Sunday, 15 November 2009

North Cheshire Clarion club run 15 Nov 09

A promising day for the ride, no rain, little wind and some sun along the way. On the clubs message boards there was some discussion regarding the choice of route as all the usual lads that lead from the front were all otherwise occupied and the clubs Secretary had been struck down with the dreaded swine flu. So just in case I stuck some routes on my Garmin however they were not really needed - even though he should have been in bed Mr Secretary turned up, hows that for dedication to his flock!!!

The route that was chosen was a relatively flat route of 42 miles with a café stop at the Lavender Farm 30 miles in so all seven of us set off in a south-east loop for a nice gentle Sunday morning social ride. With all the wind and rain we have had over the last week the roads were not bad at all so that made for a much more pleasurable experience compared to the last few club rides. Nothing of note happened today and no 'clipless' moments boohoo...

One thing I have found through the experience of riding in a group is that at times it can be nearly as tough riding the flats as it is climbing the hills. On your own it's easy to ride to your abilities but in a group it can be hard if you are all riding to the strongest rider and that strong rider is not you. The strongest riders are usually at the front dictating the pace and the problem I find is that if there is a long stretch of flat the pace often gets faster, the heart rate rises and continues to rise and the legs start to tire until a welcome halt or a significant downhill but with a long stretch those breaks are few and far between. This ride was a little tough at times as the pace rose but quite a few took turns on the front, we shared the effort so not too bad. Near the end of the ride we tried to keep the speed down so as to not stretch the group too much and that speed was easily achievable but the final few miles travelled over a gradual climb and trying to maintain that pace on the front into the wind got gradually harder until finding relief upon reaching the traffic lights that marked the end of the ride - phwew...

Personally I had a great ride, I was determined to practice some of the hill climbing tips that I put in my last blog entry, combine that info particularly the sliding back in the saddle bit for more power with the coffee I had before I set out as well as more controlled breathing, I literally stormed up the few hills we came across - well pleased I am... I wish blogspot had the use of emoticons, a few smilies would come in handy here...

My Stats
43.05 miles, 2hrs 46min, Av Spd 15.6mph, 965ft climbing

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