Speed. A funny old thing. We crave it and try and create, nurture it and try to simply get faster on our bikes - and more often than not we do, within the realms of our physical capabilities. In reference to speed, due to commitments off the bike, this week, I decided to get two sharp rides to Tivvy and back in and the results are different with the latter ride from this morning yielding a PB, a decent average speed and a broad smile.
Going back to Tuesday, it started with the weather forecast. Rain predicted though thankfully it stayed away. Over shoes, rain coat and hat were worn in earnest however. The roads were wet and this curtailed times, but overall, 42.2 miles bagged in 2.32 with the 40 mile marker banked at 2.28 - a full 10 minutes slower than the last attempt which was simply due to sopping wet roads. But today at 5.15 am it was clear, dry and still and though I nearly pressed snooze on the alarm when it went off as Buddy might not wake me, I decided to get up and get at it. In the end I smashed another 'PB' and made the 40 mile marker at 2.10 - the fastest 40 on that loop yet. 18.5 miles per hour for 43 miles and 18.7 mph for 'reverse triangle' one of the local Exeter Wheeler segments. Thrilled with that and also thrilled with my ascension up the Strava table as it now reads.
1.11th fastest this year in all age groups, not just 45+.
2. 5th fastest 46 - 54 years.
To many, Strava an abject waste of time, but for the solo rider a great tool when used in context. That is not too shabby at 45.5 years old. It is far from flat, rolling in fact and a good test for any bike rider capable or not. Do not forget I effectively packed cycling in and did not ride a bike over a year 2013 into 2015 ! Smart !
It was a cold, fresh start to the day and the fog was lovely lying low in the valley enroute to Tiverton. I needed to ride within myself across to Halberton as the fog was super thick and I could not see 50 yards. I normally cain the bike down hill here, so again, scope to go faster. Everything clicked into place going up and coming back.
What I would say is if my Spin DM8 45's roll like this, I wonder what a set of 58's would do. I roll with 45's due to the wind in Devon but actually, over the last week or two it has been better and a 58 set up would have flown today. I am only chasing time, my time, but it is self improvement and the love of cycling, testing myself and getting out there staying fit internally and externally that matters. As someone in a bike shop somewhere in the world likely just said "I ain't no professional" though my bike is cleaned, maintained and looked after and looks fairly pro ! In reference to my wheels, they are simply sublime. They reward power, relentless cycling and deliver speed in a way that the Zipps did not. As before, the Zipps would bottom out, drop off and speed would drop away on a rolling climb where as knocking the cassette down two and then dropping into the small ring allows the bike to power along, crest, smash it into the big ring and power up. Brilliant !
Anyway, in context, locally, there are people who could drop me in a heart beat and I am cool with that. Devon is a serious place to ride a bike, talented or not.