I’ve managed to have two more good rides in the last few days. One last Friday during which I passed the 4,000km mark for 2010, which I’m delighted about and one on Sunday, which was also noteworthy. Friday morning was my second ride of the week that was bounded by nursery runs for my daughter – dropping her off at 9am in the morning and collecting her again at 1pm. By the time I got myself organised it was 10.15 when I left the house and there’s nothing like a deadline to get you pedalling a bit more quickly from the off.
I’ve recently discovered a couple of roads out of Forest Row that I’m enjoying and keep wanting to ride again but it’s a 24 km ride just to get to them and with a 2 and a half hour time window I needed to get moving. The roads in question are Priory Road that climbs up out of the centre of Forest Row and then Twyford Lane which runs towards Chelwood Gate and has a great twisting downhill run through a ford and then a nice climb up through the trees. Both are new discoverys that are great to ride.
From Chelwood Gate I headed across the top of the Ashdown Forest again via Nutley and onto Duddleswell before heading back down via Friars Gate, Ladies mile through Groombridge and back home. The pictures are from the run past Friars Gate, where you get some good views off to your right as you descend.
As well as pushing through 4,000km Friday’s ride was also one of my fastest ever. 65km in 2 hours 15 minutes averaging 28.9kmh including 725m of climbing. Very good indeed. I made it back to nursery on time too.
I then followed that up on Sunday with a longer ride as I’d not ridden for more than 80kms on a ride since the start of September and I thought it was time to change that. After a slow start to the day (sick kids and tired parents) I left the house for my morning ride at 11.30am. I decided to ride through Tunbridge Wells out to Langton Green, north to Fordcombe and Penshurst. up towards Leigh and then back through Chiddingstone, Mark Beech and Cowden on the way to Hartfield where I joined the same loop as my Friday ride. This time my 24km to get to Forest Row had become 45km. By the time I got back to Friars Gate on the way home, there was 20km to go and I was feeling a bit tired and cool if not cold. Speed was good however, so I decided to work on my suffering, downed most of my energy drink that was left and a banana and pushed on. In the end I just missed going under three hours for 85km, which is really good. I’m certainly finding that I’m agreeing with Greg Lemond’s quote more all the time “It never gets easier you just go faster”. I felt pretty knackered when I got home having pushed my 20lb bike 84.5km in 3 hours and 1 minute whilst climbing 1,000m.
The other nice thing was that my cycle meter app told me that only 3 of the 84km did I average under 20km and yes that was on the steepest climbs (but then it also says I climbed 1250m which I don’t believe).
It was a really enjoyable ride – chilly at about 6 degrees but a beautiful sunny winters day and I felt satisfyingly tired for the rest of the day. I’d also seen loads of cyclists out today which I always enjoy even if most of them don’t say hello. Each to their own of course.
Once I got back home, I gave my bike it’s first really good clean for a while, changed the brake pads for winter, put a new chain on and put a lower ratio cassette on as I’ll be more focused on mileage than outright pace during the winter.
I’ve still got another 50km I want to do in October and plan to do that next weekend come rain, shine or pretty much any weather condition except snow.
Thanks for reading.