What an earth have I been doing?


Dear Readers, I’ve let you down this week (or perhaps I’ve let you off) as I’ve not written since last month. I also have to confess I’ve not ridden a bike all week. After my last ride a week ago, I spent a couple of days hobbling about with a sore knee. A phone consultation with my buddy Ben in Melbourne where he described exactly what I was feeling in my leg from the other side of the world – suggested that it may just be a result of not doing any stretching. The good news is, after a few days of deliberately staying away from the bike and taking easy, it all settled down. Last weekend I tried to ride my bike about 100 meters around my street and every press of the pedals was painful. Yesterday after an afternoon filled with bike cleaning, I did the same ride and I felt fine. Note to self – do some stretches before the next ride.

However, it’s just been a busy week and I’ve not had time to do any riding – a couple of days on the road in the car, errands, blah, blah – normal life got in the way. That’s fine, it happens. 

What is has made me do though is think about January and think about what I’m hoping to achieve riding wise this year. In one of those moments around New Year’s Resolution time – I simply thought – 500km a month would be 6,000km. That would be a great year. So whilst that’s my simplistic top line target, I also want to do some events. I’ve got my Puncheur entry (http://girodilento.com/ive-entered-my-first-sportive-the-puncheur) in the bag and it’s looking a challenge right now thanks to my patchy mileage over the last few months and I’m looking at doing some more events most likely within the confines of the South East of England. Most of my riding still has been on my own, which is fine but I’d like to do more group riding. Again, I have some plans for that and we’ll see if they come to fruition. Suffice to say that I’m not enormously a club sort of a guy, although I know they are a core part of the cycling landscape globally with thousands of happy members.  I’ve also never ridden an Imperial Century – 100miles and I’d like to fix that a few times this year including in an event or two (it would also have the added benefit of some good chunks of mileage towards my yearly target).

I’m thinking seriously about coaching this year as my haphazard approach to training has I feel plateaued my improvements. Saying that I’ve improved a lot of the last couple of years. The average speed of my rides this January was 4.5kmh faster than my January average speed in 2009, which is good, but I’m not sure about how I push it on again… hence the urge for coaching. 

So as you can see, my time off the bike has allowed for a bit of think through the bigger picture.

You may notice that there’s no talk of bikes or bike bits in there. For now, I’ve never been better set up bike wise – but there are of course some things I’ve love to add to my collection. A Garmin Edge – either 500 or 800. An HD Helmet Cam like the Contour GPS or GoPro HD Hero and some really lovely wheels – perhaps some handbuilts and maybe even some carbon tubulars. Oh yes and some new cycling shoes – some everyday ones and some for Sunday best. So there are always plenty of cool things to lust after.

Anyway in review, considering January was another tough month weather wise I rode 360km, which isn’t bad and acceptably close to the 500km nominal target. The highlights being one 35km ride that averaged 28.6kmh but only had just under 400m climbing and the other was my ride with Triathletes Alick and Mike (http://girodilento.com/training-with-triathletes-in-surrey) which wasn’t the fastest ride but it was good fun and a still challenging route that I coped with well consider the lack of riding until that point. 

Still another week off the bike isn’t ideal and the next two weeks look pretty busy workwise, so we’ll see how the riding manages to fit in. So it’s 360km down, 5,640km to go! But at least my knee feels better.

Thanks for reading