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The impact of the long winter

May 14, 2014 1 comment

So up here in Eastern Ontario the winter was hard. It was hard all round too but in these parts where we are used to long winters it was long. There weren’t those occasional days when you could get out and still get a good ride in. I needed a bit of sun and around –5 to be comfortable and for weeks we didn’t get that. I did get a few rides in when I travelled, including some nice mountain biking in Vegas. But everything fitness related suffered.

In the end when the nicer weather did come around I found myself +10 pounds, slightly out of shape and discouraged. Even stopped updating this blog etc. But eventually hibernation began to fade and the riding begins. Unfortunately the race schedule did not get moved out and right off the bat had a few events to get into.

1st off was the Good Friday OBC 15k Time Trial. In the past I have done well here but frankly I had less than 400k on my legs since Jan 1st and little formal training or hard rides. So I was a bit concerned about how I would do.

In the end it was pretty bad. I have not done a 15TT under 38kph since I restarted these a few years back but this one felt bad. I could tell that I haven’t been doing any real training. Still when I started waaay 5 or so years ago I would not have been able to do 35.5 kph but that was little consolation. Still I was mid pack and the average of all the riders was 34.21 kph. So I was still better than average despite being in bad shape.

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I will be doing another one tomorrow so will have to see what has improved in the last month.

The other event was the annual Almonte Paris-Roubaix cyclocross race. This race was 85 kilometers on roads, both paved and gravel and the occasional single track trail.  For this one I had my new cyclocross bike. After going thru all the effort to create a cyclocross bike out of my old Fiori naturally as soon as I was finished I was basically offered a sweet frame and carbon fork for $100. I parted it up and the result was pretty nice IMHO. It was a 2008 Redline Conquest Pro and I was able to test it out a bit before the race but for whatever reason the chain kept snapping.

 

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However I thought I had it sorted by the time the race rolled around and after the usual pre race instructions off we went. I was definitely in the second bunch of folks but on the whole was keeping up. After about 50kms I began to falter a bit but was still able to keep things going then on a hard section of rollers disaster…snap went the chain again. Grrrr.

I was able to remove a couple of links and after about 20 minutes got going again but I was worried it wouldn’t hold but it did until the end although I could feel it start to give again. I had been hoping to get in under 3 hours but my inability to really push due to the chain and yes my lack of fitness did me in. 3:45 officially but while riding 3:25. But I loved this ride otherwise and will do it again. 

 

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It’s a real test of your equipment as the state of my bike afterwards can contest to!

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Hoping this doesn’t mean I have to write this season off. Probably not but also not a good start!!

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