More layers than a giant onion

Eventually got going

After riding on Friday, Saturday and Sunday the previous week I decided to give my usual Monday night ride a miss, Tuesday would also be a non-ride night as my partner attends a night class so I was looking forward to riding on Wednesday where I planned to extent my normal 60-75 minutes to around the 2 hour mark… In the end that night fell through due to circumstances outside my control (the guy coming to look at my TT bike got lost, by the time he gave up it was too late for me to ride), riding on Thursday was also out the question so on Friday night as I arrived home I had not ridden my bike all week, far from ideal.


Friday night however I planned to redress the situation by linking up with the South Normanton chain gang ride and also doing a bit either side to give me around 2 hours and about 35 miles, this would be a nice dent in my 6 hours, 100 mile, 10,000ft climbing weekly target. Having done a few hills prior to meeting them, sadly I messed up with the meeting time and ended up doing the same route myself. The terrain is primarily flat, heading through Belper and out to Little Eaton, it gives you the opportunity to work on Tempo / Sweet spot / Threshold or in layman’s terms to press on a bit.


I rode the flat 13.5 section at an average of 21mph for 40 minutes at around tempo, just below my sweet spot power, although to be fair with current fitness levels I’d say that probably was my sweet spot power. Anyway enough of the geekiness, the net result was a solid 1hour 45minutes covering a total of 32 miles, about what I’d aimed for.

Friday – relive the ride


On Saturday I was presented with the opportunity to get 3 hours in on the bike, although raining I was determined not to let this pass me by. I figured I would just take things quite steady and see how I felt. I quickly decided on my route, I’d keep it reasonably flat out towards Monsal Head, climb up to Monsal, then up Longstone Edge, through Chatsworth, over Beeley and then home. Unusually for me this was exactly what happened, no getting lost, progress!


The ride itself was really quite fun, once you resign yourself to going a medium pace and take in the surroundings it offers up something different to my normal hill smashing. I know most cyclists would load up two bottles on the bike before heading off, but I hate doing that, so I just factored in where I could refill my bottle. I did however take a jam sandwich and 2 gels. As it happened refills took place at Bakewell, I also scoffed a Dairy Milk and then later on at Calver. I can now confirm that Powerade and Lucazade are a nice mix, I think I’ll call it Powerzucarade. I can also confirm that Dairy milk goes down well with both. Gels were not consumed, sandwich went down well.

Saturday – relive the ride


Winter kit list

Getting this right can be a bit tricky, especially when you are just used to riding in very low temps on an evening. I’ll list it out, it’s easier.

From top to toe

Helmet – Lazer Blade

Beanie – Altura, keeps the ears warm

Cap – Rapha, keeps the rain out your eyes

Buff – Polaris, keeps my face warm when needed

Sunglasses – Oakleys

Rain jacket – Polaris, very light weight

Gilet – Endura, lightweight, probably didn’t need this tbh

Jersey – Castelli Gabba, an awesome piece of kit

Base layer – DHB, wicks the sweat off

Shorts – DHB thermal bib longs

Socks – DHB thermals

Overshoes – Velotoze to keep the water out, Polaris on top just incase (nothing stops a ride like cold wet feet, especially when you have no mudguards)

Shoes – Sidi, getting a bit old now, comfort wise not the greatest

Gloves – Full finger Polaris

Bike – Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0

Garmin Edge 500

Stages Power meter

It’s no wonder I don’t like filling up both bottles…


A busy day at home, I did have thoughts of squeezing in an hour late at night but I was quite tired and figured it’d do more harm than good so gave it a swerve with the intention of going a bit harder tonight.

Running totals

Week 1: 52.2 miles, 2h 48m, 4,213 feet, 206 TSS (2 days of riding after 5 days off)

Week 2: 78.1 miles, 4h 30m, 7,316 feet, 367 TSS (4 rides)

Week 3: 104.5 miles, 5h 58m, 9,508 feet, 480TSS (5 rides)

Week 4: 82.6, 4h 40m, 5,443 feet, 300TSS (2 rides)


As you can see, a bit below my weekly target but this was pretty much all down to missing out on Wednesday, at least on the time and miles anyway. Whilst normally this would irk me a bit, having done two good quality rides in the last two days I was pretty content. This week and next could be a bit tricky though, my son’s birthday this week and having a new kitchen fitted the week after will no doubt impact training time. I’ll just do what I can.

Thanks for reading.


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