Tuesday, 21 July 2009


I thought I'd have a few back to back rides, where I'm riding daily for a few days, so that I can see exactly how my riding is going: am I getting fitter or not yet, am I worse than last year or fitter etc. So here's how Sunday and Monday went -

Seeing as the weather wasn't too great during the day I went for a ride in the evening after devouring a roast beef tea at my moms. So, at 8pm I clambered into my gear, made sure Everest was all set and set off out towards the hills. Through the roadworks and to the contraflow pausing at the crossroads for the lights to change. At the amber light I pushed off (still in the contraflow) and crossed the junction speeding up as I had a car right up my ass. When hisssssssss. Of all the places to get a flat, and an instant flat at that, it had to happen in a contraflow and right outside a pub. Mmm, not the best of places to be hanging around outside while in full cycle gear.

I managed to get into a lay by and onto the pavement to a fence to sort out the tyre. As it was an instant flat it proved a little harder than normal to locate it, but when I did it was a double puncture - almost as if I'd ridden over a giant staple - but there was nothing stuck in the tyre/tube, so after I patched it up I continued on my way.

I rode pretty much straight into Ashton and back via Guide Bridge for a pretty much straightforward route. Other than having to stop to sort out the tyre it was a good ride bar the fierce headwind I got on the way back.

Sunday stats -
Still rather warm
Average speed: 15.3mph
Miles: 6.28

I was all for heading into the hills today, but as the hills were looking very gloomy and I wasn't really in the mood to get rained on in any way, I chose to head out to Gorsey Lane for a little bit of climbing.

I set off out through Littlemoss and alongside Daisy Nook to Cranbourne Rd and over to Hurst where I got onto King's Rd and it's climb up past the war memorial and stopped to admire the view at the top alongside the edge of Ashton Golf Course looking over to Hartshead Pike looming out of the gloom.
Once I'd descended to Mossley Rd and Luzley I enjoyed the superb fast descent back into Ashton, where I trained my neck to get back into the aero position it's been unable to hold since my accident (think it's simply lack of being in that position).

Soon I was climbing back out of Ashton towards Oldham and turning off the road into Daisy Nook proper for a muddy off road jaunt for a bacon butty. I very nearly came off on one of the drops down the side of the lock flight, but somehow held on as the path seemed to slide down the gradient with me! After devouring the sarnie i set off across the steep Stannybrook Rd onto the Jericho Trail crossing the M60, then trying to get up a muddy hill with the rear wheel spinning out every now and then. After the 'n'th time, I gave up and walked up the hill before mounting again for the last section before the car park by the fish farm.

A nice fast-paced ride back to another lot of roadworks and road closures brought me alongside Droylsden FC and all too soon to the roundabout where Paul painfully perfected his superman impression over a bonnet many, many years ago. Thankfully I tweak my rides this way so I leave the roundabout by the nearest exit to that which I'm entering from and soon I hurtled alongside Droylsden High before joining the one-way system and arrived home.

Monday stats -
Warm though cloudy
Average speed: 12.7mph
Miles: 13.97

In respect of riding days back-to-back, I seemed to manage quite well. Monday's average seems about right for the climbs regardless of whether I'd ridden 12hrs earlier or not. The real test for me will be riding the day after a track session (sadly I've not been back on the track since January time).

So maybe my fitness is improving. Maybe I'm just a tad more mentally stronger. Maybe.

*Pictures will follow for Monday's ride soon*


  1. Glad to hear everything seems to be getting back on track for ya!

    And which would you prefer to be improving? Fitness or Mental Strengh?

  2. Both!! Both aspects do seem to be stronger now than they were before the injury, but it'd be great if they both got a lot better too.

  3. Mental strength is such a key....I found one thing that helped me mentally for racing is the Chris Carmichael TT DVD as the first few times I did it I found it really hard and the five minute Power Intervals - after a while you realise that you just have to put your head down and keep going......seriously the DVD helped a lot.....

  4. Still taking poor everest off-road?

    Your flat sounds like a pinch flat, often called a snake bite as you get two slots/holes in the tube. They're caused by the rim 'stamping' the holes in the tube when you hit a large bump.

  5. As long as you remember that if you see me on the road, to get away as soon as possible because I'm cursed, then you'll by fit and mentally strong in no time.

    Although riding with me might make you mentally stronger, as all the cars head my way!

  6. Buttsy - It's the realisation that to get anywhere you need to work at it that is keeping me going, especially on the hills. I hate them with a passion, but my training (which seems to have fallen by the wayside) has helped a lot!

    RB - She's a tough cookie, she handles the off-road bits better than me. They're not massively off road sections just gravel, mud, a few ruts, leaf litter, more mud and maybe some more mud! The 'sbake bite' theory sounds about right to me especially where it happened as it's a very lumpy, pot-holey junction.

    Joby - lol! I must remember that. Any cyclist being hunted down by motorists and it's you. you don't want me to come to your rescue then? ;o)