So after servicing the bike last week and replacing the chain, the annoying creaking noise has disappeared, but I now have a skipping chain any time I try to accelerate hard or standing up. It only happens in a few gears so it would definitely appear to be a worn cassette – the derailleur is fine and shifts correctly when not pedalling hard. It’s a bit annoying as I generally check the chain wear quite regularly as I have the tool to do it! The new cassette is on order and should arrive in the next couple of days.
I went out for 25 miles on Tuesday, after a terrible night and generally feeling like cycling was the last thing in the world I wanted to do, but as I was planning to meet up with someone I had to get out. I’m thankful that I did because after a few miles I felt OK again, and despite the skipping chain had a reasonably good ride, including a fifth place on a segment called Silky Smooth. I’m especially pleased with this because a) the skipping chain meant I couldn’t accelerate hard at the beginning, but had to accelerate more gradually and b) because I hadn’t planned to go for it – it was only a few metres into the segment that I really thought about going for it. I’m 4 seconds off the KOM – it’s only 600m and the KOM is 37s so it’s a relatively large gap, but I know I could easily get closer if I was going faster at the start and the end (I eased off a bit) and if I could accelerate harder. The wind was also not super-strong like it has been at times, so a stronger tailwind would help things 🙂
Here’s a video of my effort on that particular segment – yes, my camera is a bit crap and at an angle! It really doesn’t look that fast when watching it back but it’s over 50km/h!
My legs have certainly felt the benefit of all those squats, but I’ve given up following the 30 day challenges – my best was 120 seconds of planking and 110 squats. I’m going to keep doing them but not as many each day, otherwise my legs ache and I don’t feel like going out cycling.