Sudden realisation that there are only two more full weeks before we set off from Falmouth to London, and having been doing route planning over the weekend I find that the first two days and the fourth day look pretty tough.
You can find the proposed routes over at the xr-rebelriders blog, but today the weather was fine – very light wind and cloudy sunshine – so I decided to try going out with the Launceston Velos Tuesday morning ride known as the Amigos.
Up the hill to No.8 Cafe just before 10 o’clock. Soon after John arrives and introduces himself, he’s on a road bike and clad in lycra. Then Terry who is a bit older with an electric assist bike that looks heavy. Eventually Nick who John was expecting, turns up – also lycra clad and on a road bike.
My slight trepidation that they might be somewhat fitter and faster than me is slightly mollified by Terry’s presence – but as we are setting off, having debated various routes, Terry trips on the curb and drops his bike falling on top of it. He is ok, but the saddle is knackered. We spend some time taking it off and trying to fix it, but it is a one piece moulding underneath and one of the rails has popped out of its retaining hole with no flexibility to get it back in.
Sadly Terry drops out to go down and get it fixed (I suspect it will be a new saddle) so there are just three of us setting off.
We had agreed on a ride out to Lewdown, then Bratton Clovely and back to Roadford for a cafe stop before taking “the usual” route home. John did say it would be hilly.
Fast down to Polson then the climb up the other side it is obvious that my sit-down-and-wind-up in bottom gear style is considerably slower, even if easier, than their stand up and attack it with gears nowhere near as low as mine.
I guess that’s how to get fit and stay there – don’t use the low gears!
Several long climbs later we are in the routine where they go ahead and wait for me at the top – I know how frustrating that can be but they are very nice about it and in the short flatter bits and more gentle downs I can keep up with the pace and conversation ok.
I was quite glad when the climb after Clovely was done and Roadford hove into sight. Pot of tea and a flapjack for me. We’d done about 30km at a 17.9km/hr moving average and I didn’t feel too bad.
All too soon back on the bikes as Nick had a car parking deadline to get back for. Turned right out of the cafe and I then realised that the “usual route” involved a 10km detour to the north, most of which was a long upward grind.
By the time I caught up with them waiting at the top I felt I had to persuade them that I knew the way home (which I did) and they could go on without me, which they did with a fair amount of protest.
So I went the rest of the way at my own pace, although in fact it is fairly easy from there and the moving average kept up ok. When I got to Ridgegrove Lane however I realised that I was seriously knackered as I could barely get above 10km/hr.
Made it home though – 46.5km at 17.7km/hr moving average. The profile from the tracklog shows 704m of climbing – which is more per km than the worst planned days for the XR Rebel Ride – but it was only half a day and not laden and I was knackered – need to get out a few more times I think…
I hope to be out with them again next Tuesday and to get at least one more in before then…