Biking in the Real World

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I haven’t really been out on my bike in the ‘Real World’ for a while. I’ve been on the turbo trainer quite a bit recently and I’ve had one or two little rides in the snow, but nothing proper and nothing on my Commencal Meta 5.5 since replacing lots of bits on it. I wanted to give it a bit of a shale down and as the snow and ice seemed to have mainly metled I decided to do a circuit of the ClimachX Trail.

So off I set up the first climb with my new drive-chain, new rear wheel and new bottom bracket. All felt OK, although it did feel like quite a slog. The recent snow-melt had made conditions pretty claggy under-tyre and I was soon a little too hot thanks to having to wear a Buff to keep protect my ‘surfer’s ear‘.

Once onto the singletrack it wasn’t any easier. Claggy and hard work with some snow and ice here and there. It then started pouring with rain and as I got higher there was some areas of slippery ice on some of the fire-roads. Nothing too bad and all very rideable, except for the sharp turn onto the rocky climb up to ‘Better Late than Never’. I had to dismount here and shuffle across the ice.

The top of the final descent was a little difficult too as it still had quite a bit of snow on it so I took it fairly easy, although I think it would have been OK. The final descent after the rock garden was really good though.

I was a little disappointed with my time of 1 hour 10 minutes (my record is 56:17 – Click here for a report from that day.). Especially seeing as it felt quite hard and my average Heart Rate was 151 bpm. I’m not sure if it was the bike, the conditions or me. Most likely a combination of the latter two. The conditions would certainly have slowed me down quite a bit but maybe not by a whole 14 minutes. I’m probably not quite up to speed either, and the fact that I’ve done quite a bit of training this week probably means that I could do with a rest.

I’ve just looked it up and so far this week I’ve done 6 turbo trainer sessions, a circuit training session, 2 swims and 2 mountain bike rides. Time for a couple of rest days.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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