24 February 2012

A ride in the February sun

Weather seems to be improving quite significantly in the last few weeks, so much that on February 23rd we nearly reached 20 degrees centigrade (68 degrees F). I could not resist the temptation, and given that I had the day off, I went for a ride.

I chose a route that we did a few months ago, a 100 km loop starting and finishing in Potters Bar.

It took me a little while to decide what clothes to wear. I eventually went for knee warmers, sleeveless shirt, long jersey and full gloves. It turned out to be on the warm side of things, but I was late for the train, so went with that.

Quiet lanes
 I did the loop anticlockwise, and the first 40 km flew by, with averages of almost 28 km/h. I guess it being downhill and the tailwind helped quite a bit. The roads were relatively quiet, with only some cars on the first half, mostly retirees. Saw a few machacas and what it looked like cycle tourers, all sharing smiles. Being out on a weekday, with warm temperatures and in February cannot get any better than this!

The second bit proved much tougher. It was here that I realised that it was the tailwind, and not my fitness, that pushed me to averaging >28 km/h on the first part of the loop. Looking at the profile I cannot see any more "hills" in the second 50 km that in the first ones, but it really got me knackered towards the end. Also, the km seem a lot longer when you are on your own, something that I had completely forgotten about. It is probably the first road ride in many years that I was completely solo, and it is kind of weird. I guess you can get used to it, and probably I should, given the upcoming audaxes that I have signed up for and could not get Lucy along.

Sun was hitting hard here!
In the last 25 km I entered a closed road section, and soon was asked to stop by some of the workers. Even though I was already preparing an apology for being riding on a closed road, they were actually quite nice and interested in all my gadgets! They warned me of the lorries ahead and the gravel on the road, and wish me a good ride!

These thatched cottages abound in Hertfordshire
Roads were getting busy at this point, not sure why as it was still 3 pm and most people should be at work? But it was people (in the fancy SUVs!) picking their kids up after school. Hit the A1000 towards Potters Bar and even got stuck in a small traffic jam. 100 km on the computer by the time I got back to the station.

Overall, I rode for 100 km, at an average of 24.8 km/h, for 4 hours and 5 min, with a maximum speed of 50 km/h. The profile says about 3000 feet climb, but I can hardly believe it was that much! I really enjoyed this mid week ride, although I have to admit that doing this in company is a looot better.

No comments:

Post a Comment