The dark nights are getting a lot closer and it is time for me to evaluate my riding. I am not as fit after this summer as I was last year. I put it down to not riding offroad enough. Last year-Stuart and I were able to get out on the Tandem at least once a week for a quick 30 miles offroad. That tandem is a different beastie to ride and it is hard. Not so much on the flat and downhills are just the adrenalyn rush, but getting that thing up 15% 1 mile offroad hills takes a lot of effort. 3 hills like that on an evening ride and you get fit very quickly or at least do not lose any fitness. The mountain bike on the same route does not give the same buzz. At least on the tandem- you have to work as a team and it urges both of on you on to putting in more effort. Even when it hurts. On the mountain bike and if it starts to hurt- I slow up up a bit. Then there is the road bike. 30 miles on tarmac and only a couple of respectable hills and I hardly know that I have been working. Mainly because my road rides are taken on my own so no crowd of others to push me on- Or if I do push when others are around me, then I have to wait at frequent intervals to wait for the others.
Don't get me wrong- I am not running down road riding, but it has not kept me fit enough this year. Mountain biking is harder and although I do rest a bit on the flat bits- The rest of the ride is severe interval training. Going up those hills and although I may not push myself to the limit- at parts of that hill you have to push to the max, you have to get a bit of speed up to get over the tricky bits and you have to keep the cadence up to make it easier to get over the rough bits. Just a pity that the damn thing is so heavy compared to a road bike that it is such hard work.
So what to do to get ready for spring. Obviously I have to keep riding. If I can get Stuart away from his Courses so that we can get riding- then I will start to improve. Stuart is a policeman pushing for promotion and the courses he keeps taking are for his future but do take a lot of study time. Should be able to get back to a regular one night a week so hopefully it will improve. If not, then the road bike will still get a bashing. Then there are the trips shopping on a Saturday. Quick 15 miles to my local big town and a good lock while I am there should help a bit. Then there will be the regular Sunday rides so they should help a bit. But this is what I am doing now so it looks like I will have to start getting down the gym again every week. No excuse then for foul weather stopping the fitness training.Only thing is the effort in getting home from work- getting changed for gym, finding the trainers that I did not do the gardening in last week and then once I get to the gym- staying away from those spinning classses. I like spinning classes for some reason.
Looks like I have a hard winter ahead of me and I am not looking forward to it. Roll on spring when I will feel the benefit of my winters training.