Monday, 20 February 2012

Post cycling thoughts

I had my second ride out with the Dulwich Paragon cycle club this weekend, which involved a 35 mile ride around a standard route the members do every Saturday morning at 9am on the dot.

I joined the quickest of the three groups, as I thought it would be a great indication of where I currently am, in terms of my own ability. Luckily, I managed to keep up with the group, even though the quicker members of the group did have to wait occasionally for a handful of us mere mortals. I had a moment on this ride where I actually considered dropping off and waiting for the intermediate group to sweep me up, but I managed to overcome my own mind and kept on pedaling.

The members of this group were potentially much, much quicker than I was, which shouldn't be much of a surprise considering a lot of them are active racers. But like in the Tour De Nock a few weeks back, I was amazed at how they seemed to be able to crank up the cadence and pull away when climbing and when on flats.

Once again, I tried to learn as much as possible from the two hours I was out on the road with these guys, watching out for things like the respective gear selection at certain points of the route to see if there was anything I was getting significantly wrong. I also got chatting on to a number of riders again (which I swear must annoy some of them) to work out what they did as part of their training regimes, in an effort to pick up tips. Since the ride itself, I have also taken to reading other cycling blogs, such as and  on the importance of factors like rest days, diet and technique. All of which has led me to the following thoughts:

1. I need to build interval training into my weekly routines
2. My current plan of having a rest day after each training ride is fine
3. I shouldn't worry about building in another rest day should my quads be sore from previous rides
4. I am starting to think there is no need for my middle chain ring, and I should perhaps look to use just two
5. I need to start looking at my diet, which has improved but is still not to the level I need it to be at
6. Despite the cost, some decent deep rimmed wheels would be a really positive addition to my bike

But in each of the articles I have read, the constant no.1 point seems to be - 'What is your ultimate goal?' This is something I am yet to set in concrete, which is likely to hinder any long term progress I make on the bike. I mentioned this to Rob (my housemate) on Sunday morning. I can't seem to work out how serious I want to get with cycling. I seem to live and breathe cycling at the moment, I am in love with my bike and I live for getting out into the countryside and cycling for miles. But what I plan to work out in the next couple of weeks is whether I see cycling as a casual/social event or if I intend to attempt to try and race for a team one day.

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