|Date||Miles||Time||Type||Avg Speed (MPH)||Links|
|Mon,16th May 2011||25||1:20:59||Road||18.2||Strava – Garmin|
|Tue, 17th May 2011||20||1:04:16||Road||19.5||Strava – Garmin|
|Wed, 18th May 2011||57||3:41:46||Road||15.5||Strava – Garmin|
|Thu, 19th May 2011||20||1:09:57||Road||18.0||Strava – Garmin|
|Fri, 20th May 2011||25||1:20:10||Road||18.4||Strava – Garmin|
|Sun, 22nd May 2011||107||6:50:34||Road||15.7||Strava – Garmin|
Starting Monday, there was a major lifestyle change. No more work until at least October therefore, all my energy will be put towards training, with no early morning alarm calls.
I spent most of the previous Sunday playing about with the position on the Fondriest. I felt that the position was too stretched out and too low. This resulted in back aches after most rides. I also wasn’t happy with the Flite saddle, which has been on the bike since I originally built it up in about 2000. For the saddle, I opted for a Specialized Toupe. I bought the cheaper gel option with a view to changing it to the more expensive lighter version if I got on with it. I would then transfer the gel version onto the Trek.
Monday’s outing was my usual 25 mile Beachy Head ride, with a blustery Westerly wind. After just a few miles, I can say that the Specialized Toupe saddle is a very comfortable minimalist saddle indeed. The main difference between Toupe and the old Selle-Italia Flite is that once positioned on the Toupe, there is no back or forth movement whereas, on the Flite, I did tend to slide back and forth quite a bit depending on the effort I was putting down.
As far as the new position is concerned, it is much better. There really does seem to be less pressure on my arms/hands. I’m more evenly balanced on the bike and although I still had a back ache, it was much less than before.
Tuesday was very windy but surprised after a reasonably quick 20 mile ride in the afternoon. Hopefully, it’s down to the new position.
Because of the fact that I hadn’t done much last week and with the 106 mile Eastbourne Sportive planned for Sunday, I thought I’d get a long ride in today. The trouble was that Wednesday was probably the worst weather we’ve had in about 6 weeks. Although the forecast was a high of 14 degrees, I set off for Bewl Water with a rain jacket. Within a couple of miles, the drizzle was quite thick and stayed that way for about 20 miles. The temperatures didn’t really improve either. On the way back, on the exposed bits of road, I was buffeted by a very blustery head/side wind which really hampered my progress in the second half. Even with 5 miles to go, I had to stop at a petrol station and buy a Mars Bar as I did feel quite low.
On Thursday, I had intended to have a day off the bike, recovering from Wednesday’s energy sapping ride but the weather was so nice that I just couldn’t resist a very easy 20 mile loop.
Friday was another beautiful day. I went out slowly on my usual Beachy Head 25 mile loop. The wind was slight from the West. Half way around, I found I had loads of energy and so, pushed it all the way to the finish. Felt really good.
I woke up on Sunday to find the remnants of heavy showers accompanied by some very strong winds from the SW. Bearing in mind that I was scheduled to take part in the Eastbourne Cycling Festival 106 mile Sportive, I could have quite happily stayed at home. By the time I did get out, the showers had stopped but the winds were still very strong. Looking at the course, if the winds continued, they would make for a very hard day in the saddle, especially for the return leg. As it happens, that’s exactly what happened.
As part of the first group of riders, at 08:30, we were off, immediately going up the Holywell zig-zag up to Beachy Head. After the descent to Burling Gap, the slow climb up Friston hill. And so it carried on, hill after hill.
The 4 (or was it 5?) feed stations were a welcome sight offering the usual good supply of energy drink, bananas, cakes and biscuits.
At about 70 miles, I got my first puncture of the year. That particular bit of road, which was quite fast, was particularly badly surfaced with gravel and potholes galore. One pothole stretched across the hole width of the road. I tried to bunny hop over it but my rear wheel came down on the far edge and pinch punctured the tube.
The return was particularly tough, due to the head wind. Seeing Eastbourne from the top of Beachy Head after 7hrs in the saddle was a really welcome sight. My official time, including stops, was 7hrs and 37mins. This gave me a Bronze Award under thee SRS Events award scheme. According to the official results, no one got a Gold award for the 106 mile event, which just goes to show how tough a day it was.