Sunday, 26 October 2014

Very windy Sunday club ride

The group gathers at the Death Star

A group of lovely C&D Cycles CC gathered this morning at the usual time of 8am but benefitting from an extra hour in bed due to the clocks going back. Led by Big Steve, we were: Stuart G, Stuart P, Bob, Neil, Nat and me. Having been confused by yesterday's cold snap we were all well wrapped up in winter gear and those that have them were opting for winter bikes or at least winter wheels and mudguards. Steve in his usual manner having used his winter bike yesterday, stuck two fingers up at the elements and unleashed his impressive Boardman.

Steve has lovely new shoes (not from C&D slapped wrist!)

Neil has distracting new tights 

The weather today was a bit milder and most of us felt a bit warm quite soon. There was however quite a fierce wind which felt like a typical English sou'wester and as we headed SW for the first half of the ride it was In our face quite a bit. After ten miles we lost Stuart G heading towards Finedon. His brakes were rubbing and his bike just sounded wrong so he called it a day and headed home. The news was broken to the group at the sign below where a big a Steve comment the day before had me
hyperventilating. Today was no different: "Grainger's brakes are rubbing? That's the only friction he's
likely to get!" Once again I was in bits and this was even funnier when I got home to realise Stuart had named his ride on Strava, 'frustration!' Sorry Stuart. Oh well you know I'm not but it's the thought
that counts! I've decided for the rest of it we could be guilty of sharing too much: what goes on rides stays on rides!

The profanity post

Leaving Finedon we saw the first of the day's other riders. Now cycling for us at the weekend is a sport but for others it's still a source of transport. The old boy who passed us in his hat with a shopping bag on the handlebars was one such utility bike heroes. I was encouraged to get a snap but
actually I don't like using other people's image without permission so I'm glad I didn't. I'll find a library pic that works. We also passed others though, I imagine off to their allotments and family
groups out for a ride. I nearly wiped out a family turning into my road because I was so busy saying bye and thanking the others for a great ride. I guess we all need to remember to ride with due care and attention at times.

The route itself was simply splendid. We went to places we don't usually go like Bozeat Link which like many places in Northants is pronounced nothing like it's spelled. So it's not 'beau-zeet' it's 'beau-shut' except even that's not quite right. We were close to Cogenhoe at that point, once again it's not 'co-gan-ho' it's 'cook-no'. Complicated our county isn't it. Of course my ride starts and finishes in Rothwell which is pronounced Rowell due to the fact it's Anglo Saxon for 'red well.' Im interested by this stuff I hope others are not now reaching for the paddle of rebuke.

My own personal ride today was pretty good but I lost my legs towards the end. That's my own fault. Instead of resting after yesterday's ride and ran round like a loony until it was time to go and stand on the terrace at the Saints for an hour and a half. This is fascinating but even though I was only watching I'm not at rest because mirror neurons mean my muscles were relaxing and contracting in a similar way to players on the pitch. I suppose the big clue I'd overdone it all should be falling asleep before nine and missing the end of Doctor Who.

Riding behind Nat was interesting (leave it smut monkeys I'm making a valid technical point here,) she's super fit and as such much faster on average than me. Being a downhill specialist I find myself frustratingly braking a lot behind this type of lighter rider. What's more fascinating is her movement on the bike. Nat is never still. She feels she needs to throw herself around to generate power that us erm...'strength athletes,' generate by sitting very still and pushing harder through the pedals. At the bottom of a climb if I got up at the same time as Nat I would nearly run straight into the back of her as my first standing up push is loads more powerful. However by the end of a decent climb she's out of sight by the time I make the top. Like I said, interesting.

I've been reading lots about power to weight ratios to try and work out my ideal riding weight. At the moment my guess is 13 stones 0lbs, my current goal weight on myfitnesspal. This might not be right though. The reading I've done says too heavy slows you done but too light will also be slower due to power to weight ratio and things like energy levels and reduced immunity of people with very low body fat percentage. Unfortunately from my reading there's no scientific formula for ideal weight. It's trial and error. Find the weight your fastest at and try to maintain it. The experiment continues then. All I will say is myfitnesspal is working for me and Go Sober for October has really helped too. Unfortunately my sponsor money for this piece of personal sacrifice currently stands at the square root of diddly squat.

Finally it's time for Steve's interesting fact of the day. Apparently we passed very close to Eastern Maudit, where national treasure (?) Derek Nimoy used to live. Steve knows this because his first job was as Mr Nimoy's butler. Put the paddle of rebuke down!

I said finally but there's one more point to post. The view counter on this blog currently sits on 9999, meaning I will hit ten thousand views today. I'm not sure what I expected when I started this but I think that's great. So thanks everyone for reading and I will continue to blog every day I ride until New Years Eve. I'm not sure how I will carry on after that, maybe there will be a weekly blog. 

Happy Pedalling

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