Sunday 20 December 2015

Week 31 (Winter CHRIStmas LINdt Route Menace 200k)

Awesome start to the week with the completion of my 112th audax to date. This was a 200k DIY Perm that I entitled the 'Winter CHRIStmas LINdt Route Menace'. This was also the first audax completed for the 2016 cycle season.
GPS route log
My route started in Studley at 7.01 a.m. This was my first long distance cycle on my new machine 'Winter Chanal no. 7' and she proved to be an awesome machine. My first control was in Bicester, about 80k from the start and one menace hill, about half way, was conquered before reaching the destination.
Hilliness profile
Before I could officially stop for 'breakfast in Bicester', I had to purchase a bicycle lock from a local bike shop. There was no way I was going to leave this new bike un-locked at any control. With security measures in place, I tucked into a full English.
Witney was the next stop. I didn't stop to eat at any control as I was still stuffed from breakfast. The mud-guards that had previously rattled for so long and had now appeared to have rattled into place.

As expected, I suffered with hunger pangs before reaching the next control. McDonald's saved the day and emergency feast was had. Once in Eton Wick (Windsor), I stopped to ring my buddy Chris but he was still at work. No bother, a stop at a local store before my final push into Sunbury-on-Thames.

Last leg was relatively easy, despite it now being dark. The route was now rolling (had conquered 3 category 4 hill climbs earlier) and the rain had stopped. Most of the adventure was dry but sure enough the rain did put in an appearance. Found my way to Lin's with no real bother but had to scout about a little just to locate a shop for my final control purpose.

Cycled 224k in total. This adventure took me about 10.5 hours to complete and I was real pleased with my new machine. Can you all see how the title 'Winter CHRIStmas LINdt Route Menace' was conjured up?!

Tuesday was spent resting. I felt quite post-ride mash up. Surprised I felt so rough really, as Lin had gotten me recovery drinks prepared as soon as I rocked up. Better yet, I had another full English prepared by Lin to eat too! 
Hampton Pool - pretty cool
Wednesday was a great day. I went swimming with Melanie (a friend of Lin's and now a friend of mine) and swam about 1,800m in an outdoor pool. I guess this is the closest I had got to open water swimming in some time. Kinda strange swimming in Winter months in an outside pool. It was not perfect - but pretty good!
Evening run 6.2k
Thursday was a run evening. I joined Melanie at her local running club - 'The Stragglers'. We ran interval style as part of a group for about 6k. This was a fun session and it started and finished with stretching. Once completed, the club kindly provided much mince pie's, sausage rolls and mulled wine. I definitely chose the right evening to run!
'Tony's Theme'
Friday was a super awesome day too. This was the day that I was officially introduced to my next 'new' bike. Lin had kindly gotten me a new time trial bike for Xmas. How cool was that?! Nice bit of kit indeed and Lin had personalised it for me too. I decided to name this time trial (TT) bike 'Tony's Theme' (TT). (Can you see what I did there?!)
I had never cycled a TT bike before and thought this would take some getting used too. I wasn't wrong, it did feel very strange and handling was initially difficult. Lin took me to one of her local 6 mile time trial loops so I could have a debut ride. 
22.8k cycle
After a couple of laps around the reservoir, Tony's Theme seemed to handle much better. She felt difficult to start with - a bit like Roger's tandem, but got easier after a time. Am sure I'm going to have some fun with this machine. Cheers Lin!

Struggled with motivation a little on Saturday. However, once I had given myself a talking to, I ran a hilly course. Just under 10k was covered and it was a nice pleasant run. Considering it was winter, the temperature was really mild. I think this must be one of the warmest winters ever.
9.8k run
Finished the week with a pool swim. Swam 2,250m in a not so crowded pool for a change. Quite pleased with this weeks training. 

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