I have now started preparing myself for the next race on my calendar which is the Alpha CC/Team Corley Cycles event at Cranfield on 30th April, only about 10 miles from my home. Phil Corley Cycles are a co-sponsor of my club,Team MK.
I have learned a few lessons from last weeks return to the racing scene. Among them are to keep near the front of the bunch as much as possible and also amend my hill climbing technique. Since my return to cycling seriously, about 3 years ago most of my climbing has been done seated on the saddle and that’s been fine on my solo rides and rides with the club. Using a pushing and pulling technique. Whilst pushing down on one pedal, pull up on the other pedal at the same time. This increases the power and it’s what the pedal cleats are for. I get up the hills fine like that and have enough power to work my way through most of the other club riders in our group on the climbs. but most of these climbs are quite ‘sociable’ and at a steady rate. However standing up on the pedals seems to be the way to go and I have been practicing this in the last week or so. Instead of changing down when I normally would I have I just stand up and keep turning the same gear. In this position it is easier to keep up if there is a sudden acceleration in the speed whilst climbing as you can get more power into your pedaling by using your body weight as well. The other killer is the rapid changes in pace which needs some attention but I get to practice this on our club rides to a certain extent. You have to sprint out of most corners to keep in contact or you lose your position and a gap opens up and if that happens at pace you can struggle to close it when they are really motoring.
I have been on a few rides since last weekends race. I went for a quick 21 miles on the following day just to ‘stretch’ my legs. On Friday I did a couple of laps of my road race training circuit near home and Saturday was the Team MK club ride which was a hard 45 miles but a nice route. Todays ride took me on a favourite route into Northamptonshire. I rode pretty hard all the way round. It’s quite a hilly ride and plenty of places to ride hard into the hills and then keep going over the top and not stopping to or slowing to get my breath back. I wasnt helped by the fact that I forgot my drinks bottle. Having filled it up, I then left it on the kitchen table as I found out at the top of the second or third climb when I went to grab a drink !!
My schedule for the next week will be the Team MK Wednesday ride and then the Saturday ride with maybe some hard and fast local circuits in between the two longer rides. It looks like I will break my target of 500 miles for this month quite easily as I am 69% of the way there already, just another 150 miles to go and i will do another 100 this coming week at least.