My Week in Training – Week 25

Date Miles Time Type Avg Speed (MPH) Links
Mon, 20th Jun 2011 1hr Turbo Garmin
Tue, 21st Jun 2011 52 2:50:16 Road 18.4 Strava – Garmin
Thu, 23rd Jun 2011 52 3:03:56 Road 17.1 Strava Garmin
Fri, 24th Jun 2011 25 1:28:57 Road 16.6 Strava Garmin
Sun, 26th Jun 2011 52 3:09:20 Road 16.6 Strava Garmin

Monday started off as a bit of a miserable day and didn’t really improve at all, with rain in the afternoon. At least the wind had stopped. I just did an hour on the turbo in the garage.

Despite the weather, I had a great ride on Tuesday, doing the 52 mile Lewes route. I took it nice and easy to begin with, playing about with the gears in order to spin in the 90s, with a low Heart Rate . This worked well as this first section was into the wind. On the return, I had loads of energy to push it when I could.

Wednesday was very windy so I spent the day replacing the Chainset, Cassette, Chain and Bottom Bracket on the Trek, the bike I will be riding on the TDF or Bust ride. The Bottom Bracket was on it’s way out anyway but the 53/38 wasn’t really wide enough to cope with the Alpine and the Pyrenean climbs so I opted for a Compact Chainset. This would also mean that the Bottom Bracket would be the up-to-date Hollowtech type, saving a considerable amount of weight. I opted for a 175mm crank length as this is what I have on the Fondriest. Theoretically, this should give me a little bit more leverage when climbing.

The chain was a KMC X9SL, which was a doddle to put on, with it’s Missing Link system and the Cassette I fitted was a 12-25 which, combined with the 50/34 of the compact, should help out on most gradients. The whole process went quite smoothly. I also fitted the mudguards and the rear rack which, in this configuration, the bike now weighs 23.7lbs (10.75Kgs).

Thursday, the westerly winds were still quite strong but not quite as strong as Wednesday’s. I took this opportunity to test Wednesday’s handiwork and took the Trek out for a ride. I fitted the front handlebar bag and set off with the intention of riding at an average of 16mph. In fact, by the time I reached Lewes, after 23 miles of headwind, my average was 16.5mph. I was very pleased with this ride, and the bike, although I am going to have to change the saddle as I did get a numb bum for quite a lot of the time.

Thursday’s ride was also the point when I reached 3000 miles since 1st January, this year.

Friday, still with strong westerly winds, Toby Field and I rode the Beachy Head 25.

The meandering Cuckmere Haven

Nothing on Saturday but Sunday, the forecasters promised high 20s with no wind. They were correct about the no wind but the temperatures on Sovereign Harbour were only in the high teens. This is due to the Southerly breeze coming off the sea. Inland, by just a couple of miles, the temperature are indeed in the high 20s.

Anyway, whatever the weather, I took the opportunity to test the Trek bike on a long ride, complete with the fully laiden pannier set. This included 5kgs worth of hardback books and my Nikon DSLD in the front pannier. The idea was to see what sort of average speed I could do on a my regular 52 mile Lewes ride, which includes a lot of flat but also 2 major climbs; Exceat and Beachy Head.

Time out on Beachy Head

As I set off, the remnants of the previous day’s 24hrs Time Trial was still in evidence, even though I didn’t see any competing riders. The timing marshals were all encamped at regular intervals around the final circuit as were a few riders, spectating. By the time I got to Lewes, I was averaging 17.4mph. The ride up Exceat and Beachy Head weren’t too much of a problem. The Compact chainset with the 27 tooth cassette came in very handy.

Sea mist hitting Beachy Head

Stability was too hampered by the extra weight. Obviously, I couldn’t get out of the saddle and throw the bike around as can be done on a bare bike. In the end, I averaged 16.6mph, actual riding time. I stopped for a total of 30 minutes during the ride, mainly to take pictures of the spectacular scenery, with the sea mist rolling in. So, all in all, I was very pleased with the bike and my level of fitness.

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