Sunday 21 April 2013

Epic Richmond Park Training Run

This morning the sun was already shining at the stupid o'clock time I rose and I was soon up, out and off to Richmond.

I arrived just before 08:00 and even at this time the Park was busy with all types of cyclists. I had arranged to meet my cycling partner iCrazyBee but he had a mare of a journey to Richmond due to lots of overland train disruptions. Seeing that he was going to take a while I decided to head out for a couple of laps.

A beautiful sunny morning

I felt pretty good and I aim was to try and get round with an average of 16mph. Unfortunately I was unable to do this as I got stuck behind traffic at the 3 and a half mile point and couldn't quite go as fast as I would have liked.

You can see my ride data and maps by clicking on the link below.

Ride Data and maps for my Solo Lap

The deer are used to cyclists

I stopped for some water and to take off a layer and went out for another circuit as iCrazyBee was about 30 minutes away. A bit annoyed with myself as I didn't press record on the Garmin 810 which meant that I didn't record the ride data. I still didn't manage to reach my goal of 16mph but by the time I had done a circuit I was averaging 15.8mph so I was close.

After a short wait iCrazyBee arrived with his updated bike - now sporting 6 x gears rather than the original 3. We headed off and although the pace was slower than before I learnt a great deal. I quite like hills for some reason? Normally my plan of attack is to approach them at speed and then go hell for leather up, changing gear as and when needed. It normally works well for me. Seeing that iCrazyBee was still getting used to the 6 x gears and two gear shifters I slowed the pace down a little. To my surprise I found that I used less energy and found it easier. Definitely something to try again. I also found that with the slower pace ascending the big hill I was more relaxed in my riding position.

We rode 2 x laps and you can see the ride data and maps by clicking on the link below.

Ride Data and Maps 2 x laps with iCrazyBee

After a short rest we set out on one final lap - my 5th and iCrazyBee's third. I have not completed as many laps of Richmond Park and iCrazyBee has not previously done more than one. It was a dramatic improvement. The 6 x gears helped of course but my riding partner is improving all the time. For the first lap I said that he was a little like Luke Skywalker in the Empire Strikes Back when trying to lift the X-wing out of the swamp - it cannot be done. Well two laps more and it can. A really great training run for my partner in crime who is developing all the time as am I.

You can click on the link for the ride data and maps for our last lap.

It was a good mornings riding and I must have ridden over 33 miles. The top speed was recorded at 30.1mph but it could have been much more. I may like the hills but I am less confident on the descents and when I get too fast I usually feather the brakes. As for iCrazyBee it is the opposite. I can barely keep up when going down a hill!

Packing light was a must this morning as I wanted to practice for Friday night/Saturday morning when I  cycle London to Brighton. One piece of kit I saw in abundance today being worn by my roadie cousins was a very, very lightweight waterproof. This acts as a wind barrier if cold but provides some waterproofing in rain. The one I am after packs down into virtually nothing and weighs only 73 grams. I might have to look in to getting one of these for Friday or some point in the future.

I felt pretty fresh after these rides and could have done more. I think my only prep next week is to take a slightly longer route on the way home from work - that's about it. I will of course have get some early nights, eat lots of pasta a couple of days before and drink lots of water all this week. 

I have written that Richmond Park is not my favourite of cycling locations but on day like today it was the best location I could have gone to!

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