Royal Wedding antidote

What could be more English than a beautiful countryside lane like this?

Yesterday it seemed almost the whole country stopped for the Royal Wedding.  I did too but I managed to get out while it was all still going on.  I got out on my bike for what seemed the very best Royal Wedding antidote with roads that were mostly traffic free, deserted.  Occasional glimpses of people involved bunting, flags going up and other cyclists.  What bliss!

Every cyclist I came across was friendly once again today and the sheer sight of cyclists out numbering cars was a rare delight.  I rode for just over 50 miles, much on quiet lanes and I took the above photo as an example.  I also revelled in the soft hazy sunshine – probably my favourite lighting for midday.  The ride itself seemed fairly easy going with a tail wind in the first half and I averaged just over 15mph.  By the time I got home the average had dropped to 14mph.

If this was a semi serious training ride, there are a few things of note:

  • Water – I need about 500mls per hour in these conditions (moderate riding, 18 degrees)
  • My heart rate was probably around 140 – 150 beats per minute.  For me, nice for prolonged aerobic exercise.
  • Refuelling.  This is the tricky bit, potentially.  In the past I have found it really hard to re-start after a lunch break, so I decided to try a light snack and see if it suited me, in a 20 minute break.  It worked fine.  I’m sure that skipping a proper break and rest (and eating on the go) is counter productive now.  Although my cheese sandwich and an apple were easy to digest, I still felt a tad full to start with and rather stiff, I soon loosened up.  So that was worth doing.
  • Previously I have said I’m starting to really like hills, well, that continues as I recognise the value in training through working my heartbeat and stamina up.  I’m using higher gears now I’m getting a bit fitter but it’s always nice to know that 26T chainring is there should I ever need it.
  • Going down hill has scared me a few times on unfamiliar roads.  Gravel and grit on minor roads are the main hazards, along with holes and rough surfaces.  Yesterday towards home I hit 37mph on a well known hill with no problems.
  • Strong head winds have also been a pet hate in the past but less so nowadays; while not good for brisk miles it’s a good way to think more deeply.
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