I have now ridden my new route to work 12 times. Initially it took about an hour as I got to know the roads and struggled against some difficult weather. Last week I rode it a couple of times on the Merckx while the Carerra was out of action and managed to knock significant time off my best effort. My aim was then to try and beat the benchmark set on the Merckx using the Carerra and then ultimately beat the 50 minute mark. Today I almost achieved both, missing out on the second goal by just 11 seconds. I pushed it hard and needed to do a lap of the block to cool down before entering work. And even then, the first comment someone made was that I looked “like death warmed up”. I took this as a compliment and firm proof that I’d suffered adequately!
There are lots of variables that can affect my times such as traffic, familiarity with the route and the weather but it’s a good way of motivating me to keep improving. There is however the danger that every commute to work becomes a personal time trial so I try to go steady the day after a hard effort which can be seen in the graph. For safety I stop the clock if I have to wait at the busy main road I need to cross rather than taking any foolish risks.
With my route home, I tend to vary this depending on the weather and my mood. But I find that first thing in the morning it’s just easier to limit the number of decisions my sleepy head needs to make and head down my well cycled path.