April 2017 has been and gone and was a good solid productive month of riding, 507 miles logged, the largest months riding since May 2013 and August 2012 before it, with a real mix in the bag. Long rides, interim rides, full gas rides and some solid commute rides thrown in - all with power, what many consider to be the holy grail and the opening of the door cycling wise. Off the bike I managed to manage my eating and food regime well over Easter where it becomes to easy to eat stupid amounts of chocolate. But, the weight loss continues, if a little slower. Going back to power, I find it hard to moderate it on hills such is the location, but is is fuelling a better understanding of how and where to use it. For example, I nailed a PB on a segment called 'climb out of Starcross' (pic below) a small harbour side village in Devon, and I now know that to better it again, 220 watts for the duration on the fake flat for 6 minutes should do. Easier said than done of course, but with power, you have a real tool for improvement because you can break down the effort and see where and how you rode. There are a lot of variables involved. Fitness, increased threshold and weight loss but most of all, simply getting stronger due to the love of riding a bike.
Highlights of the month passed include some new personal bests along with aforementioned climbs here and there and some very enjoyable fast rides. Best of all, I managed to snag a top ten on Strava on one of the local punchy climbs 'Roubaix Lane'. 2 miles long and up and down like a fiddlers elbow. Well, I smashed it to pieces. Second fastest this year and 8th all time, which to a fat middle aged guy on a bike is simply wonderful. Like running a marathon. The funny thing, I never went out there 'Strava hunting' as it is known, I simply knew I had good legs from the minute I turned into the segment so opened the tanks and thankfully met no agricultural vehicles.
Small things and all that. Works out as 183 watts for 2 miles, average speed 20.8 miles an hour. To me this is a huge thing to achieve given how hard I found Devon as a location to ride a bike in with the move South. I took the TCR out on this way rather than the Madone. Absolutey nowhere near as fast as the Madone and a totally different bike in the way it rides and feels. To use a poor analogy, the TCR is a wasp, the Madone is a big old Bee. Much the same but hugely different. Nothing can top the Madone for flat out speed and this faster it gets the faster it goes riding though the TCR is perfectly suited to the Ardenne nature of Devon lanes sharp, punchy and battered.