As I mentioned before, I’m on a bid to extend my cycling range for reasons not unconnected to this. I’ve even been training – or ‘training’ anyway – with a mixture of faster rides and trying to up my weekly mileage, although I don’t think I’ve still managed to reach the average distance I was riding each week pre lockdown just by dint of having a busy life and getting to most of it by bike.
On Saturday I was able to put all this effort to the test with my longest ride to date, out to Eskdalemuir and back, a mere 69 miles and many many feet of climbing. This took me and my long-suffering companion (long-suffering more for the fact that after several long rides in each other’s company we’re mostly just repeating our best anecdotes than for the ride itself, as he’s much fitter and faster than me, although I think he was regretting not switching out his single geared hub this weekend) seven and a half hours, which was much faster than my last big outing, and left me feeling that my next big adventure, should I actually attempt it, might actually be doable. I didn’t even feel that broken afterwards, although going up and down stairs was a bit interesting. (I would like to register a complaint with the weather gods though: I do know all about not casting a clout till May is out, thank you, but was it really necessary to treat us to a snow shower as we climbed back out of the valley after our lunch stop? And while we’re on the subject, what is it with all the hail?)
Anyhoo this morning a parcel arrived which promises to up my training game further (it is one of my great pleasures in life to give a second home to people’s slightly obsolete pieces of technology (see also keyboards, and every phone that Back on My Bike has owned) that might otherwise go to landfill). However, it comes with its own hazards. I’ve been spreadsheet free for almost a decade now, and I’ve never looked back, although I do still occasionally feel a slight wistfulness that I’m no longer tracking my Eddington number. Starting to record and log my rides in an attempt to gauge my improvement … well it could just be the thing that tips me back into relapse. Add in modern tracking apps and, from what I’ve seen on line, that way madness lies (google Veloviewer tiles to get a flavour of the sort of obsession that can develop). Clearly I’m going to have to limit my use of the thing to strictly necessary purposes only. And stay well clear of the spreadsheets.
That said … it would be nice to know my Eddington number again. I quite like the idea of being the sort of person who’s still increasing it into their eighties …