Group Riding.

I nice 100KMs clocked up this week, that takes me to 500.2KM this year. Am happy about that – feeling good on the bike already, the legs haven’t completely forgotten everything it seems.

Training for last years Ridelondon was pretty hard work. It takes a lot of effort to drag yourself out each week and cover the distance as a solo rider. I spent many many hours just me and the bike, going over similar routes in all weather just to get the time in the saddle so I could cover the distance. Its so easy to find excuses to cheat on the distance or time you have done, or make yourself “go up that hill again”.

It is much better to try and find people to ride with. Having a group of riders gives you a load of benefits.

  • You get some protection against the traffic.
  • It is a great motivator to get out. (you don’t want to be the one to no show).
  • You learn skills to ride safely in a big group.
  • You get to find the best coffee/cake stops

Typical club activities are shown in this video.

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New 2014 Route is posted.

News this week – The 2014 Ridelondon 100 route has been posted. A few subtle changes, but the main bulk of the route is pretty much the same as last year.
The course takes in the 3 climbs of Newlands Corner / Leith Hill and Box Hill as well as the sneaky one in Wimbledon near the end (save some legs for that one people)

The changes are:

  • Out of Leatherhead there is a cross country route to Esher via Oxshott (rather than the main road) which should be a nicer route.
  • Some changes around Kingston on the way back, routing through the town centre.
A few changes at Kingston and Oxshott

A few changes at Kingston and Oxshott

New route available for Garmin devices here….

Weather Improves – time to get out.

The weather has been kind the past week, so at last a chance to get out for some miles. I took the bike on a nostalgic tour of Windsor Great Park. This is where I did a lot of my mileage getting ready for last years RideLondon 2013. The temperature was even hot enough for shorts, and I blasted a few laps of the park stopping to check out the views over Windsor and the Lake. I gentle spin home clocked me up 40km.

Its my road.. all to myself.

Its my road.. all to myself.

Sunday I did a longer ride into the Surrey hills a nice loop on the hottest day of the year so far. A 100km beautiful ride taking in some climbs and a few sprints to mix up the legs. I stopped off at a farmers market near Godalming for a coffee and cake to fuel me for the return journey. I felt ok after this 60mile ride. My legs took a day to recover but I feel good that I can ride this distance “comfortably” this early in the year.

Ride details here.

Surrey Hills Sunshine Dash

Spring has arrived this week, with the temperature promising to be a balmy 14 degrees, I took a gamble and shot out after work to head down to the Surrey Hills. The legs were suffering as I confess I had larded it up over Christmas and its been a while. The run from Pyford to Ripley was a complete bonus !!. They are repairing 3 of the small bridges that got trashed with the floods earlier this year. This means the road is closed to traffic (but not for pedestrians and cycles) This makes for a very nice couple of miles with “closed roads”. If you get a chance to get on them (its on the 2012 Olympic route) you have about a month or two before they finish the work.

I got up to the top of the downs via Staple Lane, and had a quick 5min break to admire the view. There was a bit of a haze over the main towns of Woking and Guildford, but it was completely clear out towards the smaller villages. It was a nice ride back as the sun was setting, the temperature dropping all the time. All in all a nice round trip of some 65km.

Club ride with Woking CC on Sunday.

Ride details here

Pot Holes, Wheels and Wobbles.

So I rode out towards Woking as it was about the best day of the year so far. I took the round-about route and followed some of the back roads. Sky was blue and the sun was a welcome sight, even though you can only just feel its power on the bike. Hopefully things will warm up soon. I had a long stop and a few coffees over near the sports centre and then thought about getting back. (this is where the problems started)

The sun had already gone down and this was not a problem as I rode through Woking and Horsell which are well lit. The problems started as I hit the back lanes. It was completely pitch black. My LED light on my bike does not throw much light onto the floor. It is designed for me to be seen (not to see the road) Some of the lanes have not a bad surface, but some are horrendous. My ride back was a very cautious one. Unable to see the verge for most of it I had to ride close to the white line, ducking back into the kerb every time there was a glow of headlights behind me. I hit a few big pot holes, the state of the roads are terrible after all the rain we had. There were more than a few clunks as the front wheel took a number of hits.

This morning as I am about to set off on my morning commute I get that tell tell noise of the wheel against the brake rims. Yep its knocked out of true.
On goes the spare wheel and we make it to work. Trip to get the wheel pulled out now planned for the weekend.

A horrible feeling of de ja vu