After Sunday’s ride I allowed myself a rest on Monday, but since then I’ve been looking to press on and really nail down a decent number of miles this week. Of course, a decent week for me is still about the same as a decent day for others, but so what. I’m now under 200 miles away from my stated aim, and I can’t wait for the day (probably sometime in mid-August now) when I can say I’ve completed what I set out to do.
My current weekly record is 56 miles, so this week I want to push that beyond 62 (i.e. 100km), and maybe even 70. It’s a bit of a cheat really in that my weeks begin and end on Saturday night/Sunday morning, so Sunday’s 24 miles can combine with a nice juicy 20+ tomorrow. There’s still plenty to do between times though, and again it’s my spreadsheet that’s motivating me to get on the bike and pile on the miles.
Last night I had planned a long ride on Major Tom, out towards the Showground, then back on a long loop I’ve not riden before. Two things got in the way. Firstly I burned out on the drag up Tixall Lane and past the Crematorium, and then I found the road out to the Showground was coned off to one lane. Since I didn’t fancy holding up a busy road for over a mile I turned round and went home, after a pretty paltry 3 miles.
It bothers me that I’ve not really bonded with Major Tom yet. I’ve still only ridden 60 miles on it and I’m constantly finding myself tiring far too early. I don’t even ride that fast – on any given route apart from vertical hills I’d be much quicker on Crichton and I can’t really put my finger on why. Hub gears are so easy compared to derailleurs, especially when an indexed trigger on the handlebars is compared with down-tube friction shifters on a twitchy bike. It also lacks the tyranny of choice, since when there’s only three gears to pick it’s pretty obvious which gear one should be in. And starting off is easier. And Crichton’s more comfortable. And, and, and…
Sooner or later I’ll just have to bite the bullet and force myself to do more miles on Major Tom. Maybe when I change Crichton’s rims and have to leave the wheels at the bike shop for a few days, maybe then it’ll finally click.
Anyway, after that rather lame ride I had a breather before going out on Crichton around some more familiar haunts. That added another 10 miles(!), the last couple ridden rather quickly to get home before the end of France vs Germany. The goodie bag at the end of Sunday’s sportive contained a very handy piece of kit, essentially a very basic drawstring backpack which can be folded up and stuffed in my saddle bag. Last night I took it out and rode home carrying six cans of 7up and a large bar of Bournville chocolate, and it’ll be great if I have some unusual or unexpected item I need to carry home from town.
Tonight I’m going out for dinner, so I’m just going to pop out and bang in an hour of riding. Maybe in the future I’ll be a little more discriminating in what types of ride actually constitute progress, but for now miles is miles. Business miles.