Time to go

It’s taken a few days of reflection to get out of the inevitable downbeat mood following last Sunday’s somewhat disastrous performance. I’ve decided to forget about running for a couple of weeks and go back to doing what I know best, namely riding my bike. The sole upshot of a bad race is the surge in motivation that tends to come along afterwards. It’s time to redeem myself; get lean, ride hard and eventually get fast again.

I’ve committed to riding at least six days a week and already I’m starting to see a difference. Short commutes do a surprisingly good job of loosening the legs up, making it much easier to persuade myself to get out for training rides after work. Having a summer job I enjoy coupled with no exams and deadlines to worry about has put me in a good mental state, one in which I can really focus on training.

For the first time in a long while I genuinely look forward to the challenge of riding hard, today’s effort has gone some way to convince me that there might yet be some good performances in the pipeline this season. A 21 MPH average with a KOM taken in the process and a normalised power of 297 Watts indicates my legs haven’t forgotten what to do just yet.

Having enjoyed off road riding over these past few months I’ve decided to take the plunge and enter my first MTB event, a local off-road sportive. Nothing particularly challenging but I’m expecting it to be a big learning curve nonetheless. My trail riding skills still leave rather a lot to be desired and getting round without a few cuts and bruises would be something of a miracle.

After a few frustrating afternoons in the garage all the bikes are pretty much up together and ready for the summer ahead. My mechanical skills finally seem to have improved to a point where I no longer have to resort to the bike shop at the first sign of trouble (famous last words?).

My ever faithful Cannondale has been given a very thorough clean and put away until late September. The 50/34 chainset it’s currently sporting is ideal for hilly Devon but the flatter roads of Dorset call for a bike with harder gearing.

Enter the Tarmac. This might not be my fastest steed but it’s very often the one I find myself taking out of the garage. Having gotten round to giving it some long overdue replacement headset bearings I have to say it’s a superb ride. I’ve long tried to replicate the riding position on my other machines but I have yet to manage it.

After the torrid weather we were subjected too over the winter I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have had a few weeks of sun. For me the best part of this has been seeing the condition of the roads improve to the extent where it’s safe to take the Scott out without fear of getting it scratched. I’m itching to use it in anger and target a few local KOM’s during the coming months.

It’s been a long while since I’ve gotten out on the TT bike. Having decided last year that Road Racing wasn’t for me  its the time trial scene that I want to focus on this time round. At the moment I’m sad to admit that a major barrier to this is needing to lose 4-5 Kg so as to be-able to fit into my skinsuit without fear of ripping it.

My MTB has definitely suffered the after effects of being ridden multiple times in blizzard conditions over the spring. It’s needed new brake pads, a bottom bracket replacement and a fresh chain. Having sorted that out the fork is now feeling rather lacklustre and the noise coming from the headset doesn’t fill me with confidence. I’ve admitted defeat and booked it into the local bike shop for a service.

Last but not least project gravel has gotten off the ground. Following a respray it’ll be time to fit the bottom bracket, headset and forks to the frame – soon followed by some wheels. Already this has presented a few challenges but more on that in a future post.

In short I’m looking forward to a Summer of Cycling. I dare say there will be highs, lows, triumphs, disasters and the usual series of funny moments. Stay tuned for more.

Thanks for reading

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