I missed out on the Team MK ride yesterday because it was raining when I woke and I didn’t feel like making the effort in the rain and I knew today would be a better day.
Fortunately the weather forecast was right and I had an easy start leaving home about 10:00 am. I went on one of my favourite rides. A loop out around Roade, Towcester and Pury End. It was a nice sunny start but the clouds grew throughout my ride. I had picked the right route for wind direction too as it was pretty much headwind all the way out and a tailwind on the homeward stretch. If you check out the heart rate figures in the ride data you will see how hard I was working on the first half compared to the second.
I am still continuing with my policy of staying in the small chainring to improve my spinning ability. Spinning is what it seems to be called now but when I was younger we always used to say we were ‘twiddling’ a lower gear. When I am on the smallest cog at the back at 90 rpm I am going at almost 20mph (19.8) and at 100rpm its 22mph so it’s about as fast as I need to go when riding solo and I tend to try and keep my cadence in the high 80’s, low 90’s. So when I am with a hard riding group I can swap to the big ring and keep the same rates and be travelling faster and lighter on the pedals.
I also find it helps in my approach to hills to arrive at them spinning a lowish gear and keep that going until the rate drops below 80 rpm and then change down and so on. As soon as I am approaching the top, if it levels out I up my pedalling rate and as soon as it reaches into the 90’s I change up and keep that going over top. I find this eliminates the natural reaction to relax after the climb and lose any gains you might have made. That’s not to say I can maintain 80 rpm minimum all the time. Depending on the steepness I might have to go lower but so far I havent run out of gears and had to do that.