Here in Cornwall a primary feature of high pressure (and consequently fine weather over most other areas…) seems to be fog… fog so thick I’ve been reduced to imagining the spring wildflowers in the hedgerows while riding to work. It was the same on Sunday morning as I headed on up to Roche for this weekend’s TT.. a quickie ’10’ on the S100 course. This course in particular is hard work on a fixed gear featuring a bastard of a climb up to the turn that sucks the life out of your legs (what’s left anyway after an undulating outbound leg) leaving little to accelerate around the turn and then deal with a crazy high cadence descent…
I knew I wasn’t going to have an easy ride when I climbed back upstairs at 6am after breakfast… my legs felt tired just doing that (last week at work was a long, draining one and I’d not been taking it easy on the bike either) so it kind of felt like heading to the firing squad as I rolled up to the start after a difficult warm-up in which I’d failed to really find my legs. Some consolation – the fog had lifted by the time the first riders rolled away leaving almost perfectly still conditions.
Heading up to the turn I just couldn’t get my heart right up into my ‘zone’, my complaining legs pegged it to 186bpm… normally I can ride a 10 at around 190-191, touching 193 on occasion (my max is 195* at the moment)… until I hit the climb, that sorted me out with a steady 192. It was a real struggle to accelerate round the turn in my 100-inch gear, legs full of acid, and then the descent… turning that gear as fast as I good my heart maxed out and I could not get the bike past 42mph. The rest of the race was something of a painful blur – trying to recover from that burst at max while still keeping the speed up over the undulations to follow…. at times these are steep enough to suck the speed down as low as 22-23mph. It was fast day, no doubt about it, and in a good field my long 21 was only good enough for 8th. Never mind, I can always say I won the fixed gear class (ha-ha) being the only one silly enough to leave the gears behind. Consolation came in the form of a medal presented by Wendy Houvenaghel as we (Team Cyclelogic… Chris Lobb, Martin Bawden and myself) took the team prize.
I’d been so looking forward to going back to bed from pretty much the moment I got up… so that’s what I did as soon as I got home for a couple of hours before heading out on my Ganwell Pro for a sunshine cruise around the seaside lanes. Good fun, sort of, for a Sunday morning. One day I might try the concept of a lie-in followed by full English and a leisurely browse of the Sunday papers… one day.
* shows what a load of bollocks that old and oft-quoted formula of 220-your age is… I’m 36.
** apols for that somewhat ‘dry’ post, I left my sense of humour behind in the office last week. I’ll get it back soon, I hope, along with my legs… :o)