embark on Bristol to Exminster, 100 miles approx. It is looking good performance wise and weather wise. Blog to follow no doubt.