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Taking it up a notch

In the week Immediately after LWL, I was wiped and did very little.  General fatigue, feeling run down and lots going on at work, but this week it was time to bounce back. A quick TrainerRoad ftp test, equalling my best result. Then just the issue at having to train at that higher value. Last time, I just didn’t manage it, so when I got on the turbo last night to do 'Budwang'; 4 x 9 minutes at 105%, I wasn’t really feeling the love.

I absolutely smashed it! I can only think that the long rides and audax stuff I’ve been doing has soaked in and given me the base I needed. It just felt a lot more comfortable than I was expecting; hard but doable instead of impossible.

TrainerRoad have also improved their website with a new ‘performance analytics’ platform, which pulls in all your rides, not just the turbo sessions.  So I’ve sold a kidney and bought myself some Powertap P1 pedals so that I can track my TSS, but more importantly, use power as a metric for racing and pacing. With …
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London-Wales-London Audax

I was really looking forward to this ride. The thought of actually using my bike and being under my own steam to travel to another part of the UK, from the capital, seemed  to conjour up a sense of daring-do and gutsy ambition. Admittedly, the 'London' bit is actually Chalfont St Peter, on the very outward western fringes of London, and the Wales bit was only just about touching it before heading east again. But nonetheless, it was still going to be 400kms and a very long day in the saddle, in fact my longest ever continuous ride. I decided to go 'full audax' and bed down at the HQ the night before as it was an early start, so I headed off the the pub with a couple of other riders to have an anaesthetic pint, while the line-dancing class finished off. In the pub a few of the locals were rocking out to a pub band and a few of them were kind enough to wish us luck for the next day's shennanigans.

The start was typically low key. Coffee and toast, a few last minute f…

Fettling again

A bit of a transition week spent recovering from the 50 mile tt on Sunday and thinking ahead to LWL on Saturday. After the TT I found some issues with the Argon which needing sorting (a cable too tight; bars had slipped) so that was another hour tweaking.

Yesterday I went out and bought some bits for LWL, namely a new, small handlebar bag. The only problem was I found that a strap to attach it to the headset is too small, so it's going to flap about a lot. I think with the time I have left, I'm going to probably go without, which I'm sure will be fine. It will just mean carrying food in my seat pack which won't be as readily accessible. Other than that, just got to sort out my Garmin route for the very last leg, clean the Van Nic and then, hopefully, I'm good to go.

I'm pretty sure things will go wrong at some point but I'm also pretty sure I can sort most issues out. I'm looking forward to it, a lot, and even the weather seems to be set fair. Happy da…

The definition of madness.....

is making the same mistake twice.

I spent all day, and I mean literally all day, rebuilding my Argon TT bike. I had got it back from my local bike shop who had finally managed to get the spacers off that had been welded firmly to the steerer tube with my turbo sweat. So I set aside all of yesterday in order to get it ready for today's Charlotteville 50 mile TT.

I had barely serviced the bike over the last couple of years and if had finally failed on a few fronts and needed some tlc.

New rear brake installed.New front chainring installed.Headset bearings stripped and re-greased.Selcof handlebars installed and the steerer tube trimmed to neaten up.All new gear and brake cables installed.New chainNew bar tape (obviously!) Thankfully, Mrs Wheezy and the cat decided that I was best left to it, that conversation would be useless while I wrestled with the intricacies of the Argon's engineering. This also involved a lot of swearing and a lot of cups of tea. By 6 o' clock in the ev…

If Heineken did bike rides

Summer finally arrived this weekend, well, for a few days anyway. So Sunday was the club run, the weekly training ride that’s been around since cycling clubs began. Sometimes fast and frenetic; sometimes relaxed and steady. This one was definitely in the latter category but was all the better for it. I’ve had a couple of weeks off the turbo now and I’ve really enjoyed the break from it and the slight change of focus to thinking about audax events and a longer, slower easier pace has helped me to reset a bit, so the Sunday miles were perfect to just catch up with club mates and enjoy the simple pleasure of riding my bike. With one eye on the LWL, I bulked the ride out a little beforehand but again it was a steady flat lap out to a Sunbury before meeting the rest of the group. The sunshine brought 10 of us out; we haven’t seen double figures for a while and our ride leader, Gemma took us down some country lanes that I had not been along before. I think it was one of the best group ride…

The next big thing.

Just before I started the Amesbury Amble, I managed to get a very, very last minute place on the London-Wales-London (LWL) audax, which takes place on the first May bank holiday weekend. It seems that spending an inordinate amount of time on twitter can have its uses! I had looked at entering this a while ago but it was full, then unexpectedly 2 places became available as  some people had dropped out. Bingo! It doesn’t actually start in London and it only just about scrapes into Wales, but it’s still a full 400km audax, which will mean me being on the bike for the best part of 24 hours.

I’m really looking forward to it, but it’s going to throw up a few more challenges for me.

Night Riding and navigation- While I’ve commuted home in the dark hundreds of times, actually cycling through the night and having to navigate at the same time could be pretty tricky. It seems that I’m going to have to find a way of lighting up my Garmin so I can read it whenever I want. I have a light that atta…

An existential crisis

Do I sell my TT bike?

I’ve been thinking about it for a while. Part of me knows that I will regret it, while another part knows that it will set me free from aiming to go faster, produce more power and get more aero. Of course, I would replace it with another bike; I’m not *that* stupid, but there is quite a large part of me that wants shot of the Argon, and for good.

It’s not the Argon’s fault. It’s been a brilliant first (only?) time trial bike. Comfortable, forgiving, adjustable, it’s been everything that I could wish for.

It’s more to do with what it stands for. Whenever I ride it I’m usually absolutely burying myself on some windswept dual carriageway, sucking down my own snot while attempting to get every last muscle fibre to produce power and I’m just a bit tired of doing that these days. On top of that, I can't keep up in the arms race that is time trialling. At best, I'm around the 50th percentile in any given field, so hardly pulling up trees. I've gone well un…