Just last week, I was boasting about how mild the weather was – so it was only fitting I would spend all week, training indoors on the rollers. The temperature was pretty close to zero all week, so rather than risk the ice, I set up a little ipod player and pedalled away in the shed. Mostly, it was for one hour exactly each day. More than anything, an hour on the bike, is a nice way to break up the day.
Usually, when training, I don’t wear a heart rate monitor, but on the rollers, I do. It’s partly because it’s harder to judge how you are going, it’s also something else to look at. When people think of turbos and rollers, instinctively intervals spring to mind. But, I just did the opposite to intervals. A pretty steady 75-80% of max heart rate for an hour.
On Saturday, the weather broke (meaning a bit warmer). Finding myself in London, I went over to Richmond Park to cycle around the 6 mile lap. It seemed half of London had a similar idea – either cycling, running, riding a horse or driving.
I really enjoyed the ride. Possibly it was the contrast to the rollers, but it makes a pretty good training loop. It’s quite interesting riding with so many bicycles and so many cars, on a reasonably narrow road. Because of the speed limit of 20mph, it seemed to work pretty well. Getting overtaken at around 20mph is much less stressful on the nerves to the usual speed on the roads. I was quite taken with the way cyclists and motorists shared the road. It’s also a bit different having so many bicycles on the road; quite a few guys were training pretty hard to say it was December. Mind you I was guilty of going up quite a few of the hills in a 53*15 to do some on the bike weight training. It wasn’t to show off – weight training on the bike, is something you really can’t do on rollers.
It didn’t take long to either be overtaken or to come across some other riders. After, a few times of going anti-clockwise, I did a u-turn and tried the other way around. It means you have to turn right at roundabouts and give way to more traffic, but it didn’t really make much difference. There are less cyclists going that way around.
Great views. It’s one of the most interesting roads to cycle on. To one side, you have Stags, forests and dogs like Fenton running wild. The tree’s are ancient, and part of you feels you’re intruding onto Henry VIII private hunting lodge. But, then switch view and you see a panoramic view of London – from one corner, you can get a glimpse of the city and that big wheel thing. From another corner, you see Heathrow’s flight path; from another corner, you might glimpse Twickenham. From another, you see a few tower blocks. It’s like the whole of English civilisation within a 6 mile bike ride. I could have kept going for much longer, but unfortunately, it was getting dark, even by 3.45pm. I reluctantly left the park and went home after just 71 km.
Total for week: 455 km. Winter total so far: 3020 km.
Wiggo as BBC Sports Personality
Last night, I caught the end of BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year. Bradley Wiggins was the deserved winner. He’s perhaps one of the best candidate’s ever. It was tough for someone like Mo Farah not to be even on the top 3. But, at the risk of repeating an oft-repeated media soundbite – it’s been a great year for British support. Even better than seeing Andy Murray award himself the third prize, I loved Cathy Wiggins’ expression of nervousness when Bradley went up to collect the award. I bet she was thinking, ‘I hope he doesn’t swear or start hugging the Duchess of Cambridge’. Well Wiggo was on his best behaviour and suitably deserved the award.
Some Photos from Richmond Park
One reason to get up early in the morning
a cold Jan morning
Road race in closed Richmond Park
London Cycle Classic
Through the trees
We can only dream of closed roads to traffic.