Monday, 10 July 2017

The road to Perdition ....

The Road to Perdition , sorry I mean Tiverton as it is known locally, is frankly, a joke. 

I blogged in my last piece about how I felt a bit fatigued at mid summer, I had not clocked enough base miles and whilst the mind was willing, the legs it seems were not. So, over four rides, I bagged 200 miles doing the same loop from my village to Perdition, across country and back down via the 'villages' that bisect the M5 south criss-crossing the motorway four or five times. It should read like and be an excellent ride and in mileage terms it is. A couple of rises up and down, but on the whole, it lends itself to tempo riding with a couple of solid climbs at the start to warm the legs and lungs.  You can attain solid milage crawling back into Exeter via Pinhoe and the hoard who sacked it some years ago after arriving in Exmouth in long ships. Interestingly, hoe means 'top of the hill' in Saxon dialect and I can confirm that there is a small rise up into a very busy Pinhoe at the 43 mile mark to test the legs. I would love to see the Devon of yesteryear - beautiful country lanes, quiet and calm, not destroyed by the influx of traffic and utter mayhem on a daily level. I would imagine that Devon less than 100 years ago was just idyllic. You cannot stop progress however tragic it is. Brand new housing estates galore on the corner of every road now. The villages merge into a sprawling mess known as Exeter. Shame.

The caveat to the Perdition, sorry Tiverton loop however is that the tarmac both ways is quite literally the worst road surface I have ever ever come across. The amount of road buzz the surface generates is somewhat uncanny and testament to how bad the surface is and how it makes the bike feel over the course of four rides it shook the pinch bolts loose on my left hand crank arm, thus rendering it out of the bottom bracket ! Small mercy's for multi tools eh ? Thankfully it was still attached to my shoe.  My co-rider Steve could himself not believe how bad the road is and had his first experience of bicycle white finger driven by road buzz. Post ride fettling and nipping up required.

Interestingly,  post Tiverton, this week I put a much higher quality of inner tube on the front and back of the bike and it has already had a huge impact on the ride feel, lessened the excessive road buzz and taken the bike to another level. The mid summer base miles have paid off and I will continue to monster them out as and when I can. I threw Estuary loop 2 into the mix Saturday evening and hammered it going the 29 miles hilly miles in 1.44 - three minutes faster than my PB and some solid golds attained on Strava.  Have said it before, but time can be a useful barometer for us mere mortals on push bikes. Overall I have taken 8 minutes off the loop this year (images attached) Far to many variables to answer how and why, but usually, just fitness.

Finally, I went up Clapham again last week. Utterly crazy hill. I will blog about the 'hinterland' some other time.

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