Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I just had a "nice" ride tonight. Nice people, relaxed pace, nice time.

I'm not so sure about mountain biking being nice. At its best, it should be about fire in your belly, blood pounding in your head, and a dance through the trail. Or, it should be about epic places and worn out legs pushing worn out tyres around on a trail that goes to the horizon.

But nice seems like a hobby, not a passion. Nice has its place, but doesn't scratch the itch.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Training Actuality

Not been blogging much, but I have been training much.

Getting my head down and doing some substantial rides in The Chilterns, riding to work every day, shed-based turbo training, and running a bit.

The good news is that I've caught up on Fighting Talk podcasts while in the shed. Unfortunately, that means 1 hour a week of brilliant podcast and the rest on not quite so brilliant podcasts. Ho-hum, my power output on the bike is creeping upwards and it does seem to have genuine real-world speed benefits. Not to mention the easy bike cleaning side of things.

These are testing times for mountain biking round here. Getting up in the dark, finishing a ride in the dark. Everything is filthy and wet. But these are the conditions that make British mountain bikers tough. When you spend eye-popping effort dragging yourself up a muddy hill, only to get your ass handed to you by wet roots on the way down, and then go home and hose your shoes off, there is no answer but to laugh.

I have noticed a worrying trend recently, and I know I've been guilty of it in the past: descending into myself when it gets really foul. Retreating inside yourself and letting your body take care of keeping the bike moving is a somewhat viable tactic for shorter rides. But I really can't keep letting myself do it if I want stay well day-after-day. It leads to not eating enough, not drinking enough, ignoring cold when it would be more prudent to add more clothing. All kinds of ills. I need to embrace the world and work with it, not just scurry around the hills until I can go home to get warm and dry. That, more than 10W extra power, is my main goal in the run-up to Christmas. All I need is some bad weather to play in, and I don't think that'll be a problem.

No photos as the moment as I lost my camera on the Divide. Instead, a couple of interesting altitude profiles (ft on the y-axis, miles on the x-axis). First, a recent run:

Yes, that's down to The Thames, and then along it. Looks quite hilly until you see the scale!

And then a recent training ride:

And people say we don't have hills in the south.