Hope you’ve had a good weekend 🙂
Yesterday I went out on my TT bike on the road for the first time, firstly to get some experience riding it on the road, and secondly to see how the position I’ve been using on the turbo feels on the road. I also fancied setting an initial time on the local 10 mile course. Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out too well. I started off, but realized within a few hundred yards that my weight was too far forward, putting quite a lot of strain on the arms. I rode for about 6 miles, but there was no point trying to set a time, because I was concentrating too much on the arms and not the legs.
Not only that, but the TT position is very different to ride on the road. On the turbo it is no problem, but on the road it just does not come naturally (to me, at any rate). The front end seemed quite nervous, which I think was partly due to my weight being too far over the front. I did notice that the faster I went, the more stable it was, but I am going to have to practice for a lot of miles before even attempting to ride it quickly! As usual I was trying to run, before learning to walk. I’ll probably never learn.
I put the bike back in my car, drove home, made some adjustments to the seat position (shoved it back about 25mm) and went out from home for a quick try. It was noticeably better, but I only had a few minutes before I had to be back home.
Today I went out on my road bike for a 2 hour training ride. The goal was to ride for 2 hours at the fastest I could maintain, without taking on any food or energy drink (water only) during the ride. I got this idea from Graeme Obree’s very interesting manual, The Obree Way. He advocates training the body to use its glycogen reserves effectively. Until recently I would load up with energy bars and bananas during a ride like this, because I wanted to make sure I had enough energy. But if you eat properly earlier in the day of the ride, and the day before, you should be carrying enough energy to ride for 2 hours (around 1400-1500 kcal). I have adopted this recently on my rides of around this distance and found it does work. I haven’t had any problems with ‘bonking’ (yes, yes).
And what a beautiful day to ride! There was a slight wind, largely from the south. But apart from that, ideal conditions. I have adjusted the handlebars on my road bike, moving the stem down as low as it will go. When the bike was built, they left the steerer tube long and loaded up the spacers below the bar, so the front of that bike has always been high. Since I am training for TT I figured it would be better to lower the front of my road bike (even though I will not ride TT on it), to help me get used to riding a bike in a more horizontal position. It should also be a bit more aerodynamic. Either it is quite a bit more aerodynamic, or else I am fitter, because today I rode at a pace I have never managed before: 20.0mph average for 41 miles. This is 0.8mph faster than I have ever ridden before on a similar route, and that was in totally benign conditions. The last few miles I could see the garmin registering 19.9mph and I was hammering along, willing it to click up to 20. It did, with about half a mile to go. Quite chuffed with that! It is a flat route though, apart from the first 10 and final 5 miles. Screenshot from Strava below, and the ride data is here.
I used my new Garmin Edge 500 GPS computer on the road for the first time today: Short review: Excellent bit of kit!