Back in the Saddle

Between two weeks of ice and snow, and the forthcoming two weeks of wind and rain, there was a brief lull at the weekend – with rather a nice day for cycling. A touch cold at the start of the day, but it was a nice change to be riding on the open road – finally getting  away from the treadmill of the rollers. Rollers really are rather refreshing compared to the turgid torpor of turbos – but at the end of the day, you’d be rather cycling in the good old dales rather than letting your brain get frazzled thinking up rather feeble tongue twisters (turbo vs rollers). Another few months of coma inducing roller riding, and I might not be responsible for what ends up on cyclinginfo blog.


If there was one downside to getting back to the old roads, it was the feeling that I needed to stick to more predictable and busier A-roads – rather than chance the minor country lanes, which come close to resembling mud tracks at the best of times. This brief foray into an unmarked road, led to a sharp U-Turn.

Bledlow Ridge from West Wycombe

Bledlow Ridge from West Wycombe

After a couple of weeks threshold riding, and spinning out on the rollers, it was re-assuring to realise that when the road goes up, cycling can be really hard.  Three weeks without any hills, just isn’t cycling in my book.It was great to be racing up and down the hills, with the snow melting on the side of the road. For a few climbs in the Chilterns, I rode as hard as I could. I rare winter foray into that level 4 anaerobic stuff.


In some parts of the ride, there was still substantial snow. I wasn’t taking any risks on the descents. It was quite beautiful out in the Chilterns.

Chinnor Hill

Chinnor Hill

After 100 km on Saturday, Sunday was a day off, visiting Bristol to have a meeting with Isambard Kingdom Brunel about the forthcoming electrification of the Great Western Railway. One day, I’ll have to move to Bristol, just to cycle around all the hills in the city.


Brunel in Bristol

On Monday, I rode for a very steady 80km. After lots of threshold work and a few hill intervals, it was time for some level two endurance riding. Sometimes, I find these a little boring. But, I really quite enjoyed it today. Nothing too hard, just maintaining a nice steady tempo. I was  pleased to come back with an average speed of 17 mph. Coming back from Wantage with a 20mph tailwind, was rather reminiscent of being on rollers.

When in Bristol, someone was telling me about a guy who won the Ironman Triahtlon in Hawaii, by doing several months training of level two. Running slow, to keep his heart rate below 65% trains the body to be more efficient at that level. Apparantely, it makes you better for endurance races.

You always hearing of new training methods. – Train really hard, train really gentle, train at level four, train at level two. But, I definitely won’t be doing three months of level two, I don’t have the patience. But, it was a reminder not to forget the endurance riding, amidst the excitement of threshold training on the rollers.



7 Responses to Back in the Saddle

  1. Mike McNamara February 4, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    Like you I was out at the weekend, but only on local Reading flat roads, making a steady recovery from a bad injury to hamstring just before Christmas – sans alcohol incident!

    However, I have managed a few local 4/5 mile slow and steady rides with no leg pain. I hope to get back in full swing mid February.

    By the way, I always enjoy the arrival of your newsletter. Always an interesting read.


    • tejvan February 4, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

      Cheers Mike, nice to hear from you.

  2. Becca February 3, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

    Which HRM do you use? I was given one before but it won’t connect to the bike for normal computer usage; it just gives HR readings so I had it sellotaped to the stem of the bike on the turbo :-p My sigma sport computer gave up the ghost recently and I was wondering if you can recommend a good comp that comes with HR belt, monitor et al (but on the cheaper side!)

  3. jonty pritchard February 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    would like information on what is the best type of rollers to get rollers that will last that is
    quality over price !!! cheers jonty

    • George February 5, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

      I have kreitler al 3, tru trainer about 4, and tacx antares about 4. the tacx are cheap and easy to rideand good for beginners but the bearings broke on mine and there noisy. the tru trainers have a flywheel which makes them easier to stay on, go no hands etc but they feel like riding down hill and are harder to stop between intervals. in fact the direct drive of the kreitlers make them more responsive and actually easier to control with practice as what you do has an instant effect on response but WITH PRACTICE you’ll be able to stand go no hands, one leg etc and can stop instantaneously. the 3 in roller size gives me all the resistance i need for a hard workout at slow cadence but i’m 55kg. i’m sure the kreitler 4.5 size would be smoother for high cadence low resistance spinning but would definitely require the head wind fan for a turbo like workout. tyre pressure makes a big difference here. i’m most satisfied with my kreitler 3in alloy rollers. hope this helps.

  4. Sandy January 30, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    When you’re threshhold training what zone are you training in?

    • tejvan February 1, 2013 at 8:05 am #

      About 80-90% of max heart rate.

Leave a Reply

9 + 2 =