Monday, 2 October 2017

September in review ....

“We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer's wreckage. We will welcome summer's ghost.”  ― Henry Rollins

So, September has succumbed to October and as per normal it was a good month on and off the bike. Oddly, a terrible stomach bug curtailed my ambition of hitting 450-500 miles which I was well on target for, but a painful bug from the depths of hell itself robbed me of bicycle time and 2 leg loosener commutes as I was too ill to ride a bike. However, data shakes down as follows -

419 miles ridden.

21,800 feet ascended.

28 hours logged over 25 rides.

I was on course for a higher climbing figure, but Steve and I had a lamentable day trying to do Dartmoor last week as there were road works everywhere and Haytor was like Piccadilly circus which was a huge shame as that is the long climb to build the data up when you set yourself a goal. 

In the end, I rode the aforementioned Mamhead once every week and attained a new PB of 21.10 from 21.15 on the cat 3 climb over 3.6 miles on the Strava segment.  Just a mere 5 seconds and 23.10 from 23.18 from my 'private segment'. 8 seconds ! It really is a test of a climb and one that I feel I would only snare more time on my shaving the weight off the body which I am kind of over right now. At 45 I spend too many years worrying about my weight and sage advice from Steve has helped me deal with it. Ultimately, there are too many variables on this hill, but in context I am training on it to aid other rides and other hills which may be hugely shorter.  

Last week we rode from Bovey to Morton which was a 6 mile climb at 44 minutes and it was not hard, just kept turning the pedals and riding up. The descent was immense, 3 odd miles at 28 miles an hour. Magical. As before, in Devon you learn to ride in a different way and use the small ring and cadence to great effect. I went for a ride in my old stomping ground last Saturday and in all honestly, it felt pan flat. 900 feet over 31 miles where as here I do 3000 feet or thereabouts in the same distance. Still riding a bike, but in a different way. Managed to throw in a 'Fast Tuesday' too with a moving average of 19.9 mph at 214 watts for 25.5 miles in 1 hour 17. Sub 1 hour 15 has to be a goal really though I think we have done it already.

Overall the positives outweigh the negatives and though I lost a £40 tyre after just three rides and got a few soakings, being out on the bike is simply awesome. I have ridden 3500 miles so far this year, the equivalent of Exminster to New York. This is the most I have ridden since 2013. Before that like most recreational riders 4000 - 6000 miles outside was very doable and often done. Not too shabby. I hope to hit 4000 miles no problem so long as the light and the weather look after us. Ultimately it kinda means nothing, but it is part of my life and something I enjoy a lot. Buddy and Bella have me walking three miles each evening too ! They are simply joyful.

'Til next time.

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