Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Must try harder

The good thing about setting all sorts of different targets is that when things are going badly on one, you can always concentrate on something else. With my weekly mileage looking a bit feeble at the moment, it seemed like a good idea to work on my speed, so this evening I had a crack at improving my time round the regular 10 mile Winter Hill circuit.

The results were outstandingly disappointing. Not only was I slower than the last time I tried this, I was slower than every time that I've tried it since I started logging speed with the GPS.

I need some good excuses.
  • Excuse number one would be the road. It had been raining, and the road was still wet. Like the Stig, and the stars in the reasonably priced car, perhaps I can argue the Top Gear Defence. I can't possibly be expected to achieve top performance when tyre grip is reduced by a wet surface, can I?
  • Excuse number two would be the weather. I could argue that the elements were working against me. But was it too hot, or too windy?
  • Excuse number three would be the bike. I am just going to have to invest in something lighter, with better protection against wind resistance, less rolling resistance, or whatever.
  • Excuse number four would be my fellow road users. I could argue that there was too much traffic, and too much waiting for it to clear at road junctions.

The trouble is that these hardly stack up. To take them in turn:

  • Not even in my wildest dreams am I doing the sort of speed where wet roads are a problem. There is already a limit, though, to how quickly I am prepared to take steeper descents, there was quite a lot of gravel on the road after it had been resurfaced. I did lose a bit of time on the way down from Winter Hill
  • There was a bit of wind, and it slowed me a little on the way across Widbrook common. On the other hand I made up some time on the climb up to Winter Hill, and I suspect that was because the wind was behind me
  • The bike is fine
  • I did the ride at about 6pm, when everyone was returning home, and I did have to wait at some of the busier junctions, which cost me a few minutes

The most telling thing, though, was that by the time I got home, I wasn't as tired as I had been on previous attempts when I achieved beter speeds. I clearly hadn't put in as much effort, and I have to face up to the fact that I'm not going to better my time until I try a bit harder.

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