Friday, 2 May 2014

Hard core.....

Last weekend's jaunt involved meeting up with Gary and Paul from over the road and a 60 mile blast through the lanes. And what a blast it was. We didn’t hang around, speeding through Shackerstone up to Congerstone before heading up to Twycross and from there via Orton on the Hill through to Thorpe Constantine and on to Clifton Campville. I can’t remember ever travelling so quickly on the bike. I touched speeds of 28mph with regular long stints around 24mph. The wind was strong but thankfully behind at the key moments. There was no chance of a pause to admire the greening grass, the trees unfurling their finery, the apple blossom, the thick carpet of bright yellow dandelions…. It was about concentration, looking out for potholes and trying to breath.
At Barton under Needwood we finally stopped – 36 miles done is record time. I left the others to pay a visit to my Mum who dully plied me with tea and cake. Two hours later I set off home , bloated and aching from the earlier effort. The journey back was a much more sedate affair – the wind was in my face the whole way – getting back to Netherseal was a drag, legs burning and an overwhelming feeling that I needed to be asleep.
Arriving home was a relief and after a warm shower I felt okay but tired. And then at around midnight a severe leg cramp woke me from slumber. All day on Sunday I could feel the effort in my legs – plus a niggling backache to add to my woes. Nevertheless it was a good, hard workout – we’ll attempt the route again next week, weather (and backache) permitting.

I've just finished an excellent cycling related read - ROULE BRITANNIA - celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of a Briton first completing the Tour de France, the half-century of cultural exchange, and British cycling's fight for recognition that followed. During those fifty years only two Tours would take place without at least one Briton on the start line, and more than fifty British cyclists have taken part. Through exclusive interviews with and profiles of all those who have competed, William Fotheringham gives us the definitive record of their achievement, from those first stumbling efforts and the death of Tom Simpson, to the golden era of Sean Yates and Robert Millar, right up to Chris Boardman, David Millar and the present day glory of Wiggo and Froome.

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