My last ride was only two days ago and here I am writing about it already, and only the one ride to write about too. It might have been two but I opted out of a ride today.
On Monday I went out for a ride with Steph from the cycling club again. Its been a while since our last ride together, mainly because she was so much fitter then me, probably as a result of the number of miles she managed to fit in each week, plus she is a good few years younger than me. However, recently her rides have diminished in quantity at least. In our conversations she has said she is not feeling too fit at the moment and her averages seem to have come down to about the same as mine. This lack of fitness and speed seems quite common among other members of the club I speak to as well. The consensus seems to be that its because of the extra clothes that need to be worn and the restriction caused by them and the cold affecting muscles. Anyway, whatever it is, I am glad its not only me.
I digress, back to the ride. We set off on a route to Marston Moretaine that Steph wanted to research for the Team MK club ride that she is leading this coming Saturday. I ‘collected’ her on the way through to Stony Stratford where the rides start every week. It turned out to be quite a hilly route with over 800m(2600 ft) of climbing It took a wide loop around Milton Keynes and into Bedfordshire via Great Brickhill. We then wove our way across country to near Ampthill and then to Marston Moretaine where the club will stop for coffee and cake at the Forest Park cafe.. We however didn’t stop as it was so near to the end of the ride for us as we didn’t have to go back to Stony Stratford, unlike the riders who will have to do so on Saturday. It would only have meant going through the warming up process again. Also there are two climbs that occur fairly soon after the restart with barely time to warm up before they occur.
A lot of the back roads were incredibly greasy still and most of descents had to be treated with respect. This helped to keep the average speed down somewhat as it wasn’t possible to raise it as much as normal. On a couple of occasions I experienced some wheel spin while climbing.
The state of the roads and recent ride experiences led me to order a pair of new tyres for the rest of the winter. After much research I opted for some 25mm Continental Grand Prix 4 Season tyres. I do seem to be favouring Continental tyres recently. They are a bit pricey but good value for the money I think and as I buy them from Chain Reaction they are even better value especially as these are discounted by about 30% at the moment. Unfortunately in my haste I made ‘boo boo’. When I received the despatch notice from Chain Reaction I noticed I somehow ordered 28mm!! These arrived with me today as there was nothing I could do to stop it. Yesterday I ordered the correct tyres and I have already returned the 28mm’s for a full refund while the others come in the opposite direction and I hope will arrive tomorrow. They do have a very good returns policy and free of charge too, as is the delivery. What I should have done is check the order confirmation e-mail but I just assumed it was what I thought I ordered. They do say though that to assume makes an ‘Ass out of U and Me’…