345 miles in the Festive week, happy with that and a little surprised as I only had a few days off. Luckily the boss let us go half day and half days equal short afternoon rides.
My road legs had become non existent after four months of cyclo cross and midweek turbo sessions at the club house. So rather than try and force myself back in readiness for my first road race of 2013, I opted for daily 50 milers. The idea being I'd be good for a block of heavy training in late January?
So the rides. Thankfully the snow and ice stayed away, but in it's place came wind and rain, suits me; I don't do heat. Sundays ride, and my first club ride in ages was partly a disappointment. The cross had given me something, but it wasn't top end or endurance, however I did feel light and strong. I knew we had race specific coaching the following month, which I hoped would give me some top end, and it was up to me to put in the miles.
Next was a solo 62 miles on Christmas Eve doing Luton CCs reliability trial route in reverse. A gloomy day, but mild and still. 62 miles always seems a doddle on your own.
The Boxing day ride is always a bit of a social, and a chance for all abilities to have a ride together. We didn't put much thought into this years route. Instead we just followed our noses which in turn means all the classic spots. First is Ivinghoe Beacon, the classic route out of Leighton Buzzard, and up onto Ashridge, a popular mountain biking area. As we rode through I couldn't help notice how bad the trails were up here. And all the trail heads seemed to be occupied by mountain bikers busily altering their ride plans. Then it was off the ridge and down past the castle and onto the A41, along Berkhamsteds mock pavé and into the beautiful horse country at Wiggington. From here we crept up onto Aston Hill for a round of coffees in Wendover Woods, another popular as it was that day mountain bike area. After lashing out twenty six quid on coffee we hooned down Aston Hill to head for home. We said farewell to the majority of the group and three of us set off for a few more miles.
Thursday was a work day, and I had planned to take the 'retro' bike out in the afternoon, but I caved in and instead turbo'd away in my garage listening to Amy and planning races in my head for 2013.
Friday was an inter club ride with us LBRCC -Solgar, Twenty3c, Team Corley and Spirit racing. I was feeling a bit cheeky when we set out, but at 20 miles a club mate had a series of punctures and a ruined tyre. After a very long wait the group set off, leaving myself and another club mate to escort the stricken rider home. I was a bit gutted to see all those different jerseys disappear up the road. Though we made up for it by just chilling on the way home.
Saturday was a group 1 ride with some of the new club members. These were the guys that had joined us to race for 2013 which is to be our first year with a sponsored race squad. I had no illusions of matching these guys being the most senior racer in the team, but I was happy to work and do my bit. However after a show of strength on Winchenden Hill the group split and confusion ensued. We turned off in the stunning Eythrop Park and cycled fast along the side of the flooded streams and rivers. The ride wasn't tough, but we couldn't escape the wind and rain no matter which way we turned. We took an extended loop home that would include some good hills before finally finding that tail wind. With that behind us we further extended the route just for the hell of it and soon came upon the fast boys. We joined up and set off home, I was now begining to feel something back in my legs.
For Sunday I decided to take it easy as I still had a cross race the coming weekend. So I did my chairman's bit and rode with a G2 intermediate group. I was a bit taken aback by the pace at first, but noticed everyone was pushing their big rings, which was okay until we hit inclines and it all slowed down. This is why I'm a big fan of standard chainsets, the 39 offers a great all day gear; who want's to ride in 34? Without wanting to sound patronising I thought everyone was doing well, and had certainly come a long way. The day was also very windy and I thought of the G1 guys out doing 100 miles, not the day for it I thought. With just ten miles remaining we had a series of punctures that started to extend the day. I was now starving, not tired just hungry after not having eaten for five hours. At fifty miles I stopped for food and said goodbye to the others. With no one at home I pointed my bike the other way and solo'd a few more miles.
New Years Eve. There were no plans for any club rides, so awake at 5.30am I got up, ate some porridge, fitted lights and set off for a final 100km's of 2012. It was okay but hellishly windy. And I'd run out of jollop so was riding on Robinsons Summer fruits and a few buscuits. No one was out, but after a while I found my mojo and began to enjoy the terrible conditions. Though my motivation was fully tested when I was about to hit Redbourn. I really really didn't fancy the stint through the housing estate, so I did a sharp left into the narrow lanes and fought the wind home
So that's it, a pretty good week. I'll be administering some TLC to the bikes today, take a good rest and look forward to the first ride of 2013. Which starts 8.30am New Years day.