Hardtail Loving

It’s been a busy week so far this week and we feel as though we’ve barely had time to catch up after our weekend away. Today was just as busy.

I started off the day with some website work on the computer, and then went out for a hard, 10 mile run. It wasn’t that exciting as far as the route goes, but I was putting in 1 mile hard efforts followed by 1 mile recoveries so it ended up being quite taxing both from an intensity point of view and distance wise.

It was then time for breakfast and a little more computer work before I headed off to Penrhyncoch to do some painting and decorating.

I took my biking kit with me but as my calves were so sore from the morning run I decided to just have an easy recovery ride at Nant yr Arian after finishing work. I took my Hardtail bike with me rather then the full suspension bike just for a change.

Once at Pendam, conditions were perfect. Cloudy, cool but not cold and with no wind. The trails were pretty dry and riding well so I set off at a fair pace and seemed to be flying along on my Hardtail. It may be an old and fairly basic bike but it’s a little lighter than my full-sus and so much more responsive. OK, the ride is a little harsh, but sometimes that is actually quite nice.

My speed was good and despite being on the Hardtail I actually felt more confident on the descents as well as pretty quick on the climbs. I was soon at the bottom of The Mark of Zorro with the Legburner climb ahead of me. From Strava I knew that my previous best time up this climb was over 19 minutes and that Dave had the ‘King of the Mountain’ on this climb with a time of 17:29. I didn’t find out until after that Martyn had actually beaten this a few days before with a new KOM time for the Legburner of 17:11, but as I didn’t know that I was aiming for 17:29. I didn’t think I’d get anywhere near it with tired legs from the mornings run, but once on the climb all ideas of an easy recovery ride were out of the window and I was now flat out and going for it.

I reached the junction in what thought was around 12 minutes. If I remember correctly I thought that the top part took me around 5 minutes on a good day, so maybe, just maybe the 17:29 was indeed possible. I kept pushing hard and made it in what I calculated to be less than 17 minutes in total… Would it be good enough for a KOM?

Legburner KOM

Legburner KOM

I kept up a good speed for the rest of the ride as well. The trails were riding beautifully and I had them to myself. I finished well and headed home, eager to see what my time had been on the Legburner. I uploaded the data from my Forerunner 910 XT to Strava, and there it was:

  • a new KOM on the Legburner,
  • a new KOM on the Legburner top section,
  • a 2nd place on the 3/4 Legburner and
  • a 2nd place on the Hippity Hop climb

Not bad for an ‘easy recovery ride’, and maybe I should get out on the Hardtail a little more often…. Although, it has made me think that a nice lightweight, racy Hardtail would be nice!

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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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