Another Generic Cycling Update...

I have a feeling that this may be the general pattern of my winter...

I've completed the first month of my training for Ride Across Britain 2010, and by my calculations racked up about 800-900 miles in the four weeks. The new bike had some teething issues, however a couple of visits to a local bike store, and some emails to Wiggle sorted that out, and now the odometer on it is ticking over nicely.

The rides are basically taking four forms;

  • Daily Commute - About 14 miles round trip, fairly flat. Goals here are fast pace, and practicing technique and cadence control
  • Lunchtime Rides - a 1 hour, 18 mile loop, where the focus is on improving overall time over undulating terrain
  • Weekend Rides - Long rides on Saturday and Sunday, to get used to cycling on tired legs, and also improve endurance over 40-80 miles. Also includes several climbs
  • Velodrome Intervals - Speed and power work, aiming at holding a high pace and cadence for about 5 minutes at a time

The big challenge coming up is the transition to winter training. We visited the Cycle Show at Earls Court a fortnight ago, hoping to pick up winter gear, however the retail opportunities were a bit rubbish generally, so ended up ordering a lot of stuff online. I now have a windproof jacket and gloves, more shorts, some base layers and some rather clever Crud RoadRacer Mudguards, which I'm resisting fitting until I need to. The cold weather really kicked off this weekend, after a pleasantly mild start to autumn. Hopefully I'll acclimatize to the colder weather, and it would be really nice if it was a dryer winter...

One real issue I have is lights. I bought some cheapy Argos specials, and they are absolutely rubbish. Last week I had to cycle across town after dark to get to Palmer Park, and could see nothing until I hit street-lit areas. The way back was even worse, as the "light" (it barely deserves to be called that) decided to go intermittant. I've done some reading round, and there is a strong current of opinion that cycle lights are basically over-priced torches, and there have been a lot of advances in the torch arena that have not transferred over to the cycling arena. As such many suggest simply buying a torch, and strapping it to your bike. Given that I was already jury-rigging the light attachment, due to a general lack of sensible handlebars (all the clear space is given over to areo bars and elbow rests), I've ordered a Lenser P7, which has a power output of more than my current Inova T2. That and some velcro strapping should sort me out nicely. If it works out well I may pick up a second, and some LockBlocks (a simple device to make bolting the torch to a bar easier)