This is the ‘new’ training circuit I discovered right on my doorstep. Its a bit over 11 miles per lap and quite a tough little circuit. Very quiet roads, some narrow lanes and the more major roads are pretty quiet and no traffic problems, a very rural route.
Todays ride, in which I managed 3 laps was pretty tough with a 20 mph head wind into my face over the hilliest part of the circuit from Olney to Stoke Goldington. It got much easier after that. Its pretty much up and down all the way, only the run in back to Olney is easy with a long downhill sweep back into town.
After two laps it would have been very easy to stop but persuaded myself I should force another lap out of me. More of a slowing down lap. I think I will knock a bit of time off of these lap times once the wind drops down and i start to get fitter. I started a ride on this circuit yesterday, also into a headwind but even stronger than todays but after a lap and half I got a puncture so I turned around headed for home to fix it.
The beauty of this ride is that I am never more than about 6 miles from home at any time, so in the event of problems its quick and easy to get back. I hit on the idea of doing circuits after my visit to the The Bowl on Tuesday night. Once I start my racing I will be doing laps either on the roads or circuit races so really its ideal preparation and the terrain is pretty typical road race topography. Some short sharp hills, a couple of longer ones and some tricky high speed bends to negotiate. Also because of the lack of traffic there is no letting up in the effort.
I will still do some longer rides but I can make those more leisurely. Maybe a couple of sets of laps on this circuit a week plus a weekly visit to The Bowl should get me into shape pretty quickly. Much better than just plodding out the miles on a long circular ride, although they are good for just getting miles into your legs. It was getting difficult to find new routes with enough challenging terrain and this suits me well to just get ready when I have a couple of hours to spare and put in some laps. When I have the time the time I can take myself off on a longer ride if I wish. But most of my races will only be between 40 and 50 miles from what I can make out so if I eventually push myself to 4 laps that should do just fine.