I’ve been looking forward to today’s ride for a long time. I wanted to ride my Five Ways Loop. I’d ride alone which was what I wanted – no waiting. Jo & Barney were eaten alive on a road race yesterday, Jes was riding WECC Long Furlong event and Will was riding the final round of the Gorrick series. A year or so ago I chose this route to get my speed up. I wanted to see if I could average 12mph. If I could it would mean that I could have a go at riding the South Downs way quickly. I’ve not managed 12mph yet.
I was late starting as I faffed about trying to decide what the wear. The thermometer showed 5 degrees but I knew that it would warm up. I found my favourite base layer, wore a short sleeve jersey, arm warmers and an ultra light gilet: perfect.
My legs are still really aching. Maybe I should take some time off. If I rode just off hard I felt great so that’s what I did. Riding on my own I never stop so any gels and bars need to be easy to get. The ride was going fairly well. I even went exploring at Whiteways and found some more of the single track that I normally miss because I don’t want to slow up. I passed a Sussex MTB group climbing up from Houghton as I was beginning my sprint home. I climbed Amberly Mount and headed back planning to finish with the climb up the back of Chanctonbury (from the top the one that drops down heading North West from the West side of the ring). Every year I usually climb this once or twice each Spring just to be able to say to myself that I still can. I got half way up feeling fine, the Marin Riftzone was climbing well and my Crossmarks were the right choice. As I eyed up the steep section I hit a root, the rear wheel slipped and I was off. Climbing back onto the bike there was no way that I could start. My legs were finished. It was incredibly tough just pushing the bike up. I eventually managed to finish off the climb on the bike. The dash back home was full tilt. I just can’t hit maximum. The hill has laid down the gauntlet and it’ll gnaw at me until I can say that I’ve cleaned it. Why not have a go?
I really love my Marin Riftzone. I rode it with my XTR/Stan’s Olympic Lights and a New Ultimate stem and bar combo (80mm & an old school 600mm).
I took three gels one before leaving home and finished up with a protien bar. All this stuff really works. You’ll never be able to perform to your best of you don’t use them.