A couple of rides to tell you about, the team MK ride on Saturday and a short 16 miles solo this afternoon.
Saturdays club ride was my first since sometime in May. Holidays and other commitments and weather being the various causes/excuses for my absence.
The ride was to be to the ‘Bluebell Cafe by the side of the Grand Union Canal at Marsworth near Tring in Hertfordshire. At the outset I elected to go with second and ‘slower’ half of the ‘C’ group because of my lack of riding miles.
The first group set off and we set off after a brief pause but as soon as we got out of Stony Stratford and into the open country we had the first group in view all the time. As I was riding on the front with the ride leader we were bearing the brunt of the head wind and I was thinking to myself that I should have gone with the first group as it would be easier riding in the group with them than being on the front where I was. We were steadily closing the gap too and I was tempted to sprint across to join them but as luck would have it we came to some temporary traffic lights at some road works and we just about joined onto the back of the front group and I mingled in among them and rode with them for the rest of the uneventful 28 miles to the cafe.
A nice big cup of coffee and a slice of walnut and coffee cake later and we were on the road again. The return loop was shorter, only just over 20 miles. This too was uneventful except that as usual the pace steadily increases the nearer we get to the end of the ride and the group disintegrates. I managed to stay with the leaders and managed to be the first one past the ‘finish line’ which is historically the sign that says you are now in Stony Stratford.
It is a long tradition, this ‘sprinting for the sign’. I remember it when I was a youth. When on training rides or just with a bunch of fast guys these town signs become intermediate sprint points or finish lines. Somebody will decide to go for it and its up to you whether you challenge them or not. I usually dont take part due to lack of confidence in my fitness but on Saturday it wasnt a real sprint and I just edged forward and made sure I was first. 🙂 To be honest the last few miles had been so hard that I doubt anybody had much of a sprint left in them anyway.
Todays ride was just a little ‘loosener’ before my proposed Wednesday Team MK ride tomorrow, which will also be a first for a few weeks for the same reasons as the Saturday rides.
I didn’t have much of the afternoon left but decided on the route I would take expecting it to be about 15 miles. A slightly shorter version of my ride up and down either side of the Ouse Valley. Cutting it short at Harrold and over the bridge to Carlton to resume my loop. I did start to pile on the pressure a bit towards the end to try to make the 18mph average but didn’t quite make it. mainly due to traffic in Olney High Street that slowed me down somewhat on the last stretch.