There’s nothing quite like an early season time-trial to recalibrate your skewed cycling self-confidence. After putting in the miles this Winter I was starting to feel like the elusive ‘form’ might be on the near horizon. Unfortunately, as it turns out, not only am I slower than I’ve been for the last couple of years, I’m also slower than two-thirds of the club! Hey ho, it’s not easy getting older and being a parent.
Last weekend I rode the Exmoor Beauty 70 mile sportive. In fine sunny weather and with just one ascent to the top of Exmoor it was a relatively light dose of the usually brutal moors. My personal highlight was Ridge Road, a long and relatively car-free descent from Simonsbath to Dulverton with great views. A new one to me and definitely a route to include the next time I visit Exmoor.
I’ve been averaging 100 miles a week this year taking advantage of both the mild weather and a regular job in Bristol where I can commute by bike a couple of days a week.
Riding the steely in full pannier-juggernaut mode is one thing, but carrying Little Miss BikeVCar in the Toddler Chariot is becoming ever more of a challenge.
I’ll be off to France soon for a week in the Alps before my family then join me for a holiday in Provence. With this in mind I’ve been trying to increase my cycling for the inevitable back-to-back-to-back days on the bike. Immediately after the Exmoor sportive I commuted to Bristol 3 days in a row and then capped this off with my first time trial of the year.
The time trial went ok. Over a lightly undulating 8 miles around Chew Valley Lake I managed to average 21.5mph. Not my fastest but I gave it 100% and is a good marker. The other day someone gave me some advice: “Ride hard and rest”. Personally I’d add “… and eat”. So after riding 200 miles in the last 4 days, now it’s time to take a short break to recover … and eat.