Sunday, 14 March 2010

North Cheshire Clarion club run 14 march 2010 & Turbo week 7

Twelve of us met at Stretton, nine regulars and three guests for what promised to be a bit of a hill fest, forty odd miles riding down the spine of hills ranging from Frodsham to Kelsall and Willington. As a group we have ridden most of them but today was a little different from the norm in that we chose to ride ALL of the hillier hills that run through the area. First hill of the day was Bellemonte Rd in Frodsham, a tight winding road that wasn’t as bad as I remembered from last year, however I had a problem, I developed a stitch in my side as we travelled up Fluin lane just prior to Bellemonte Rd and this stitch troubled me for the rest of the ride, it wasn’t as nasty as it has been in the past but it did put a bit of a dampener on my ride at times. For some strange reason I always get this stitch riding up the gradual incline of Fluin Lane, someone mentioned it may be because this incline is so early into the ride and i'm not warmed up properly, or perhaps it has something to do with my surgery, it's in the same place. The most likely explanation is it's a combination of both the surgery and not being warmed up enough…

After Bellemonte we travelled south through Delamere Forest arriving at another hill called The Yeld. I have ridden this hill a few times in the opposite direction but this time we approached it from the north which proved to be the harder direction, a slow ramp up and I was thinking ‘is this it...that wasn’t too bad’ then as we crested the brow of the first hill we were presented with a dip and then a length of tarmac pointing skywards similar to Mow Cop but not as steep, so down the dip gathering speed then up the ramp in and out of the saddle, that was a bit tough but soon over. At the end of the road was a crossroads, straight on for the café stop or right for the last significant hill of the day climbing Chapel lane. Some chose to go straight on for what promised to be the easier option but in reality there are still a few hills and it’s only different from Chapel lane in that Chapel Lane is ¾ miles long and it's all a steep climb, whereas this ‘easier’ option still has a lot of climbing but over a gradual longer length, might be a little easier on the legs but certainly not in the lungs. I went for Chapel Lane and again I found it easier than previously, was it the new lighter bike or my increased fitness or perhaps both? Whatever the reason on previous occasions even before reaching the armaco barrier half way up I was dying but today it was not nearly so bad and I enjoyed the feeling of really hard work without busting a lung in the process…

After the café stop for the remaining leg of the trip we continued eastwards and then north into a 16-19 mph wind. That head-on and side wind was really energy sapping and combined with the pace we set I think everyone found it hard going. As I might have mentioned a few times already, I was on my newly built bike for it’s first major outing and what I found compared to my aluminium Focus was a slightly smoother ride so more comfortable but the biggest difference came in the hills, I found them easier to climb, not by a huge amount, I certainly did not become the new Marco Pantani but there was enough of a difference to certainly notice.

PS If any of the three ‘guests’ are reading this and are perhaps a little put off by today’s hilly ride then don’t be, today in the run up to the Cheshire Cat we deliberately headed for the hills to train on, this isn’t the norm and usually we have a good mix of flat and hills…

No ride today as I had a leaking central heating radiator valve to sort out, I was hoping for a 30 mile ride today....

Another Carmichael session on the turbo this time 3 sets of 3 x 2min Power intervals with 2 minutes rest between intervals and 6 minutes rest between sets. The total time of the 3 sets was 40 minutes, the remaining minutes of the hour was comprised of endurance miles. Today I found this session to be the most productive of all sessions so far, my power has gone up to 230 watts for the duration of the intervals, granted this isn't a whole lot of power but I have seen my figures improve week after week.

Today excitement got the better of me with my newly built bike and the delivery of my pedals. Stuck the pedals on and took it for a short spin around a local flat loop just to get a feel of it and to check it all out before the week ends ride. Didn't ride far or high enough to get a good overall feel but it all felt good, needed a little tweek of the gearing but that was it. On the road the riding position is very similar to my focus but the ride was smoother, I could still feel the road but no-where near as harshly as my Focus, that's all i can say about it really until I get a good couple of hours on it.

My Stats
Sunday 41.37 miles, 2hrs 53 min, Av Speed 14.3, 2227 ft climbing

Thursday 14.86 miles, 1hr, Av Speed 14.9 mph
Tuesday 20.73 miles, 1hr 17 min, Av Speed 16.2 mph, 453 ft climbing

Total for the week 76.96 miles. Failed to reach my target, blame the radiator...

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