Daily Archives: January 29, 2012

Train Training

Sunday. 9-sh. This week I was in town, so headed out with the team for a training run on the wheels. Cycled round to John’s (6.5 miles or so) without incident, barring John’s friend Joey’s cousin, Frank, who followed me for half a mile before jumping a red light to go by me – not that I was racing, as I was happilly pootling along minding my own, saving my energy for whatever was to come. My Garmin 205, strapped to the handlebars with cunning use of an old light mount and a rubber strap from a mudguard I never used, had my average on this pre-training section at 16mph, not too shabby. Three of us hit the road, John, Gio and myself, our exact route a mystery to me (as always) but starting with a steady run out of Renfrew and into the countryside proper. Bananas and sport gels stuffed in my pockets, along with a trusty Mars bar and a new, second bottle cage taking my on-board liquid count to 1.5L or so, I was prepared this week for refueling on route.  The pace was fine for me, taking one stint at the front, but spending most of my time behind the more experienced riders. This has one drawback – wet roads. If you’re thirsty and not fussy about what you drink, you’re well catered for, just open wide and you’ll get a steady stream of gunk from the wheel in front. If not, you’ll be steadily bespeckled with road mank. Still, its all part of the fun of winter training.

On we went, hitting our first hill of the day, me into the lowest gear I have and taking it easy, J&G zipping ahead as if the change in gradient wasn’t there. No real issues, taking on a bit of lucozade as I climbed on, knowing they’d be at the summit, wherever that was going to be. In the end, it wasn’t too bad, so on we went through Kilmacolm and skirting round to Greenock for a cracking downhill section, hitting a record-for-me 37mph (though the uploaded data lists it as 36mph, meh) . My euphoria didn’t last long as a quick break for refuelling had J revealing the ‘next bit has a bit of nasty climb, its not a long one though…’. Hmm. First bit of the hill was ok, leading to a thigh-burner, which was thankfully short enough to manage without running through all of the fine selection of expletives I’ve learnt from my many years in Glasgow. Past Loch Thom and I’m starting to enjoy this cycling lark, great views and the terrain, though undulating, a bit more forgiving and no more thigh-burners. The team slipped ahead, waiting for me at the top of the last rise, chatting to a local + dog, leading to another great downward section to Largs. Now, I’ve been to Largs a few times, in the car. The main road is a ‘select low gear’ type as you come down in to the town. We’d be taking that ‘slight incline’ out of the place. It was around midday, I’m sitting on 41 miles for the day and have arranged to be back in Glasgow for a 1.30-ish lunch. Not going to make 20-30 odd miles with that nasty hill to start in 90minutes, unless I can magically average 20+mph… So again, plan B kicks in, as Largs has a railway station. Annoyingly, I’m still feeling fresh-ish (unlike a fortnight ago where I was far from it) but time is against me, so a £7.20 ticket tucked in my jacket and I’m sat in the station waiting for the 12:56 to Glasgow. J&G head off with my best wishes to take that hill and I kick back and wait for my train.

fastest this bike went all day
fastest this bike went all day, courtesy of ScotRail

Train is bang on time, but turns out this isn’t an express – it stops at pretty much every stop along the line, turning what I thought would be a 30min ride into over an hour. Was impressed by the handy velcro straps for holding the bike in place, though I doubt the other passengers were impressed with my dirt covered self (I found mud still stuck to my ears after I showered – ugh) . Texting on route turns lunch to coffee, arriving at Central at just after 2pm, hobble out of the place  (clippy shoes are no use for walking) and zip home on the bike to meet my lunch-now-coffee friend. Maybe next week I’ll finally complete a full training cycle…

Garmin link http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/145706996

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Team Training 4 – A Game of Two Halves

Me, Gio (there’s a theme here) and Ian.  The idea was for a run around Renfrewshire – keep the Tak away from Ian for a bit to ease his nightmares.  Tiny issue in that I wasn’t quite sure how long the route is.  Probably about 50 (ish) miles.  Not enough miles for Ian clearly, who cycled an extra 6 to mine.  Let the games begin.

The chosen route through Renfrew, Inchinnan and Bishopton is good to begin with as it means everyone is likely to stay together.  A little bit of stretching out on the hills and back together again.  Not too bad in terms of hills until we hit Greenock and move up the Old Largs Road.  How’s them legs now Ian?  From this point Ian fell back just a little until the last fast 6 down into Largs.  “Largs?  That’s miles away”! cried Ian, who had arranged a lunchdate (when will he learn – Sunday is for cycling.  A dinner date sure, but lunch, leave it out).

A ticket to (not) ride

Anyway, down into Largs and a couple of calculations.  Ian’s down 41 miles and he’s probably got another 21 to go (in reality another 30).  The big fella is as fly as a bag of monkeys.  He knows the Hairy Brae is around the corner and doesn’t fancy it.  However, it shall be recorded that he had to bail out this time to meet up with his lunch mates.  So packed the big chap on the Glasgow train and onwards for the rest of the team – all 2 of us.

Up the Hairy Brae (what a name) and a new buddy, Brian, is having a breather.  When he sees us coming he starts slowly moving along and once we pass, he clamps on the back.  Now at this point my hands were seriously cold.  I’ve either got to stop and spark a hand warmer or start turning the legs a little to get some heat going.  Well, go on Brian.  With his help, we got a right good train going and belted it back to Renfrew in double quick time.  One chap did seem to lose a little puff and didn’t take his turn at the front so far.  Not saying who, but his Garmin Connect monicker seems to have him listed as TheGtrain.  Train?  Ahem?

More miles in the bag, but the legs feeling it a little this time.  1000 miles in 9 days?  Not quite yet.

http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/145712130