I’ve purposely not added any posts within the last few months, in part because sometimes I felt like I was spending more time thinking about cycling than actually riding my bike. My goals are modest for the week, 6-7 hours, 100+ miles, around 450-500 TSS, it’s been a rarity for me to gain any sort of consistency, which has meant that I tend to build a bit, go back or stagnate then build a bit again. Overall I’m improving, but the increments would be higher if I could string the weeks together a bit better.
However, I looked at Strava the other day and saw something I’d not seen before. On the summary for the average of the last 4 weeks it read over 6 hours and above 100 miles, as I say, previously unheard of. January 16th to Feb 7th saw the most consistent set of weekly stats that I’ve seen for more than 2 years and I’ve noticed the change in my legs, physically if not visually.
Having joined South Normanton (SNCC) I’ve been a regular fixture on the club rides, mostly Wednesday and Friday plus the odd Sunday including an horrendous ride in the snow and ice which was character building / destroying to say the least. But in general they are a lot of fun and I’ve been pushed quite hard by some of the lads on the rides which has brought above some of the improvements.
(I’m on the left)
A step up
The next step up from the club rides was a local chain gang (CG) originated by another local club Derby Mercury which leads me on to why I’m writing this post, what’s next? Well after some deliberation I’ve decided to dip my pedal and have a go at some circuit / road racing and have entered my first event at the infamous Darley Moor circuit on the 11th March, which as I write this is just over 3 weeks away.
Darley Moor race pic
The pace of the CG ride is pretty intense and is a good introduction to riding at a fast pace with others, it won’t replicate the racing but having done the CG last week, we averaged about 24mph so pretty rapid, I’d also ridden in to the start and rode home, clocking up nearly 47 miles, not bad for a Tuesday evening. It’s fair to say that the SNCC boys were doing the bigger pulls that night too, so I was pleased to not only have finally done one but also to be strong on it, it was a good confidence boost.
And back to normal………..
Having felt great on Wednesday morning after the CG, it was clear my fitness was really good, sadly having been confined to a training room for 3 days at work I then proceeded to pick up a bug and haven’t ridden my bike since. Typical!. Tonight I’m going to start again on the turbo, after 8 days off I think I need to get some quality in over the remainder of this week then get back on the club rides and CG’s the week after to sharpen my legs back up for the racing.
The time is now
I’ve always fancied the circuit racing, but there are a lot of crashes so I originally went down the Time Trial route, but it’s getting to the point of now or never so knowing some of my SNCC crew are also signed up I can’t wait to get stuck in. My British Cycling race licence has arrived, all I need now is some kit and some new wheels to replace my knackered Mavic’s and away I go.
Darley Moor on You Tube (actually from race 1 2016)
Being a novice I will start in Category 4 (cat 4), the first race is for Cat 3&4’s only, it’ll be a real eye opener I’m sure but I’m hoping I can stay upright and hopefully be nearer to the front than back. I think the first few races will be about getting the feel for it, improving my bike handing and checking where I am physically before aiming for those points to progress to category 3 but I’m excited all the same.
I’ve had every thought imaginable from standing on the podium to skidding on my face along the tarmac, somewhere in between would be ok. In truth I have no idea how I will go, it’s a shame that I’ve had 8 days off, my CTL has dropped below 50 but I don’t tend to lose much in that time so hoping I can recover the form so when the race starts I can do myself justice. As I mentioned, race 1 is entered, they then occur every week thereafter, it’s a bit costly to race every week but twice a month should be a good balance and providing there are no mishaps I think the year ahead should be a good one.
Signing off until after race 1.