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I went out on the bike this morning for my last ride before Sundays race.  I had inteneded to do 40 or 50 miles at a steady pace after the disappointment of my last 2 or 3 rides and apparent lack of fitness.  However everything seemed to come together in one go.  My shoe plates were finally positioned correctly on the new shoes and I felt just great.  The sun was shining and the temperature was in the mid 60’s F (16C).  Try as I might I just couldn’t ride slowly I had to give it a go, as always.  I did 56 solo country lane miles at an average of 16.8mph over quite hilly terrain again.  I don’t recall too much totally flat.

I think finally getting my shoe plates correctly positioned on the new shoes was the biggest factor.  The first time I wore them I had the plates too far forward  and the next time I had moved them too far back.  Both times it just didn’t feel ‘right’.  You cant get the pressure down in the right place if it’s not right.  This time I had set them up with the help of the turbo trainer to judge the right position.  The axle of the pedal has to be directly inline with the ball of your foot, the widest part of your foot.  Here is another link that goes into good detail with diagrams on how to obtain the best position on a bike, although the final fine tuning is down to personal preference, it’s a good base.   I don’t know what else might have affected things, maybe the hard ride on Wednesday and a day’s rest after helped.  In which case todays ride should just about set me up nicely for Sundays race.

So far as Sundays race is concerned I don’t have too high an expectation from it and probably the next 2 or 3 races.  It will be more of a learning curve to find out where I am lacking in my training.  I know that I will struggle with the many changes in pace that occur in a race, at the moment I am happier keeping a steady pace and joining back up at my own speed instead of the stop/start scenario.  Hill climbing is similar I can ride through the bunch on the club rides and make my way to the front but If someone starts sprinting at the top I will have catch up again.  I did try some sprints at the top of hills today with some good effect but its hard to tell until you are riding against your peers.  However I think I will come back with the opinion that some interval training is in order.

Another factor affecting the outcome on Sunday is that the race is part of a southern regional series of races that gives points for places in a season long series so It has attracted a number of accomplished cyclists.  In hindsight I could have picked an easier race I suppose.  However, a few races into my program I will be riding in National points series with the same types of riders so again, it will be good experience with not a lot of expectation from Sunday.

Tomorrow will be spent preparing my bike but I wont be adjusting any positions or gears as it was all just about spot on today.  Just some chain cleaning and lubrication to that and the gears and cables.

Watch this space after the weekend for the outcome, opinions and facts.