Smiles not Miles – Week 5 Day 4

Another surprisingly pleasant day, would have been daft not to ride – just did a fairly steady hour and a half, dropped in a couple of gratuitous loops to comply with a daft challenge I’ve been running on the MyFitnessPal website, and other than that, just enjoyed one of the final roll-arounds I’m likely to get on the Dolan this year before it goes into mothballs for the winter – i.e. whenever the Cannondale actually arrives…

Ride details via Strava are here, for anyone made enouugh to be interested.


MFP Classics Challenge – Race of the Falling Leaves

Made the best of a slightly unseasonably sunny day to get a good solid metric century ride in.  As per the typical “Classics Challenge” rides, not only was it a distance challenge, but there were other “spot prize” assignments – Photo Bonuses for pictures of “Autumnal Leaves”, “Roadside Church/Chapel” and “Italian Recovery Food and Drink”

I Couldn’t resist adding in an extra Italian flavour…


(a small Alfa Specialist operating from a Barn near Whitley Bridge)


Falling (well, Fallen) Leaves

Roadside Chapel

Pizza Rustico

Stats for the ride on Strava are here

The Race of Truth…

That’s what they call it – The Time Trial, The Race of Truth – Nowhere to Hide, No Real Tactics, Nobody Else to Blame – Just You, Your Bike and the Stopwatch.

It’s been an awful long time since I rode a “proper, full gas” Time Trial – in fact, I promised myself almost 20 years ago that I’d NEVER put myself through that kind of pain again.   Yes, I’ll say it again – PAIN.   To ride a Time Trial properly, you have to have a certain masochistic streak.

It’s best summed up with a Quote from Chris Boardman (who knows a thing or two about riding against the clock)

Continually ask yourself one question – can I maintain this pace to the end of the race?

  • If the answer is ‘yes’, you are not going hard enough
  • If the answer is ‘no’, you are going too hard
  • If the answer is ‘maybe’ then you are in the right place

I think I had bits of all three today…

Details of the ride on Strava are here

2 hours after returning Home, Showered and Rested, however my Stomach is still upside down and I can still taste Blood at the Back of my Throat.

Testing Times…

In more than one way…

Early doors, managed to get a Reconnaissance run on the local 10 mile TT Course – basically, dropped the bike in the back of the car, drove over to the finishing line, got out, rolled down to the start-line and gave it the beans.

More to see if a) I could remember the route and b) to see ho hard I could push on the hills without blowing…   Managed a not-particularly-shabby 28:14 – according to the local club’s website, the “age adjusted” club standard for this is 26:38 gold, 28:52 Silver and 32:11 bronze for old gits like me – so I’m almost “getting there”.   Fairly sure theres a few more seconds in there somewhere if I get a proper warmup ride before it too…

Strava details are here


And the other way today is a Testing Time…  well – at 3pm, there was the interment service for my Dad’s Ashes.   Fulfilling my promise that eventually He and my Mother Would be physically (as well as spiritually) Reunited.

MFP Vuelta Challenge – Stage 21

Leganés / Parquesur → Madrid 110km

And for the final ride of the 3 week challenge, the weather came in, the wind blew, rain (horizontal) – Much as I love my extended ride on a Sunday, I reverted to yet another Out and Back spin to Snaith.   Frankly, it was quite enough riding for this week!  Not to put too fine a point on it, I’m knackered.   I’m on a couple of strict days off the bike I reckon – may well spend some time decorating the house, and waiting in for delivery of the new toy.

Strava Details Here

MFP Vuelta Challenge – Stage 20

Avilés → Alto de L´Angliru 142km

In view of tomorrows weather being absolute Cock, I decided to do another slightly longer loop again today – I’ve a sneaking suspicion that tomorrow will, at best, be a gentle tool around the short local loop.  Much as I’d LOVE to clear 1000km for the Vuelta Challenge, I can’t see it happening in torrential rain and 20mph winds.   My Mother didn’t raise any TRULY STUPID kids…

Anyway – Strava stuff for today’s ride is here…   another rake of “trophys” and a few PB’s surprisingly enough!

Part way around, the man with the hammer caught up with me, so during my pause for a Clif bar and a drink, I decided to get a photo (well a hipster bullshit Instagram) of the bike as well…


MFP Vuelta Challenge – Stage 19

San Vicente de la Barquera → Oviedo. Alto del Naranco 181km

Decided to do a little longer one today – sort of in celebration of getting all the stuff I wanted to do completed.   It’s been a decent week for moving forwards this week – so what better way to celebrate than moving forwards on the bike for 70km or so…

This route is fast becoming a bit of a favourite, allowing me a bit of a speed-work session, then rounding off with a couple of nice solid uphills to balance it out.

Strava stuff for today is here for anyone desperate enough to want to see how slowly I went up the hills…   Despite having lost over 73kg, gravity really isn’t my friend.