The week started wet so I resorted to the turbo on Monday evening. I’m not quite sure why it was so hard but I had to knock it down a gear half way through – an hour @27.2kph (17mph).
It was cooler and much windier by the time I ran on Tuesday – 10.4km (6.5m) at 4 hour marathon pace, but it felt harder. We all ran on Wednesday (7km – 4.3m), very mild but, again with a considerable wind. My wife is doing a very good job with the running – not long ago the target was sub 7 minute kms. and now she’s regularly sub 6:30s.
While running on Sunday we met a very good friend (the chap I did the ‘Club des Cinglés du Mont Ventoux’ challenge with in 2015, here). He suggested a ride together later in the week so I cleaned the bike (yes, I am a disgrace and do not regularly clean it after rides) and gave it a bit of a fettle.
It made me realise how little cycling I’ve done over recent months as I never bothered to put the winter wheels on (or even the second-best normal wheels) – it still has the 50mm carbon wheels. I left them on as it looks like being dry and, given how much my friend has been cycling, I decided I was likely to need all the help I could get.
I will admit to a bit of apprehension before the ride – partly not being sure how my cycling would be and partly being unsure of what to wear. To my shame, it was over 2 months since my last ride outside and the previous one to that was 5 months ago.
As it was, the cycling was very good (around some lovely back roads of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire) but the clothing choice was less good. At about 8℃ (46℉) it was a few degrees cooler than I had expected. I underestimated the wind chill and was a bit cool throughout the 60km (38m) – which was taken at a gentlemanly and social 25.4kph (15.8mph). So much for me deciding not to be a cold weather wimp.
One strange thing on the ride was noticing that my friend’s saddle was about an inch (2.5cm) higher than mine, despite the fact that he is probably the same amount shorter than me. Have I really been riding the bike for 5 years with the set-up so far out?
I know I should go for a bike fit, but for now I have raised the saddle and I am expecting the change to add at least 10% to my speed, cure my knee, repair my Achilles and make me rich and more attractive to women …
Such was the shock of having been out on the bike on Thursday, I took Friday off to recover – but ran with my wife on Saturday. It was a glorious spring-like day and I did 8.2km (5m) around the, surprisingly dry, old hill fort.
Sunday was another lovely day, I ran with my son and, having agreed to push the distance a bit, we had a very good 16.5km (10.25miles), taken fairly steadily.
It is not clear whether the White Horse Challenge sportive will go ahead in April. The Government recently revealed its roadmap to the end of our Covid restrictions in late June. That suggests it should be possible for cyclists to ride in groups of up to 6 in April – but getting 600 sportive entrants away like that might be an issue. The inevitable bunching at the start, finish and food stops might also be a problem? I suppose it’s best to assume that it will happen, until I know that it won’t.
No London Marathon place for me through the ballot and I can’t work up the enthusiasm to do the race ‘virtually’ so if I’m still mobile after the ultra in July, I might have to look for another challenge for later in the year.
Interesting stuff this week
1. African wise words: If you pick up one end of the stick you also pick up the other
2. BBC News website: Tiger Woods suffers serious leg injuries in a car crash
He suffered “open fractures affecting the tibia and fibula bones” in his lower right leg “stabilised by inserting a rod into the tibia”. He had to be “extricated from the wreck” by firefighters and paramedics.
A deputy from the LA County Sheriff’s Department, said the golfer was “not able to stand under his own power” before being removed from the vehicle.
All that law enforcement observational training wasn’t wasted
My best wishes to Tiger for a speedy and complete recovery
3. An MP taking part in a House of Commons virtual debate was told he was not allowed to speak until he was “properly dressed”.
The Conservative MP tried to speak from his kitchen while wearing a jumper but the debate chairwoman made him skip his turn until he wore a jacket. She explained “It’s not about etiquette or fashion, it’s about respect.”
Maintaining standards in the time of Covid
4. BBC News website: Forest Green launch new shirt partly made of coffee waste
The football club’s players already wear shirts made of bamboo, but the owner says using leftover coffee grounds makes them more eco-friendly and lighter to wear.
OK, time to fill your boots with the coffee-related puns: putting a new spin on grinding out a result; the team will be an instant success; they are favourites for the FA ‘Cup’puccino; if they lose, they’re a team of complete mugs; that should perk them up; I wonder if the shirts ‘Costa’ lot of money; that will put the mochas on their chances in the league …