This winter has not been good for riding. Weather and the knee playing up have meant that I have only been averaging 40 miles a week and that 40 has been to just keep the legs turning. No effort involved and I have not even bothered to put the Garmin on Since January.
But I have a new Neighbour. A Kiwi and he is aged about 30 and is fit. He has shown an interest in cycling so I have loaned him the TCR and set it up for him. We have had a couple of rides but today we went for a sensible ride. 30 miler that was going to take in one of our gentler slopes. First 15 were flat and I wanted to see the pace I could keep up just following and was surprised to find that the leg turning has kept some of my fitness. So out across the marshes with just a few gentle rises. Got to the cafe for a Toasted Teacake and coffee having done an average of 16mph. Not bad considering the tight turns and the number of rises we had. In fact I was more surprised that I was keeping the HR at around 75 to 80% of my max for that distance.
Then it was time for the slope. Only 8% for a mile or so but the approach is a mile at 5%. I let him go as HR was beginning to rise on the 5%- shows how unfit I am- to save a bit for the 8%. Hit the lowest gear a bit sooner than I normally would but this climb is deceptive. It looks worse than it is but I did mange to get to 90% of Max HR without feeling too bad.
Then my highlight-a 12% downhill for a mile and I went for it. I had a car sit on my tail at the start and that was what made go for it. It is a 30mph speed limit and to lose the car I broke it. Well and truly broke it so the winters lay off and the bike hasn't lost any rolling speed- and the brakes still work. Just as well as there is a roundabout at the bottom and I am still a 50+er when the conditions are right.
Then it was a gentle ride back home for 10 miles taking a tortuous route due to The MUP being repaired and closed. "Gentle Ride" back? Not according to my ride mate. He took the lead and it was 18mph. I don't do 18mph unless it is downhill so I was being stretched a bit. At some points he did slow down so I took my turn- but not for very long. Got home and "Nathan" admitted he was bushed. He had put everything into the ride- just so he did not show himself up- and the 30 miles was just enough.
I'll have to have a word with him as If that was him at his limit- it was above mine for most of the ride. Surprised at how good I felt but glad that I recorded the Giro D'Italia. Got home just as it was starting and woke up just after it had finished.I am kna**ered.