Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Perhaps I'm not going quite so badly after all......

After a week of letting it fester in its own filth, I finally got round to cleaning Mr Trek last Sunday.

In many ways, this was harder than an Audax ride because, on an Audax ride, you get to wear warm gloves. On a freezing cold Sunday, with a stiff breeze, hypothermia of the manual digits does not take long to achieve.

All labour saving devices known to man were deployed, including the jet-washer, and the Madone eventually reappeared from under the crud, although the state of the spoke nipples eventually required the services of a toothbrush to bring them clean.

Having reassembled the bike, I noticed something amiss. The front brake would apply, but not release. No amount of cajoling would encourage it. Fingers frozen, I did what anyone would do under the circumstances, and gave up.

Local Bike Shop were engaged, and a few seconds of work later, the siezed calipers were free of the grit causing the problem, and they worked properly again. It is worth noting, however, that with a bar bag on during the Audax, I would not have been able to hear the brake rubbing (especially with the wind as strong as it was). I wonder if that had anything to do with my seemingly slow time, and lack of any response from the bike even when I was pushing hard?

On a better note, I have just completed my first turbo session of the Winter, with results that are semi-comparative to last year. 40km at an average 170 watts last year took 1:16:00 and an average HR of 119. 41km yesterday at 176 watts took 1:17:24 at an HR of 129. 10 BPM on the Heart Rate shows I am not quite where I was last year, but the slightly increased wattage shows I have the unit calibrated slightly differently. Either way, I'm not as far off the pace as I thought I was.

And finally, yesterdays 25 miles took me through the 10,000 miles to date. (albeit in 2 and a half years).

Next ride is the Mere 200 on Sunday, my second 200km ride of January. Insane.


Simon Lewis said...

Having never taken part in an Audax, how do they differ from a sportive? Do they require map reading or are they signed? I'd love to give a longer distance a try.

Datameister said...

An Audax event is essentially a 'find your own way' unsigned route for which you are provided a riute sheet and instructions before you start.

As proof of passage you visit controls, either to obtain an ink stamp on a 'brevet card' issued at the start, or a till receipt from the inevitable cake stop. As such there is no signing and Audaxers (AUKs) like me are often known to fall back upon GPS units pre-programmed from the route sheet, keeping the route sheet in a pocket for reference.

For those who are already fit, and looking for weight loss, they are ideal for lower intensity long rides. They also come in various lengths 50k up to 1400k so you can try a shorter distance first to see if its for you.

Simon Lewis said...

1400k!!!! Blimey. I'd have to pull a trailer full of energy bars. Thanks for the info. I might try and squeeze one in for the summer.

Datameister said...

Yup. 1400km. London-Edinburgh-London, the event for which I am currently aiming and severely wondering whether I can finish inside the 116 hour deadline.