Thursday 2 May 2013

Getting Out there

Finally winter has ended and conditions have improved for riding.  For the 1st time this year, I ventured out on my bike wearing shorts as opposed to  long tights.  Oddly enough, it seems to make me go much faster, and I was substantially quicker on my standard 2 hour ride.  Any idea why shorts make you go quicker?  Anybody else notice this?

The wonders of GPS and the Internet have combined to produce Strava, allowing one to get competitive against people who you've never met, will probably never meet and who have no interest in me or how fast I cycle.  Is this a good thing?  It certainly allows me to obsess about a multitude of details about otherwise unremarkable rides.  Why, for instance, was I slower up Kop hill yesterday than the day before?  Is having a pulse of 160 for 20 minutes a good thing?  The trends on Strava are clear however - on very gentle, non-technical pieces of road, I am quite good!  However, as soon as the gradients get steeper, gravity takes its toll, and I slip down the rankings.  'Twas ever thus.

A winter of doing ergos has left aerobically fairly fit - with my 1hour erg score about the same as 5 years ago.  From now on, I think the training should focus on time on the bike - trying to get used to the hours in the saddle.  I reckon there will be many problems on the 3500km around France - but few will be related to lack of top-end speed!