I hadn't been out on the bike since last Friday's adventure in the Midlands. Time and days have been rolling by and to be honest I'd be feeling tired and unenthusiastic about going riding. However I decided I needed to get some miles in today but I wasn't sure how many that would be.
It was hot today and having lived in England for 14 years this month, I'm not as good at hot as I once was. More foolishly I decided to leave home this afternoon at just on 2pm – so right in the middle of the afternoon heat as I needed to be back in time for supper with the kids around 5.30pm. The temperature in the shade at 4pm when I got back was 28 degrees C – and we'd probably passed the peak of the heat by then – so it was definitely hot in the sunshine today.
I had prepared three different routes on the PC before I left and I knew there was one point coming into Hartfield at about 40kms where I had to make my choice of how long I'd be out in the sun for. So as I said, it was very hot and I'd not ridden for a few days. The first half hour of everyride seems to be hard work for me – getting the legs working properly and letting their complaints settle down. Today I was feeling the heat within the first half hour – I had two bottles of energy drink with me (I've also ordered some electrolyte drinks today) and I was powering through them.
So I decided my strategy would be: take it fairly easy, push on the hills and enjoy the shade when I could, so with this in mind I choose the shortest route at my turning point figuring their would be other days for more heroic rides. I also decided it was a day to stop and take a few photos (part of taking it easy). In the end it was a good ride – a decent average pace of about 26.5kmh, I didn't feel on top of my game but it was another 53km in the bank. I think I got some good (well better) photos and I got the legs moving again. By the way – thanks to the guy on the Kona (never seen one on the roads before) who accidentally got into my photo – nice to get a shot with a bit of action in it.
If I can I might do the same loop in the morning before it gets too hot … watch this space.