Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mid Season Blues

Sunday 10th October 2010 (10/10/10 - and my birthday!)

Despite yesterday's earth shattering installment of "The battle for Granier Hill", today was not to be a rest day. For only the second time this year Chris and I had opted to ride with the Bourg St Maurice club. Only a few of the members even know me as I'm definitely not a regular - but they are always welcoming. Perhaps I just find them welcoming because I can keep up the pace. Most of my life I'd have been petrified to join a cycling club due to the fear of being left behind and lost. Basically I'd waited until I was relatively confident of my capacity prior to ever riding with them. Now, after a full season of racing I was certain that there was nothing to worry about - plus I had enough confidence and knowledge of the geography and distances that I'd happily cope on my own anyway.

The timing of the ride was excellent - starting at 10:30am in a car park in Moutiers - giving me plenty of time to watch the Japanese Grand Prix earlier in the morning. Great start to my birthday! There were 8 or 9 of us at the start and Chris started off a bit hard causing a few gaps and creating a few moans in the peloton. I think that Chris was venting his frustration at falling behind in Granier time trials. Chris is not used to having his friends go faster than him! My legs were a bit tired from the previous day's extreme efforts, but somehow they still felt good enough.

The ride covered 107km and about 600m of climbing - so it was mostly on relative flats. We covered quite a lot of  ground just rotating in a slipstream at between 40 and 45kph. Chris and I both used short steeper hills as a form of interval training - especially on the return trip which is generally a faux plat - gently climbing all the time.

A few hours after the workout I felt very tired - it had been quite a hard one - each person working at his own level by choosing how long to stay in front and pull on each rotation - and whether or not to attack on the hills.  Could only get my heart rate up to 176 max today - despite maximal effort to remain with Chris on the climbs. Must be residual tiredness from yesterday causing that.

Wednesday 13th October 2010

Last week appears to have been a high point. This week has been one of compulsive overeating and lack of sleep. Perhaps I'm panicking at notching up another year. Weight bounced from 67.5kg to 71.6kg during this week!!!! (by 16th it's back down to 68.1kg and apparently under control again - phew!)

Yesterday my VW van started losing water very rapidly - after years of losing it very slowly. It appears that the water pump packed up - which is not surprising after 1/3 million kilometers. Having to deal with this prevented me from getting out on the bike though.  

Colder weather is now causing me to use the mountain bike more. Today I climbed up to the waterfall above Vilette - which is where I get great off-road descent. The climb was appalling - at least 5 minutes slower than last week. Not only have I put on a ridiculous amount of weight this week but I can't climb now! Couldn't get my heart rate up at all - there must be something wrong somewhere.

Tried to film the descent with my GpoPro camera mounted on the handlebars. It's pretty useless! No matter how much the knobs are tightened the camera rattles loose. Never yet managed to get a good recording mountainbiking with this device.

Thursday 14th October 2010

Have an uncontrollable appetite and feel like s***. Still, went out on the mountain bike again to the same place and the climbing was still useless. Definitely not feeling right. It'll pass. Tried filming again. The camera stayed almost in place but because it was getting a little bit late it couldn't deal with the exposure metering correctly. In the trees the image would go totally black. Even my mobile phone camera can do better than that! Pretty shameful from the GoPro HD headcam! I definitely cannot recommend this to friends.

The descent was much better though. Confidence is coming back and I can attack the hairpin bends much better. Off-road descending takes a bit of practice.

The new pedal and shoe combination is working very well. The PowerPlay pedals are great - the SPD being very easy to clip in and out of and holding perfectly for pulling up when climbing and the flat (non SPD) side of the pedal working well for descending. Sometimes when descending I use the wrong side of the pedal and find myself clipped in unexpectedly - but it seems really easy to get out of the clips. I've both Time and SpeedPlay pedals on my racing bikes but can't get in or out anything like so easily.

No comments:

Post a Comment