Hernia

So my groin pain turned out to be an inguinal hernia for which surgery is required – it won’t be until the end of February at the earliest. Ho hum. So my cycling has been massively curtailed – I’ve managed two turbo rides of 20 minutes, the first was OK but the second made me quite sore, although it was a little sore when I first got on. I can cycle on my MTB if I wear a hernia truss but I can’t really wear one over my Lycra without looking even dafter than I would anyway.

I bet this is the year I get a place on Ride London – it’d be typical of my luck! There’s no way I’d be properly fit to do it unless the surgery really was at the end of February and I was able to get some decent training in beforehand (no guarantee of that). At least they give the option to defer entry for a year so I’d have it to look forward to next year. I really just want to go for a decent ride again anywhere though!

Injured again

2015 has not been a great year for me on the bike – either I’ve been injured or had a cold and my mileage for the year is terrible. My current ailment is a groin strain which has been around for a couple of weeks without seeming to get better. I managed a short bike ride on Monday (taking Nicky to capoeira, a 1.5 mile ride with Nicky in the child seat on the back) which wasn’t too bad but I did have to sit down for a while after.

I really hope 2016 is an improvement – I miss the training and the tired muscles, strangely! As well as the physical side of things, cycling is my main way of dealing with stress and being off the bike for so long is having a detrimental effect on my mental health :-(

I’m also missing pro cycling – I really can’t get excited about football any more and can’t wait for racing to start again next month. If I can’t actually cycle it would be nice to at least get the adrenaline rush from watching it!

Finally

It’s been three weeks since I last went for a ride, due to illness and injury, but finally today I felt well enough and awake enough to go out for a quick ride. It’s been pretty windy recently (there were 50mph winds a few days ago), today was relatively calm but it was still a bit of a slog to get home! I’m very unfit but my legs didn’t feel too bad, my quadriceps tendons are a little tight but better than they have been.

I put some new tyres on the Carrera TDF, they’re Continental Gatorskin 25mms, should be a bit more comfortable.

Hopefully next week I’ll manage a few longer rides and start getting some fitness back…

Back

This year just gets worse and worse. I managed to do my back in last week (by sneezing, of all things) so have been off the bike. I then got a nasty cold this week so have been exhausted! Hopefully by next week I’ll have fully recovered and be ready to restart training again.

I’ve got some new 25mm Gatorskins to put on the Carrera TDF – I’ve currently got 23mm Gatorskins on there but there is a bit of a slit in the back one which is only going to get worse, so time to switch. I’ve got 25mm on the Ribble so I know it’ll make things a bit more comfortable, looking forward to trying them out.

Run down

I’m getting really bored of not being well now – I felt OK again last week and the day after my 35 mile ride I felt the best I had for a long while, only to feel ill again the next morning. I don’t have any energy at the moment and am feeling miserable. I really want to start winter training properly and I keep getting ill or injured, it’s so frustrating!

Still ill

I was feeling better this week, and even managed a 35 mile ride on Tuesday – it was a bit wet to begin with but in a weird kind of way I enjoyed being out with rain being blown into my face! Happily my winter bike is running fine and the mudguards are doing their job. My legs weren’t too bad the next day, and I was feeling optimistic that I might finally be getting better, but I woke up on Thursday feeling sick – one day I’ll feel properly fit again! Hopefully I’ll get out for a quick ride this weekend and start developing a proper training plan next week.

Ill

I’ve not been out much recently due to illness – I had a nasty cold and wasn’t sleeping well. I did manage to get out for a ride yesterday though, I’ve decided to switch to the winter bike full time now and it’s working well with its new headset – I think I need to adjust the saddle a little though. It was very windy yesterday so cycling along the seafront was pretty hard! On the other hand, I managed a year’s best time on one westbound Strava segment – nowhere near my best of course but it was a good workout for my legs! Hopefully I can get out a bit more frequently as I feel better.

Slightly better

I’ve been out for a couple of rides in the last week – at the weekend I did a few Strava segments, one a ‘TT’, one a longish flat segment and one a short steep hill. The aim was to see how far away from my peak I am, and the news is not too bad – one the TT segment (6.1km) I was 40s off my best, albeit with an unhelpful strong headwind in one direction, and the other two segments were a few seconds off. My legs are feeling better than they have done since my century in May and hopefully will continue to improve.

The TDF is all ready to go now (headset has been replaced, I’ll post about this in the future) and so I’m planning to go back to basics and do some base training and hopefully next year will be a bit more successful!

Rest is best

I’ve not been out for a proper ride for over a week now for several reasons (tiredness, lack of time, lack of motivation) – the one good thing is that my legs feel a lot better than they have for quite a while. They’re still not perfect but the tightness and soreness is reduced, so hopefully I’ll be able to get back on it properly soon.

I’ve been sorting out my winter bike as I’ll no doubt need it again soon. The handlebars were not turning easily unless GT85 was liberally sprayed into the headset, so I’ve taken it all apart. It’s taken me a long time to figure out how to do so (there is very little information specific to the Carrera TDF online) but I’ve finally got the headset off and will order a replacement once I’ve measured things up. I’ll write a full entry about this later which will hopefully help anyone else trying to sort out the headset on their TDF!

Lee Valley Velodrome Taster Session

Date: 26th August 2015

Last Wednesday saw my long-awaited trip to the Olympic velodrome to cash in my birthday voucher for a taster session. I was both very nervous and excited beforehand – it was going to be brilliant cycling around such an iconic venue, home of Olympic heroics and Wiggo’s hour record. However, I was both a little stressed about getting there in time and about driving a fixed gear bike!

In the end I drove and parked at Westfield, only to find they had parking next to the velodrome. Oh well! We arrived in plenty of time and I had a coffee beforehand. Anna and Nicky sat in the stands whilst I went to get changed and go down to the centre of the track. After a little bit of toing and froing (eventually I decided to hire some cleats) I was given my track bike and was all ready to go. Everyone was in the same boat, a little worried about crashing without having brakes or a freewheel. Our instructor started us off slowly, doing a single lap on the warm-up area, then a couple of laps on the cote, progressing to multiple laps around the black line and red line. In our first multi-lap session I quickly got to grips with things, I had one minor wobble where the rider in front of me slowed unexpectedly and my reaction was to stop pedalling – luckily I remembered just in time! I also went a little too slowly around one of the bends but soon got the hang of the banking.

The only way to describe this session was AMAZING – I have not had so much fun in a long time! It quickly became apparent that I was faster than most and was soon happily overtaking people whilst riding above the blue line (shouting “stay” at every overtake). I lapped most of the field in the first multi-lap session, but this took a little out of me and in the second session I took it a little easier (I was still pretty quick though). It’s difficult to gauge exactly how fast I was going – in the video below I completed a lap in 25s which equates to 36km/h – it looks so slow on the video though! I did do some laps faster than that but I didn’t do any sprinting or anything, I wasn’t quite that confident!

The hour ended far too quickly and I had a huge grin on my face for the rest of the day. I’ll definitely be going back, hopefully I can save up and get my accreditation!

In this video I’m the one in second place, this was early on whilst we were still getting used to riding on the actual track.