Regular readers will already know that December for me was a disaster riding wise. A paltry 26km on December on the 31st to try out the Rose X-Lite 4400 and nothing at all between November 28th and that one ride. I’ll try not to mention that again as it’s now January 2011 and I’m trying to put my best foot forward to begin the year. I’d like to try and hit 400kms this month, which would be a good solid start to the year.
Following on from my previously covered rides, I got out on the road again on Sunday the 9th of January, this time on my trusty old Specialized. It was a beautiful but cold day and I later read that many people in the South East of England had hit trouble with black ice and had to abandon their planned rides. Fortunately I didn’t have any problems and was even nice and warm wearing my new winter jacket. For me it was one of those fantastic, clear, crisp, winters days that are a complete delight to be out riding in. It was just a shame that I only had 90 minutes to spare on the day.
After a couple of rides on some very nice, light and fast carbon steeds, it was interesting to be back out on my trusty old riding companion. I took my Allez on the same 40km loop from January the 1st as a mini bike test (a very subjective one at that) and because I simply didn’t have the time to go any further.
Two things in particular stood out to me bike wise – comfort and road feel. My old Allez is definitely a comfortable ride. I love the saddle on it (a Specialized Phenom SL) and the Specialized Pave seat post works really well and I think together they help a lot in making the bike comfortable. I’ve also got a good fit and that helps too. With regard to road feel, I immediately noticed how much less feel the Allez has over the carbon bikes I’d been riding – it just feels sort of “dead” on the road – very little feel or information comes back to you apart from when it thunks over larger potholes etc. I guess it feels like what it is really – a solid and dependable if unspectacular training/beginner bike and there’s nothing wrong with that. I happily rode it around the lanes again.
What I also noticed after stringing a few rides more closely together is that I was able to ride a bit better again. Still far from my best – but it wasn’t quite as tough as the previous rides … each one seems to be getting a little easier. To be fair though, none of them have been long or particularly challenging but that will come in time. As soon as I can I’m going to start building in some rides that feature longer tougher climbs to try and start rebuilding/rediscovering the leg strength.
So after three short rides in 9 days I’d managed to ride 140km so far in January which is more than I managed in all of January 2010 and nearly half of what I rode in January 2009. Weather and work allowing, I’ll try to keep getting the miles in.