As you can see the site has got a fancy new colour scheme to it, which I have spent the whole of yesterday tinkering with. Which is my excuse for having not written this week so far.
On Sunday, still suffering from Saturday’s exertions, I decided to take it easy and head over to my girlfriend’s via Highgate Hill West on a gentle 19km or so ride in the first decent sunshine of the spring.
I can only assume that the outbreak of relatively warmer weather – 9 degrees celsius instead of about 4 – persuaded me that the big hill would and could be easy, but go up it I did and was pleasantly surprised to find I only had to put my foot down once.
Now, in theory, I shold be able to scoot up 1km of average 10% in no time and without too much trouble, but it is one of those deceptive hills where I always go a little hard at the bottom and find myself tying up just as I get to the really steep bit.
Once I had got over this and conveniently blamed it on the weight in my rucksack, I settled into a steadier cadence and determinedly chugged my way up the rest of it, refusing to be unsettled by the very uneven surface under my wheels.
More importantly I didn’t feel shattered by it and was able to get back into my stride almost as soon as I crested the hill. It did however remind me that I should get round to getting a 12-27 cassette on my other bike before the Etape to ensure I have a gear that I can keep turning over whatever happens.
With more sunny weather i popped out for what is essentially a constitutional ride of 50km on Wednesday. Again I was amazed at my lack of tiredness afterwards, which means one of two things: either I’m riding well within my limits out of laziness, or I am getting there gradually in terms of general fitness.
A couple of trips to town and back using the “hell for leather” training tactic for short journeys means I’m feeling quite strong this week. For those not familiar with the aforementioned technique, it involves taking a short journey of around 10km, such as my ride into central London, and riding it as harder as you can, allowing for traffic, red lights and other hazards.
If nothing else it gets you there quicker and feels fun. I’m another one of those strange types who enjoys cycling in amongst the traffic most of the time and relishes short sprints away from the lights and along fast moving bits of road.
Finally, my membership of London Dynamo came through, so I shall be taking things even more seriously for the next few months until the Etape is done and probably riding with them at least twice a week.
The question is do I chance my arm tomorrow with a medium-paced group and then drop back when I get shot out the back, or do I stick with the steady and try to stay in for the full four laps?