This is week -4 in the countdown to the Cheshire Cat and it’s now as a group that we need to get some real miles in. There’s nothing that can replace actual miles on the bike, time spent on the turbo can only do so much. The turbo is great for building some strength or when you can’t get out because of the weather but because of the sheer boredom on the turbo unless you are some sort of masochist, an hour maybe hour and a half is about the maximum that can be endured.
So it’s great to actually get out on real roads with real hills. For Sunday Metcheck had forecast sleet but a peek out of the window revealed a nice calm cool morning and that meant the ride was on. A quick breakfast with beans on toast and a cuppa and out to the start point. Eight of us today met up at Stretton and off we set, firstly through the village of Frodsham and up The Ridgeway. For those that don’t know this particular lane, The Ridgeway is 1 mile long and averages 5% peaking at around 8%, it’s not particularly steep but it’s a great quiet scenic hill for working on technique and gauging your progress on. This time around I was a little faster up the hill so all this training must be doing me some good. After The Ridgeway we progressed through Delamere with it’s two short steepish hills and on to the Ice Cream Farm nr Beeston.
After the café stop we skirted the base of Beeston Castle and wound our way through Tarporley, Oulton Park, Weaverham and then back to Stretton. The pace was higher than normal and this was a real workout of a ride, just what was needed. On the hills there was no letup, no pussyfooting around, some went off like a bullet out of a gun, some of us plodded. Either way every one of us got a good workout on the few hills we encountered, the hills were either short and steep(ish) or long not so steep drags and everyone had a different way of getting to the top. Aside from the hills, when on the flat the pace did not really relent, we rode as a group a FULL one mph faster on average over the complete ride, doesn’t sound a great deal but it was really hard work…
I do still need to work on my nutrition and drinking, today I went through 1.5 ltr’s of fluids (2 full bottles) for just 50 miles and I was slightly thirsty at the end of the ride. Looks like come the Cat I might be lugging 2 bottles around which I don’t really want to do, however there are 3 feed stops along the way so hmmm something to think about….
Tonight after the ride I am quite shattered, my legs don’t feel too bad, no stiffness or anything but my body feels like it’s been really punished, feels like I’ve ran a marathon and now I need to sleep, so I’m off to bed early at 9:45pm….
50.7 miles, 3hrs 19min, Av Speed 15.3, 2086 ft climbing
Stats For the week
101.5 miles, mileage achieved for my 100 mile target for the week