Saturday, 2 May 2015

Should I shouldn't I?

Recovering after the hill into Brixworth

Last night I was so cold and shivery that I lit the log burner. This morning I woke up with a sore throat, snotty nose and headache. Under those conditions it's usually a poor decision to ride. But I hadn't been out for a week, I had my new chainset to test and I really need to keep the training up in preparation for our Dawn til Dusk 200 mile circular of Northamptonshire. So I decided just to give it a go. Luckily for me the route came through Rothwell so I had a bit longer to get in some performance enhancing lemsip and a good rub down with Vicks.

I'm really glad I rode. I didn't feel that great at times but also didn't ride that bad either. A few PR's were achieved so that's good. The ride featured two really great hills. One going into Naseby past 'Fairfax's view,' and the monument on the site of the windmill that was there at the time of the battle. The other was the hill into Brixworth coming from Spratton.

That's the view Fairfax had and here's his wikipedia page Fairfax - New Model Army leader at the battle of Naseby

I always find it bewildering to consider that we frequently ride around the site of the decisive battle of the English Civil War. I wonder about all the people who died that day and the influence that victory has had on our history. It's particularly poignant this week as we approach a general election because our political landscape today was shaped in the Northants landscape we enjoy on our bikes. It's a very important place and for us cyclists a nice hill.

The upside of the climb into Naseby is the descent out of it. The point of hills for me is to whizz down them at break neck speed. It's the biggest reason I ride and it makes me feel ten years old again. We had another reason to celebrate Naseby as it's where we met up with Phil 'the beast'!

It would be unfair this week not to give Andy the C&DCycles shop manager an even bigger than usual mention. He has worked wonders on my road bike, Clive. I no longer have to endure the FSA 'made of cheese,' bottom brackets as the whole chainset is now Shimano. It's Tiagra because 105 are now 11 speed systems but as Phil eloquently put, it's a 200g difference and you can shed that from your ride by having a good dump before you leave the house! Wise words indeed. Andy also gave the bike a very needed service as lots of things were worn and in need of attention. He also gave the bike a wipe down. Proud of his efforts he announced to facebook that he'd cleaned my bike with 'chocolate scented dick smart.' possibly the most glorious autocorrect in history. Now I'm all in favour of a clean and tidy gentleman's area but in this case I know full well he meant Duck Smart. Autocorrect is the scourge of many a misinterpreted message and as Rich was regularly corrected to shag on one of my phones I full well understand the need for vigilance! Duck Smart has the unique selling point of being a water free cleaning system. It would undoubtedly be of great use in a drought situation but in the soggy Kettering area I don't see the point. My bike did however smell nice. Maybe it has other applications though and who knows a quick squirt down your pants would potentially increase desirability! All joking aside my bike is running very smoothly and with a quick turn around at a very reasonable price I am very grateful to my favourite bike shop manager.

Back at the shop my favourite wife had done us proud on the cake front. Cake is important to cyclists. Along with beer it is in fact the foundation of a good recovery and of course as we've burned off the calories so we can get it down us guilt free!

C&DCycles owner Chris demonstrates the correct technique for cake enjoyment

So...Should I have ridden? Well I feel better for riding. It's a fact that cyclists have better immune systems than non cyclists so it must have done me good. However I don't think I need to push it tomorrow by trying to keep up with Steve!

The last word of the day goes to Alex Dowsett. The English Movistar professional has laid down the gauntlet to Sir Bradley Wiggins by setting a new world record for the hour at Manchester velodrome. I'm really hoping he can upload it to Strava so we can all send kudos!

I'm not sure what I'm doing tomorrow but feel I ought to get out on the 29r. This time next week I will be riding to Franklin's Gardens, home of the English champions, Northampton Saints from Welford Road, home of the former champions Leicester Tigers. It's off road because the person I'm riding with doesn't have a road bike, so we'll be using the Brampton Valley Way. It's going to be around 60 miles by the time I get home. The ride is in aid of the Saints with Heart 'all roads lead to Franklin's Gardens,' event for the BHF. I created this event in 2002. Since then there's been 12 sponsored walks raising in well excess of £150k. As you can imagine I'm very proud of that. The day after I'm riding in the Squires and Spires sportive. A 100 miles on tired legs will be a good test and preparation for Dawn til Dusk. The only downside will be no rides with the club because the last few weeks have been great.

Happy Pedaling

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