After a couple of weeks of soft-pedalling with a few longer base rides and some time spent spinning out on a spangly new refurbed Bob Jackson, it’s time to start picking things up again. I have a few ‘target’ events on the horizon so have started to train with a renewed intensity. I was also very excited by the mild and unseasonably lovely weather today.
I rode the long way to work – the route that takes me out towards my old workplace before heading back towards my new workplace – on my Mercian. It’s a yellow King of Mercia Audax frame with campag groupset and full mudguards. There are several fantastic things about this bike. It’s yellow. It’s made of Reynolds 531c steel tubing. It handles like a dream with the steel frame absorbing the worst the road has to offer, but still offering up a responsive and lively ride. It’s made by Mercian. It has bosses for full mudguards. It has delicious windowed lugs. I could go on, but i won’t. The practicality as a winter trainer and light tourer is beyond dispute and i use a carradice saddlebag – perfect for lunch, clothes and sundry items.
The plan was to tackle a longer, hillier route on the way home having done a shorter, hillier route on the way in. As is often the case, i tend to adjust my route on the hoof, depending on how the legs are feeling. Things seemed ok, but i was aware that if the ride went over an hour then i might struggle for energy. And so it proved. After a fairly benign start and a few inclines things began to unravel whilst climbing up Wrington Hill from Cleeve. The lactic built up and i started to feel progressively more empty. I knew there was another hill to come and couldn’t really do a lot about it. From there it was only about 8 miles back to Bristol. I could feel the ominous weight of the bonkhammer poised above my head for each of the last tortuous miles. any incline, no matter how small, became a battle of attrition.
I feel a long way off peak form.