Monday, 20 January 2014

Low mileage, good quality (and a new toy)

The lowest mileage week for yonks last week - I was away overnight Tuesday then didn't get out Wednesday as I was a bit late home and the weather was grotty, so I hit Thursday with just 20 miles in the bank.  My rule of thumb is I like to do the best part of 100 miles Monday to Friday, then depending on what I do at the weekend it's either just under, or just over 200 for the week.  I've not had a lot of 200 mile weeks recently, mostly on account of tending to do 80 or so in the week.

However this week I was not going be anywhere near 100 for the working week - I did a very pleasant, and reasonably brisk, 25 on Thursday, then I revisited the Gargrave/Hetton loop on Friday, to give me 60-odd for the week.

Saturday was chaingang time again - I'd got a bit grumpy as I quite like a 9:30 start, but Iain and Sean both wanted an earlier one, so the group agreed to a half eight start.  The weather was stinky-wet, and Iain decided against it, but a hardy group of 9 set off from Dave's at about 8:40.  The wind was out of the south-east(ish) so going out was harder than last week, but with The Herb and Stu Cowperthwaite (a bit of a beast from Appleby) we made decent time, and dropped a couple of people before the turn at Cottingley.

With the wind behind and on the dual carriageway the hammer really went down, and before long we were down to five, with Herb and Stu pushing the pace along at about 25mph.  The trick with these paceline sessions where you do a turn then signal for the group to overtake (as opposed to a chaingang where the line's constantly rotating) is not to do too long on the front.  There were a couple of times people did a bit too long and the pace dropped a bit - I reckon with 5 of you a minute's plenty - that way you can bury yourself and then get a rest for the best part of two miles before you have to do it again.

We were quicker than last week, and the exhilarating nature of these sessions means you don't mind the wet as much as you would in a longer, steadier, ride.  The Herb, of course, bloody loved it - hitting 30mph on the flat at one point.  Animal.  And the 8:30 start had the definite benefit of getting us home for about 10:30, so extra brownie points at home for a dog walk with K and Izzy in the afternoon!

The Sunday ride was planned to be a flat ride to Wetherby.  As we found out this week we've got into the Fred Whitton (gulp) I wanted to do something a little hillier - and in the end the rest of the lads agreed.

Over to Otley on the back roads (with the usual tutting about the state of the Nesfield road) then over Norwood Edge.  I've not been up there for a while, and certainly not with a strong group, so I wasn't surprised to see a "PR" on my Strava track afterwards - but being such a popular climb even my best puts me a long way down - I think I might squeak into the top 15%.

A nice run down to Pateley, during which the decision was made against a cafe stop and then up Peat Lane, the alternative way up Greenhow Hill.  Brutally steep at the start, it eases off to just "very steep" for about half a mile then undulates its way up to the main road.  Most of the lads hadn't been up there before, and I described it to Iain as "about half a Hardknott", which as the steep bit's just over half a mile is about right!

We had considered a finish over Black Park, but we were all a bit tired by this time, so we opted for a fast finish via Burnsall and Linton.

We even managed a half-decent chaingang down the Grassington Road, with a Strava time of 8:17 for the "Blast Down South" segment - which whilst nowhere near our quickest, is pretty respectable.

The new toy mentioned in the title is a bike mount for my Garmin Virb video camera.  It's got GPS in it, and I can import the .FIT file from my Edge to the video (hence the gauges).  It was a bit dark and damp yesterday, but I've had a go at a bit of an edit:

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