My Continental Gatorskin and Four Season Grandprix tyres are pretty good but this afternoon I could have done with a bit more grip.
While the temperature have been above freezing today, the frost which remained in the shade hadn’t melted and by the time I got out into the countryside I could feel the back wheel losing grip once or twice. Put simply, I loathe cycling on ice. Because of that I decided to turn back towards home and take the main A road. This was disappointing as otherwise cycling conditions were great: only light winds, crisp clean air and brilliant sunshine.
Although I only clocked up 11 or 12 miles, at least these were a few more miles “in the bank” and maintained my goal of cycling everyday during the Christmas holiday. These weren’t wasted. As a bit of fun I decided to see how I’d fare in one gear only and I think I was fortunate to pick the right gear in the first place.
I also find I tend to tense up on slippery roads, almost as if I’m expecting to fall. This probably makes things worse and makes me more vulnerable to taking a fall, something I simply must avoid. Mind you, we have some wet and windy weather forecast for the next couple of days – that’ll probably provide scope for yet more challenges.
At speeds over 20mph I was spinning nicely and that certainly got me warmed up fairly quickly. On slower inclines, where normally i’d drop one or two gears, I could feel my quad muscles working harder: this is something I need to do in building up my hill climbing capacity. With the Coast to Coast in mind, I know my training is already far behind. Robin, Jeremy, Phil and Josh are streets ahead of me and while it’s not going to be a race, I know I can’t match their pace at all. I’m hoping I can manage the distance and climbing, never mind the time.