Improvers’ Plan – Week 4

As you can tell I managed to get out on a longer ride this weekend. The weather was cold, we had a little snow and I had the pleasure of seeing a few fellow cyclists I hadn’t seen since autumn 2016.

My first club ride of 2017 with Allez Prestwich was on Sunday 22nd January 2017. The GPX file is available for download from ridewithgps. The ride’s route was shortened on the day, due to the snow and ice threatening to become an issue.Map of Allez Prestwich bike ride on 22nd January 2017One thing to be proud of this week was the 16 personal records and 36 other Strava achievements I got on Sunday. My average speed was still not brilliant but this was a really enjoyable ride, due to both the company and scenery. I still felt quite fresh at the end of the ride.

Wind Turbines are common sights on Allez Prestwich bike rides

Small World!

On Sunday I discovered I was riding with a lad who used to go to my old secondary school back in Halifax, West Yorkshire. I think he was in year 8, while I was head boy in the upper sixth. He’s now a business studies teacher, but I never got his name and I don’t think he logged his ride on Strava. I’ll probably catch up with him on a future ride.

It was so much nicer having someone to chat to while cycling up those often endless unfamiliar hills. We were talking a lot, so much that this may have been the reason our average speed was poor. He also started each hill out of the saddle and possible ran low on glycogen. I generally carry enough gels to share and topped up his water bottle and he got a second wind.

Road Bike Revelations

I was glad to do the sunday ride on my vintage road bike ‘Vicky’. I need to get more practice on road bikes, given I plan to do the Tour de Manc on one. However, I needed to do a deep clean and relube of the chain on Saturday as the chain had got a little rusty.

I also have concluded that Schwalbe inner tubes are not the most reliable. Maybe I just keep being sold old stock. They seem to drop pressure quicker than seems reasonable. I’m really quite disappointed in Schwalbe inner tubes based on using them on several bikes over the last 3 years. I’ve had to swap out about 50% of them after fitting them new within the first few weeks of use.

On the other hand the Halfords inner tubes have been brilliant. They have in some cases held pressure for over 5 months and are surprisingly dependable. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue. How do you store your tubes?

It was strange riding with a compact double road crankset again, when I’ve used to a mountain bike triple crankset. The first hill really was exhausting. I’ll have to pace myself better and I think I will get a bigger cassette as 11 – 32T doesn’t allow me to cope with very steep hills. In the future If I continue to keep losing weight this won’t be a problem but at over 120kg I need the extra help. It’s weird 8 – 9% is hard but manageable. Up to 7% is a pleasure but 10% or more tends to make me grind to a halt.

First Blogging Freebies

I have just had some prototype energy bars delivered by the Tour de Manc organisers. I might repeat my Sunday ride and see if I can improve my times. I can compare the nutrition (oat biscuits, flap jack and high 5 energy gels) I used last time for these new prototype fruit and rice bars I now have at my disposal.

Rides summaries

Week four included a high cadence sessions to start with and a nice easy warm up session with more high cadence training mid-week. Finally a longer ride at the weekend.

Week 4 – Day 2 (Strava Spin Out Session)

Distance 16.1 km
Average Power 203 W
Average Speed 17.6 km/h
Average Heart Rate 149 bpm
Average Cadence 84 rpm (Max 142 rpm)

Week 4 – Day 4 (Strava 20 minute Warm Up)

Distance 18.1 km
Average Power 297 W
Average Speed 18.0 km/h
Average Cadence 86 rpm (Max 129 rpm)

Week 4 – Day 7 (Strava Club Ride # 4)

Distance 62.5 km
Average Power 125 W
Average Speed 17.7 km/h
Elevation 712 m

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Author: David Jackson

Hello, I'm a 40+ yo cyclist trying to get back into cycling after the Covid-19 pandemic. I have hardly been on a bicycle in the last 2 years.

2 thoughts on “Improvers’ Plan – Week 4”

    1. I enjoyed the taste of the ‘Orange and Pineapple’ bar. They have an ‘Apple and Blackcurrant’ bar I haven’t tried yet. When I’ve made a den’t on my hugh stock of energy gels I plan to give them a try. A more complete review is in this post

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