usual training ride, usual route, weather cool and overcast, and hardly a breeze. All day thinking I could be ‘on’ for a Personal Best. (Me, obsessive?)
‘Butterflies’ on the way to the start of the ride. This is getting silly. But now I know how much a fast hour hurts, and I really don’t want it to go wrong after 55 minutes… or to UPD flat out on tarmac.
Fortunately, I do a full pre-flight check, and discover the computer isn’t reading. I adjust it as necessary. An hour and 12 miles later would not be the time to have discovered that little surprise!
11 miles in an hour is ‘acceptable’.
12 miles in an hour is ‘good’.
12.44 miles in an hour is my Personal best.
12.5 miles in an hour is my target.
13 miles in an hour is a holy grail.
The conditions weren’t far off ideal. At the hour, I stopped and read the computer. I knew from landmarks that I had done a PB.
And it read…
How irritating is that?
0.05 miles short of the next mile up. 88 yards short. 4 cricket pitches short. 75 metres short. 3 swimming pools short. Ooooooooooooooooh!
Aha! But miles are arbitrary and old fashioned. Let’s see what it is in metric. Er… 20.84 kilometres. 160 metres short of the next big number.
If only… there hadn’t been that family of geese on the track; I hadn’t slowed down to avoid that rowing boat (yes, really! it was being carried); I hadn’t had to swerve to avoid the maldirectional bicyclists; I’d had a Camelbak so I could drink as I rode…
Now I’ve got to do it all again, because for 88 yards, i know it can be done.
Of course, hours are pretty arbitrary, too… ;0)
On the other hand, it’s over a ‘whole half’ mile up on my previous PB.
To celebrate, I ride some extra little hills, and explore some interesting single track and bits I’ve not seen before. I find a small steep slope. A few years ago, my brother took me out in his Series 1 Land Rover and drove down this drop, and I went, “Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!” Today, I rode down it on the Coker. I finish with a cruise along the river bank past the Forest ground (‘City Ground’) and over the world famous Trent Bridge.
At 2 hours, I’d done 21 miles, almost exactly, and at the end of the ride, I’d done 23.84 miles in 2:10.13 riding time, or 2:15 real time. An average of 10.6 mph or 17kmh. All this on a standard steel-rimmed Coker with 150s. The only improvement is the pinned pedals.
You know you want one.