Well pedalling was certainly a lot easier this week as I actually breathed out of my mouth instead of my arse on the club run.
Icy conditions saw the planned ride over the Bowland Fells get binned in favour of an almost identical ride to last weeks around Silverdale and back via Milnthorpe and the Kellets. I was prepared to get dropped and determined to fight that, it didn’t quite go to plan at that start.
The climb out of Halton is a long slow drag, the sort, a big lad like me suffers on and so despite my determination my club mates started to disappear up the road but rather than get frustrated I dug in and kept focussing on the wheel of the one in front. If I squinted I could just about see it.
At the cross roads a group of other cyclists passed and got in between me and my club mates. Their group fragmented as they climbed towards Carnforth and that suited me because I could use each of them as a springboard to the next and eventually by the time my group reached the village of Nether Kellet I was back in the fold.
For the rest of the ride I managed to stay with the group and I wasn’t last up the hills, slowed only by a puncture I felt much more comfortable and energised. This was a ride that I was enjoying, my cycling mojo had reappeared and maybe just maybe I wasn’t as bad as I thought. Yes I was still slow, sh*t and unfit but I’d improved on the week before. Progress had been made.
I rode 40 miles in 2.55 which isn’t quick by any standard but again there was over 2000ft of climbing. I know this from looking at a fellow riders strava stats as I forgot to start my garmin.
I think part of the difference was also due to the fact that I’d had a proper bike fit done on the Giant for the first time ( I only bought it in 2006 ). The fantastic Colin Gardner made some changes to the seat, my pedals, realigned my cleats and gave me a longer stem. All of those changes made my riding position much more comfortable and allowed me to get a bit more power in each pedal stroke. If you are in the North West then go see Colin, he’s worked with cycling royalty in the past and his fitting is brilliant and at only thirty pound notes it has to be the cycling bargain of 2014. His website is here
So cycling is going well, running is coming along nicely and this week I’ll get back in the pool for a beasting at the club session.
Small changes give you those all important marginal gains. I’ll take what I can get because at the end of the day it all adds up to a successful summer ahead.