Archive for March, 2009

No. 29 – DIY Golders Green – 208 Km

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Having crawled through the finishing line last week, I decided to go for it AGAIN this weekend. This time I had an early start (05:30) so I would not get into darkness on my way back. It didn’t quite work – but only the very last hour or so was dark-ish.

I certainly felt MILES better this time. It may be the weather (warmer) the food (dry fruit) or, much simpler, the fact that I have trained for it and my body was ready for the shock. My average speed was much slower than the last one (17.3 compared to 18.4) but I managed a very similar overall time, explained only by me taking shorter breaks on route.

I would like to believe that if it was not for the head wind which confronted me during most of the time, I would have done better, but i can’t obviously prove it 🙂

I would like to go for a really long ride – with a night break in between. Something like London-York-London (700 km). For that I need my GPS to be available without fail at all times – so I bought a special gadget that allows me to recharge it from mu hub dynamo. I can’t wait to test it and see if it does the trick!

No. 28 – DIY Golders Green – 210 Km

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

It has taken me three weeks to recover – but I felt that I am nearly as good as new so I went for that ride again – on a fixie – the Pearson Touche.

I did it – but this ride was tough. It was certainly the toughest yet on my muscles – I felt completly drained by the end of it and managed to climb Muswell Hill on what seemed to me will power alone. I took a whole week after that to recover and I think I needed every minute of it.

Riding a fixie for that distance is really not easy. The legs don’t stop – they just HAVE to fo on and on and on – pushing uphill and revolving at frightening speed downhill. I had to walk about 5 times, and only at the steepest hills. I managed some climbs that I really had no idea that I would – but up and over I went!

ALl in all it took me about 14 hours – so just inside the time limit. I must admit though that I could have not faced a second day on my fixie straight away. Those people that do end to end or LEL on a fixie are really something else!

Nasty fall and other dissapointments

Monday, March 9th, 2009

ABout three weeks ago I decided to go for a 200 Km ride on my fixie. First ever. Didn’t know how I will fare but as all my previous experiences were more positive than I feared I thought I’ll have a go. First 25 Km were Ok boarding on good – average 19.5 Km/h. The next 25 were really abysmall – managed a lousy 14.8 Km/h but it felt as if I was crawling. I wasn’t very tired or something, but the snow that was still very much on the road and the fear of slipping must have all controbuted. That – and the fact that it was mostly uphill… Anyway, the next 25 I was really pushing it and I did a satisfying 20.2 Km/h. I kept going very well.

Then came the right turn, on a wide a deserted round about that I felt I could take swiftly. Alas, the road was wet, the angle was sharp and the wheels just did not hold. I fell on my right hand side and slipped on the tarmac.

At first it didn’t feel very painful – with the adrenalin and all – but soon enough I was hurting really badly. I finally managed to get my ear wife on the phone and she came to collect me, my bruised ego and right hand and the almost intact bike. It took me three weeks for an (almost) full recovery and I will be riding the bike to work for the first time since then tomorrow.

To add insult to injury (literally), I was refused a place on the LEL 2009. The reason was simply that the application was submitted late. It’s hard to describe how dissapointed I was, having done so much to be ready for it and planning to do so much more. I am also quite annoyed, as the official site still has the application form in place and has no indication whatsoever that one should not waster the postage and send the application as it will be refused. It feels a bit like the ‘old boys’ network, so that if you are in the know you can get in but otherwise you don’t have a chance. I know, of course, that I could have applied two years ago, but I was far from sure that I am capable of making it to the end, unlike all the other veterans of such events. Well, I guess I’ll just have to move on and accept it, but I am telling you – it’s really hard to just let go of that dream – I invested in it quite a lot.

I may try another ‘target’ – such as end to end or so, but I am doing it almost as if I am forced to – there is no umpf in it nor great enthusiasm.