Monday, 7 January 2013

Lets Ride, or lie in, or Ride!... Or lie in....

So… First 30 miles of the year!  Really didn’t think I’d make it when I stepped out.  And whilst I was trying to think, having not been on the bike for the past 2 months really – except for that 1 tt session, and the odd glide to work I really have done nothing – I didn’t want to put any pressure on myself but, you know what it’s like when you’re away for while, the brain gets to thinking, ‘wouldn’t it be fab if my average milage went up 3 miles… wouldn’t it be fab if this was stupidly easy…’ which of course it never is.

I set off from our new digs just after 11 but then foolishly went up the back of old town and through Aberdeen Uni (one of the oldest Uni’s in the world – with the cobbled streets that go with it).  The shake on my arms was soo bad I ended up getting off the bike and walking for more than half of it, and then p!ssing off the Students trying to use the tiny pavements as I salmoned up them.   After some reflection (and been sworn at by a posh man in a scarf) I decided trying to find a better route through town would be much better and ended up picking my way through the Sunday traffic on the more usual route, along King Street and through Union Street.  

It was at that point I noticed my Bike Computer wasn’t working so I stopped at Alpine Bikes (this bit's worth it, trust me!).  Normally I don’t go to these guys – they have a really good selection of ‘quality’ bike clothes (Endura etc, expensive stuff generally) but their folk aren’t brilliant at customer service – I ordered gloves once and never got the promised call back to go and get them, - and because they have a workshop they really don’t have encourage buying bits for yourself.  Never the less, I went in for one of those little magnets that make your bike computer work.  They don’t sell them so the guy suggested I check through in the workshop.  the guy behind the counter was all like ‘No we found this one the other day… just take it!’ They GAVE ME ONE FOR FREE!  I was expecting about £2 possibly. And then coming out of the bikeshop I saw someone going in and I was like ‘OOooo, I feel guilty… what if this was from his bike…’.  But that soon worn off. 

Eventually I hit the Deeside Railway Line.  Perfect day for it – the cloud cover was enough to project shadows across farm land and hills caressed by a gentle mist that took enough shine off the road for perfect visuals.   The Railway line did look like it’d taken a bit of a hit from the flooding though.  A couple of the banks where they’d built new buildings had collapsed and I ended up walking over a couple of rubble mounds.  A few of the areas where the tarmac ends and starts – where they’d put a sort of cement asphalt that get compacted – that had all been kicked up and was like cycling on chuckies (does every one know what I’m talking about there?).  I had noticed a couple of better established trails leading off down into the country side, where instead of broken fencing they’d put proper breaks and gateways with signs so that’s really good. Just hope they don’t stop there. 

The first 3rd of the journey up the railway – with the 3% rise for about 3 miles,  I’m sure I’ve complained about it before, so I’m going to again – was pretty horrendous. And I did have a crisis of confidence, and considered just turning back more than once or twice, or three times, especially at the end of the railway line.  When coming off the railway line you go down a really steep road into a hair pin bend, which is under a bridge, so you can’t see round it.  Then it’s a mile or two of slow increasingly upward rolling hills which are just murder.  I knew they were waiting for me and I really wasn’t arsed, but I stuck with it and kept my head down and I’m very glad I did.  After the food of athletes (Cullen Skink), I zoomed back hitting the beach at dusk.  

I really don’t know why going out’s so miserable.  Is it that I’m not warmed up? Haven’t eaten enough? The lack of company seems to suit me but I wonder I’d be more intune to it if someone else was there today… hrmmm…

The route:

The Stats:

29.4 mi
+ 1482 / - 1226 ft
Max Grade
15.0 %
Avg. Grade
0.6 %
Ascent time
Descent time
Moving Time:
Max Speed:
27.3 mph
Avg. Speed:
11.4 mph
Moving Pace:
Max Heartrate:
195 bpm
Min Heartrate:
105 bpm
Avg. Heartrate:
170.4 bpm
Heartrate zones:
Zone 1:
43 min
Zone 2:
59 min
Zone 3:
32 min
Zone 4:
1 hour 2 min
Zone 5:
53 min

As to my performance – I think I’ve gotten a smidgen faster.  Not much, but considering I spent 20 odd minutes faffing over cobble stones in Old Town, then another 5 picking my way across the rubble on the Deeside line, I recon I’m on the wrong side of two hours and back.  Which considering that it’s 30 miles – not bad.   Much better than the 10 miles per hour I usually do.  But, yes, there is work to do!

On that note – I went out on Luella yesterday, having taken the back carrier and basket off.  Now I didn’t feel any difference at all yesterday, but this morning I absolutely flew up a hill I normally struggle on.  Me and the Gids commuted this morning and he usually drops me at this low bowl like hill before we even warmed up and I was in his slipstream all the way up!  I was really chuffed with that.  It may be I’m still warm from yesterday (is that possible?) but taking the extra bits off and just carrying a back pack made a heck of a difference.

Have a pretty picture from my ride:


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