Fred Whitton isn’t far now, just 2 weekends left in between. Training has been going well, almost. Had planned to ride 2 big rides in April – one with lots of ascent, and the other long in distance.
Rode the first one on 12th. Joined Andy, Nick and Damian for the Leith Hill Octopus, and followed it up with 3 reps of Box Hill to make up some more climbing metres. Combined with the ride home, over Ranmore Common, Greendene, and the home climb, the climb totalled up to just over 3000m of ascent. Item one: checked.
The Octopus seemed easier than it felt the first time I rode it a month earlier. It could’ve been the better weather (it drizzled almost the whole day first time), company of cycling buddies, or even a slight improvement in my cycling form. The legs started to feel the effort by the time I was heading up Box hill the 2nd time, and climbing Ranmore Common road without stopping was more an achievement of will than legs. Nevertheless, reinvigorated by a Coke1 and a stretch, returned home a happy wreck :)
This last weekend, 19th April, was supposed to be the long one. I’d planned to ride to, and back from, Brighton. Short detour through some North Downs hills would’ve added just a tiny bit of ascent as well. Was excited the day before to find out that Preeti, my sister, was in Brighton as well on a surprise trip.
The only hiccup was that 2 friends who may have ridden with me from Crawley/Horsham dropped out. This was worse than it seemed because I was counting on them to guide me past the twin towers of those two urban agglomerations blocking all my routes to Brighton.
Lazy wake up, and discomfort with all my planned routes meant I happily skipped the ride-to-Brighton plans. The decision became even easier on finding out that Preeti had been there only for a day trip.
Bike was already prepared, and Rags was unwilling to let me stay at home and disturb her day of peace, so alternate route kicked in, and I headed of westwards for a change.
It’s surprising how little some roads change. I rode on the Seale Ln from Puttenham after over a year, and the road surface is still as horrid as it always was. And the views as beautiful as they always were. Fair trade, I’ll accept.
Seale-Elstead-Hurtmore-Godalming-Cranleigh2–Barhatch-Peaslake-White Down–Box Hill–Ranmore Common–Greendene-Guildford-Home. At 110Km, it was half the distance I’d planned to ride. But, for some reason, it was an immensely pleasant one. I haven’t been home as happy3 – both outside and within – from any ride in a long while.
Off the bike, went for my first swim in over a month yesterday – an easy 500m set before spending a lot more time in the Sauna :)
Need more gym work, but that too keeps getting hurdles. Missed gym 2 weeks, went for next 2, and then wasted one last week after gym kept getting shut down due to some fire alarm issues. Tomorrow, have to make a call between the gym, or attending Forward Partners’ session on Product Management.
The two things that have been going well, mostly, are the spin classes and (almost) daily running – still managing to average 25K of runs every week this month.
Looking forward, this weekend is probably the last long ride on the road I’ll get in before the Fred itself. Friends are coming over next weekend, and I’m in taper the week after. Hope to make it count, and finally get a 200K ride in. It does mean missing watching, and cheering at, the London marathon4 :(
Will hopefully, post another update before the Fred. And, if I live to tell the tale, a happy one after.
Live long, and stay injury free. And prosper.
If I ever ride with you, and order a Coke Zero or a Diet Cola on the cafe stop, please slap me and remind me of this.
Drank a 500ml bottle of Coke Zero with lunch, to no effect. Was struggling by the time I started back on Ranmore Common. In desperation, drank a can of regular Coke from coffee van atop Ranmore Common – surge of refreshing energy. Strong enough to last all the way home – 25K with 2 small hills en route. ↩
- Passing through Cranleigh, I remembered how I hate that town, probably for no fault of its own. Just that, in my mind, that town is associated with cyclist hating, truck driving, middle-aged, middle class white folk. It may have started with that anti-cycling petition by that pub owner from Cranleigh. It wasn’t helped when a jeep tried to overtake me on a small roundabout by going directly over the middle while I went around. Almost hit me before he braked, and then nonchalantly sped away. Cranleigh stays bad in my cyclist’s dairy. Joining Croydon, Great Bookham, and all of Kent and Essex. ↩
- Happy rides must also be fast ones, because according to Strava, I recorded PBs on all the hills I tackled – Barhatch, White Down, Box Hill, Ranmore Common, and Greendene. Was also pleased with the relative comfort with which I’d ridden a century.) ↩
- Alastair, one of our spin class instructors is leading a ride to-from Brighton tomorrow, Wednesday 21st. By going on this ride, I could free up my Sunday to go watch the London Marathon. Or to get in an extra ride. Sadly, I didn’t tell him in the class, and don’t have his details now. Bugger! :( ↩