That’s it, I can’t put it off any longer – I’ve got to get some mileage into my lazy winter legs. I know, I'll ride up that hill outside the window this lunchtime… If I don't, the pain and humiliation of some fast approaching big spring rides is going to be unbearable. My first big ride under pressure looks like being a recce ride of the Highclere Sportive, just after Easter.
I recced the route the year before last with a group of strong riders ‘kindly’ assembled by organizer Ken Robson. They included several CAT1 or elite riders from Newbury Cycling Club, the fire service, British Cycling’s Andy Cook and UK triathlon whizkid Jodie Swallow. I say ‘kindly’ because I am not, and probably never will be ‘Elite’. Put it this way, I was fine for the first fun and fast 80 miles. Then the cramping started and I started getting agonizing spasms in muscles I didn’t even know existed… It was the hottest day of the year yet too with brilliant sunshine adding to my unprepared dehydrated woes.
This year we’re recce’ing the 75 miles ‘short’ route. Phew! But hang on… in 2006 I was riding a 150miles a week on my Bristol-Bath commute. Now I’ve moved, married and am a soon-to-be-father (part-time DIYer and decorator), so that weekly mileage has dropped to about 25 over the winter. Plus we’re riding the recce with cycling representatives from all five forces. Help.
The baby’s due at the end of the month, I’ve got no spare time and I’ve got to be easily capable of 100 miles at an average of over 15mph, or more, by the end of March. Can I do it on a mix of extended commutes, lunchtime rides (just managed a 16 mile very hilly loop this lunchtime on the rather nice and smooth Spesh Tarmac Comp that’s in our coming £1500 bike test. First impressions? Loved it.)? Watch this space…