Training has begun. Well, sort of. The mental idle was of going off for hours of glorious cycling in the best of the end of summer weather. However, I am mindful of starting too hard, that and I haven’t managed to make the time yet. The last thing I want to do, however, is get in some great, long training rides in over the next few months and be physically and mentally fried by the new year and barely be able to look at a bike come March.
The ‘plan’ for the time being is little and often, in addition to commuting into work. So far I have managed to get out a few times a week in my lunch break for a ride. This has consisted of getting as much altitude gain into a 20-odd km ride as possible. Luckily, where I work has a fair few hills close by. They aren’t what you would call big hills, but they make up for that with gradient percentages in the double figures. Most of my lunch rides recently have consisted of laps around the Forder area of Saltash, in Cornwall. In particular this has been multiple laps of an 8.4km loop. This loop (veloviewer 3D representation below) has a couple of 15% plus sections of climbs, a couple of longer drags and a couple of dodgy descents (gravelly and under tree cover). I plan to use this loop as a fitness test over the coming months to see what affects the training is having.
The crowning glory of the training thus far has been the least impressive in terms of data. Over two consecutive weekends the stars aligned and I went off for a ride with the kids in the trailer. Not far, not quick, but a mini adventures both of them (in the eyes of a 4 and a 5 year old anyway). The first trip saw us make our way up to the fringes of Dartmoor National Park hunting for wild ponies (no ponies were harmed in the writing of this blog) and had a packed lunch in the wilds of Devon. The following weekend we set off for new found cycling territory in the woods at Tamar Trails near Tavistock, unfortunately no wild Dartmoor ponies here but we did spot a few Gruffalos. I think they were only about 30 and 20-odd km respectively and took the best part of the day, but just great fun once you give up on the idea of going quickly or particularly far.