Another nearly-50 miles under the belt..

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Velvet, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    Sunday being the designated 'cycle for hours to make a multitude of body
    parts complain' day, we did the great thing of finding out where the
    local CTC's tea stop would be, planning our own route there, meeting up
    for a good nosh and bit of chatter, and then limping home again.

    Will *try* and keep it brief... As usual, what I refer to as hills you
    might think are pimples or mountains, depending - keep your views on
    that *firmly* to yourself ;-P

    Headed out to 6 mile bottom again, in slightly windy but bright sunny
    weather, but only once we'd straightened my front mudguard (very
    necessary given the lack of clearance on it!)

    Fairly hard work initially till my legs/body had warmed up, but noted
    small hill was considerably easier work than previous, and a short small
    climb in one of the Wilbrahams went virtually unnoticed (Yay!)

    Cars tended to pass by pulling out too late - some were only barely
    pulling out as they passed my back wheel, we (two) were cycling further
    apart this time (I get to see the potholes a bit earlier that way!) and
    I wonder if that had something to do with it - driver miscalculation on
    when to start pulling out based on two cyclists with a gap (not big
    enough to slot back into) rather than two cyclists with very small gap,
    ie nearly one cyclist... But there were others that passed properly,
    so not all bad.

    Six mile bottom was reached fairly quickly (or so it felt - hard to
    believe that was a major acheivement involving several rest stops a
    couple of years ago) and we crossed over and up long climb to brinkley.
    Always a killer on my legs, last time I managed to just get up it in
    lowest gear - same this time except once round the slight corner and at
    the top of that part of the climh I stopped to let the legs recover,
    having ended up in the burning-leg zone of things, and then had another
    mild bout of being unable to breathe, feeling very faint, etc.

    This time I actually thought to look at the heart rate monitor I was
    wearing and discovered a reason for this... I'd felt tired but ok on
    initially stopping, the faintness etc kicked in a few seconds later - my
    heart rate had gone from 176 on the climb to 100 in less than a minute,
    suddenly the way I was feeling made loads of sense... so this is
    something to investigate - it didn't happen again in the ride, despite
    getting the heart rate way up there again, but for shorter stints perhaps.

    Continued with small descent then another climb to Brinkley, then along
    to Carlton. My recollections of the ups and downs from this point get a
    bit sketchy, cos I've not shoved the data into the PC yet from the HRM.
    I remember it as being fairly constant around the 100m mark, but some
    rolling up/down parts to it.

    Then it was on to West Wickham (I think), Shudy Camps, Castle Camps
    (more hills) the legs were getting tired by now, but quite pleased that
    they didn't fill up with lactic acid for a lot of the climbs that
    previously would have killed them and ended up with me walking up them.

    T'other half made my day by exclaiming with some suprise after a quick
    stop for a drink, that my calf muscles were really quite visible. This
    is quite an achievement, given the amount of flab, and proves the
    muscles I've been discovering on my thighs aren't just all in the mind!
    However, as we set off again, my inner thigh suddenly ached, and
    though I pedalled on for a bit, with it not improving and an inability
    to put any power through it (gosh, cycling one-legged's not as hard as I
    thought it would be) a quick stop and prod and poke decided me I had
    cramp (normally this is in calves and utterly agonising). More
    squeezing and poking and I told my body it would just have to live with
    it and set off again, hoping gentle use while the other leg did most of
    the work would help loosen it up again.

    Rain was threatening - I could smell it in the air and the clouds looked
    ominous, and I *HATE* cycling in the rain - I've only done it once, and
    it was possibly one of the worst rides I'd done to date - pedals like
    ice with wet shoes. It managed to hold off though, and we arrived (much
    looked forward to) Helions Bumpstead, and tea at the Three Horseshoes
    with the others from the CTC rides. Fantastic tea there, too. Sarnies,
    and the all important cake. YUM!

    And the heavens opened. It rained. And rained. And got brighter. And
    rained some more. And while I was very glad to be inside, my thoughts
    were on slippery wet roads, pedals like ice, and the thought of cycling
    home in the rain for 23 miles - which was NOT in the least bit appealing.

    Eventually it stopped, and we headed out (quite some time after the CTC
    left) - only for me to get a puncture a mile down the road. I think I
    picked it up at the pub, or just as we left - and I wasn't the only one,
    someone from the CTC on a recumbent got one in the pub carpark too!

    New tube on, brakes sorted out, and we were off again, via a slightly
    different route - past the Camps, along to Bartlow, climb up to West
    Wratting, then heading down toward Six Mile bottom again.

    This has to be the hardest bit of the entire ride (West Wratting/6 mile
    bottom). The wind was strong and gusting, and I'm not experienced at
    all in cycling in wind. Hedgerows and trees gave a little shelter, but
    made it worse when the wind found a way over/through/under/around and a
    sudden gust blasted you sideways. Very hard going even though it wasn't
    a headwind - I could have cycled faster but the unpredicability of the
    wind pushing me sideways wasn't pleasant. I made the decision to cycle
    in the centre of the 'car' lane of the road, rather than my more
    customary left-wheel-track sort of position - any cars would just have
    to put up with that and overtake more carefully, I decided, given the wind.

    And then the rain started. Did I say I hated cycling in rain?

    It's actually not so bad. Yes, it was cold, my legs found it a lot
    harder going once they were cold (wish I'd taken my waterproof
    leggings), and they got to the burny phase at a lot lower heart rate
    (another interesting discovery). I was snug and warm inside my jacket -
    they're right when they say you just need to be dressed right to be
    comfortable in the rain, and I NEVER thought I'd agree with that. The
    rain's bloody noisy on both helmet and jacket. Helmet helped keep me
    dry. Gets harder to see with rain on your glasses, and rain (as with
    flies) has a habit of getting into the eyeballs over the top of the
    specs somehow. Was very aware that roads might be slippery, so careful
    not to do sudden little swerves around things, and braking was a good
    deal less effective (and it's always been hard work to stop my bike).
    Luckily the roads didn't end up awash with water.

    6 mile bottom afforded some shelter and the rain soon cleared up, bright
    sunshine on rain-dropped glasses made things interesting for a while :)
    By the wilbrahams I'd overheated and was wetter on the inside of the
    jacket than the outside, so that got stuffed in t'other half's pannier
    (purely cos it was quicker than re-folding and wedging back on my bike,
    honest!). Then I quickly realised it was a lot chillier than I'd
    thought from inside my snug jacket, but no way I was stopping again to
    faff with it, I decided I'd just have to cycle faster to stay warm. So
    nice to be able to decide that and have half a chance of *doing* it!

    Short climb up in fulbourn was still hard work but not impossible, and
    then it was zipping along the bypass with a tailwind (and me going
    'wheeeee! Faster! faster!' to myself in my daft brain) and home.

    46 miles of very pleasant though somewhat challenging cycling. And then
    I proceeded to ache a lot, get stiff, and discover a blister on my bum :)

    Definitely getting faster - similar sorts of hills covered to the last
    ride we did, and generally faster speed. Hills aren't as imposisble as
    they used to be. Still not quite up to the level of the London to
    Cambridge bike ride, which is coming up fast, but more and more happy
    that I'll manage to get to the end of that (as long as it's not pouring
    with rain or a stiff headwind) at an albeit slowish pace.

    Can't help wondering why I didn't manage to get to this stage two years
    ago, but I have to keep reminding myself that in the two years I've made
    a lot of changes to the bike to get it to fit me better, and until I'd
    done that the confidence just wasn't there, and with no confidence there
    was precious little in the way of enjoyment either.

    --


    Velvet
     
    Tags:


  2. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    Velvet wrote:
    > I *HATE* cycling in the rain - I've only done it once, and
    > it was possibly one of the worst rides I'd done to date - pedals like
    > ice with wet shoes.


    I've said it before and I'll say it again - you need clipless pedals.

    > Gets harder to see with rain on your glasses, and rain (as with
    > flies) has a habit of getting into the eyeballs over the top of the
    > specs somehow.


    The peak on a traditional cycling cap is the best thing I've found for
    keeping rain off my glasses. It still doesn't keep all the rain off,
    but it does a good job.

    > Short climb up in fulbourn was still hard work but not impossible, and
    > then it was zipping along the bypass with a tailwind (and me going
    > 'wheeeee! Faster! faster!' to myself in my daft brain) and home.


    I'm sure my wife wouldn't have kept it to herself :)

    > 46 miles of very pleasant though somewhat challenging cycling. And then
    > I proceeded to ache a lot, get stiff, and discover a blister on my bum :)


    I shall continue with my recent habit of *not* calling for JPEGs ...

    Sounds like a good ride, well done.

    --
    Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my reply address)
    <URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/>
    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
  3. On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 21:31:17 +0100, Danny Colyer
    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    <[email protected]>:

    >I've said it before and I'll say it again - you need clipless pedals.


    Or at least toe cups.

    Guy
    --
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
     
  4. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:

    > On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 21:31:17 +0100, Danny Colyer
    > <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > <[email protected]>:
    >
    >
    >>I've said it before and I'll say it again - you need clipless pedals.

    >
    >
    > Or at least toe cups.
    >
    > Guy


    Indeed, I have recently fitted toe cups. Which improve things, but
    still lead to feet being very prone to wiggling all over the pedal,
    which in turn leads to legs/knees not being happy.

    --


    Velvet
     
  5. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, Danny Colyer
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > The peak on a traditional cycling cap is the best thing I've found for
    > keeping rain off my glasses. It still doesn't keep all the rain off,
    > but it does a good job.


    Where can you get one these days? I can't find any listed on line.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    'You cannot put "The Internet" into the Recycle Bin.'
     
  6. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <YU%[email protected]>, Velvet
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
    >
    >> On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 21:31:17 +0100, Danny Colyer
    >> <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> <[email protected]>:
    >>
    >>>I've said it before and I'll say it again - you need clipless pedals.

    >>
    >> Or at least toe cups.

    >
    > Indeed, I have recently fitted toe cups. Which improve things, but
    > still lead to feet being very prone to wiggling all over the pedal,
    > which in turn leads to legs/knees not being happy.


    Then you do need clipless.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; killing [afghan|iraqi] civilians is not 'justice'
     
  7. Jon Senior

    Jon Senior Guest

    Simon Brooke [email protected] opined the following...
    > in message <[email protected]>, Danny Colyer
    > ('[email protected]') wrote:
    >
    > > The peak on a traditional cycling cap is the best thing I've found for
    > > keeping rain off my glasses. It still doesn't keep all the rain off,
    > > but it does a good job.

    >
    > Where can you get one these days? I can't find any listed on line.


    Cycle Promotions seemed to have a boxful at York, as did a number of the
    other promoters. Beyond that though, I've certainly not come across any
    in the shops here.

    Jon
     
  8. On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 23:05:16 GMT, Simon Brooke <[email protected]>
    wrote in message <[email protected]>:

    >> The peak on a traditional cycling cap is the best thing I've found for
    >> keeping rain off my glasses. It still doesn't keep all the rain off,
    >> but it does a good job.


    >Where can you get one these days? I can't find any listed on line.


    CTC shop.

    Guy
    --
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
     
  9. MSeries

    MSeries Guest

    Simon Brooke wrote:
    > Where can you get one these days? I can't find any listed on line.



    If by traditional we mean the close fitting cotton caps with small
    curved peak that can be folded up, Pearsons advertised some Campag
    branded ones in the mags a month or two ago. I got some trade team ones
    in York, 2 for £5, Pearsons were somewhat more expensive.

    For rain protection I prefer my 1989 Michelin one, given to me at the
    Tour in Alpe d'Huez that year. It has a large plastic peak that doesn't
    go soft when wet and pushes my hood out of the way when I turn my head
    sideways and keeps most of the rain off my sunglasses and face - yes I
    often wear sunglasses with yellow lenses in the rain.



    --
     
  10. Simon Brooke wrote:
    >in message <YU%[email protected]>, Velvet
    >('[email protected]') wrote:
    >
    >> Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
    >>
    >>> On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 21:31:17 +0100, Danny Colyer
    >>> <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >>> <[email protected]>:
    >>>
    >>>>I've said it before and I'll say it again - you need clipless pedals.
    >>>
    >>> Or at least toe cups.

    >>
    >> Indeed, I have recently fitted toe cups. Which improve things, but
    >> still lead to feet being very prone to wiggling all over the pedal,
    >> which in turn leads to legs/knees not being happy.

    >
    >Then you do need clipless.


    Or straps on toeclips, or to do them up tighter if you have them.
    Or possibly just petals with grippy metal edges of the sort that can
    take a chunk out of your shin if you _do_ slip off them ("bear trap" type).
    (I'd recommend clipless to though. I never felt happy doing straps up
    tight enough to be really useful, and clipless is so much easier.)
     
  11. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    Alan Braggins wrote:

    > Simon Brooke wrote:
    >
    >>in message <YU%[email protected]>, Velvet
    >>('[email protected]') wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>On Mon, 28 Jun 2004 21:31:17 +0100, Danny Colyer
    >>>><[email protected]> wrote in message
    >>>><[email protected]>:
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>>I've said it before and I'll say it again - you need clipless pedals.
    >>>>
    >>>>Or at least toe cups.
    >>>
    >>>Indeed, I have recently fitted toe cups. Which improve things, but
    >>>still lead to feet being very prone to wiggling all over the pedal,
    >>>which in turn leads to legs/knees not being happy.

    >>
    >>Then you do need clipless.

    >
    >
    > Or straps on toeclips, or to do them up tighter if you have them.
    > Or possibly just petals with grippy metal edges of the sort that can
    > take a chunk out of your shin if you _do_ slip off them ("bear trap" type).
    > (I'd recommend clipless to though. I never felt happy doing straps up
    > tight enough to be really useful, and clipless is so much easier.)
    >


    1. I have clipless, just not on the bike yet :) I've given the
    reasons why often enough, I shan't bore you lot again ;-)
    2. Used to have toestraps, had a scare with them, took them off for a
    while and put platforms on. Platforms now have toecups on. Nice
    compromise that suits well.
    3. Platforms are nasty biting metal ones with serrated metal edges.
    Work great in the dry (feet VERY secure with the tread on base of shoes)
    but pants in the wet - metal against wet hard rubber = slippery. Have
    often taken chunks out of my calf with them when stopping's been a bit
    uncoordinated - still have the latest bruise from 2 weeks ago's incident.
    4. Don't need straps tight to like them - the toe cups are nice and I
    can pull up with them too (I pedal in a heel-down way throughout almost
    all of the pedal stroke) though I can see straps would stop the lateral
    movement.

    I think I might be ready to try clipless by the end of the summer. I'm
    a lot happier with the bike than I used to be, and given the amount of
    thought that goes into stopping at the moment I think I'd probably do ok
    with clipless re the remembering to unclip thing (till I got used to it
    and it was automatic, of course...)

    I was suprised (though I think the pedals weren't getting soaked on this
    ride) that it wasn't as slippy as it had been before - it just made me
    more cautious rather than scaring me stiff and making me wish I was walking!

    --


    Velvet
     
  12. jacob

    jacob Guest

    Yes clipless are brill.
    Ordinary baseball cap keeps rain of my specs. You can get them just
    about anywhere esp. market stalls.

    cheers

    Jacob
     
  13. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    jacob wrote:

    > Yes clipless are brill.
    > Ordinary baseball cap keeps rain of my specs. You can get them just
    > about anywhere esp. market stalls.
    >
    > cheers
    >
    > Jacob


    Surely baseball caps are incompatible with cycling helmets though? And
    I wear one. And no, I don't need telling how it won't save my life, ta
    :) It has a small peak on it (plastic) but doesn't work for rain (and
    it clips on very lightly, so will break free in an accident)...

    --


    Velvet
     
  14. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    I wrote:
    >>>The peak on a traditional cycling cap is the best thing I've found for
    >>>keeping rain off my glasses. It still doesn't keep all the rain off,
    >>>but it does a good job.


    Simon Brooke wondered:
    >>Where can you get one these days? I can't find any listed on line.


    and Guy responded:
    > CTC shop.


    That's where I got mine. If you want a trade team cap then I've seen
    them at <URL:http://www.probikekit.com/>. I've also found a LBS in Yate
    that stocks them, not that that'll be much use to you. Personally I
    prefer not to go out dressed like a billboard, though.

    I haven't been able to find a completely plain one anywhere, but I'm
    happy enough to ride around with "CTC" printed on my visor.

    --
    Danny Colyer (the UK company has been laughed out of my reply address)
    <URL:http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/>
    "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." - Thomas Paine
     
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