it’s been a tough year – after 18 months of working on lots of long steady distance stuff to get the weight down, my direction shifted a little to getting better quality mileage in. By and large, I seemed to get there, with a few exceptions…
Plan was to keep the distance target from 2012 – i.e. 10,000km but wherever possible make that 10,000km of OUTSIDE riding.
Anyway, here goes
Distance – 11,162.36km (6,935 miles)
Time – 20d 19h 23m 46s
Elevation – 92,786m (57.6 miles)
Rides – 240
Longest ride – 135.5km on a cold and windy day in april
Hilliest ride – 1396m on a mentally windy day, riding around what felt like every hill within a 20 mile radius of my home.
2013 was also the year when I revisited something I swore I’d never do again – I rode a couple of 10 mile Time Trials. Nothing “organised”, but on a “proper” course as used by my LBC (local bike club) – 27m 22s on a course that’s best described as a “sporting” rather than a “fast” route was a pleasant surprise – especially on a “normal” roadbike rather than anything low-profile or aero.
As for the goal of actually getting fitter – there’s a slight anomaly in the figures – you’d probably expect the average speed of my rides to have increased, but actually the average speed DROPPED slightly from 2012’s 23.2kph to 2013’s 22.9kph. However, that’s actually partly because the harder sessions of riding meant that I had to ride a greater proportion of very low intensity recovery sessions. In other words, the fast sessions got faster, but the slow sessions got even slower! Probably a better metric of my improvement would be found in the geekier realms of power and FTP numbers. My final FTP test of 2012 had me turning out 182w. By the end of 2013 I’d bumped that to 262w, a pretty staggering 44% improvement!
In a vain attempt to at least manage 1/4 distance in the Rapha Festive 500 I went out on New Years Eve for a short Ride. Frankly, I was a little distracted, and couldn’t concentrate properly – it was a bad case of thinking too much about the events of the year and not enough about keeping myself safe on the road. I quickly realised that this was silly, and if I was going to be doing anything exercise related, it’d be better if it was a walk – at least I can let my mind wander a little more without worrying about going under a truck when I’m walking.
So, there’s a ride log and a walk log, just to complete the set for 2013.
Even better weather, even a little blue sky and sunshine tempted us to give Blencathra a go. Unfortunately, one of our party had “twanged something” in his leg and wasn’t sure he’d be able to complete the walk – so, we set off on the basis of splitting into 2 groups of two if he had a problem, with me returning with him, and Chris, the more experienced of the other two keeping an eye on things while they continued and finished the walk.
Amazingly, his leg held up fine all the way to the first subsidiary peak on Blencathra, but as we hit the snowline, and began to descent he instantly realised that the downhills on snow were causing real pain. So, with around 1km to go, I turned back, helping Kel back down the hill – fortunately, when set up with a pair of walking poles properly adjusted, and allowed to go at a nice steady pace, he managed to get back down to the car under his own steam. Just before we reached the final flat bit we were joined by the other two, who after asking if everything was ok, proceeded to complain that the cloud had sacked in when they began to climb and had rendered any views from the top completely invisible. Then to add insult to injury, 10 minutes down from the summit, they looked back and it was as clear as a bell. Sodding Typical!
Anyhoo – there’s the Strava from this walk as well – though the figures are a little “strange” – especially the “moving time” against the “Actual” – reflecting the fact that I was pretty much walking down 10 yards to show the best route, then standing waiting for my mate to pick his way through…
Despite the frankly awful weather we had yesterday driving up to the lakes, today was actually half decent. Not “on the tops” decent. Not even “stayed dry all day” decent, but definitely “good enough to get out walking” good enough.
Chris had the great idea of jumping into the car and driving down to Rosthwaite, then doing a nice walk up one side of Langstrath and down the other. It came out at around 12km, and being the sad data obsessive I am, I wore the HRM and took the Garmin along to get some idea of how much beer it’d helped offset. So, I do have the Strava for it…
Another chuffing cold one. Still, as I’m away for a few days up in the lake district, probably watching the rain piss down from a pub window, I thought it best to at least get something of a ride “in the bag” while I could.
Short Christmas Dinner Space Maker.
Now for the Second Breakfast…
And, I suppose it’s a couple more km’s for the Festive 500 on Strava
… but silly bollocks here still went out for a ride in it.
Managed 30km barely, eighty-odd minutes of abject misery and getting blown all over the bloody place. Stats from the powermeter say it all as far as how pleasant it was – TSS 87.3 IF 0.877 VI 1.127 and 27% of the ride at threshold or above… which, for a nice steady couple of hours of base/tempo riding (for that was what was on the slate for today) is frankly a complete clusterfuck!
I wasn’t even out for long enough to “burn my beer” for tonight. Not entirely a happy bunny, in all honesty.
Strava for the ride’s here – i’m just going to try and forget it.