Another training run, more or less along last week’s route, but this time in a wind strong enough for an Enterprise dinghy to have the mainsail reefed. The main part of the ride was around the main rowing lake at the National Watersports Centre, and the wind always blows along the lake, and never across it. That gives about 2.75 - 3 km of swooping downwind, and then the same distance battering into it.
Wind resistance is proportional to the square of your speed through the air. This means that riding into the wind is always going to take more extra energy than you ‘get back’ on the return leg. To be within 0.0056% of my personal best distance was a fair achievement.
But stuff all that! Here’s what you get for Cokering:
I wouldn’t bother lapping the lake time after time on a bicycle.
And I wouldn’t bother going out for a walk after work.
So not only does the unicycle give me an excuse/incentive to get exercise…
But I see herons standing by the lake, herons flying, a heron landing gracefully in the shallow water.
I see a goose with about a dozen new goslings at the side of the track. Aaah!
And swans, wild flowers, sun glinting off the water
I see a fantastic sunset…
And because I’m riding hard, and breathing hard, I get to smell the new mown grass, and the hawthorn blossom (and the glue factory :0( )
And if this sounds sentimental nonsense, bear in mind I’ve been in a badly air conditioned office, with major roadworks outside, in the middle of a building site which passes for a city, all day, talking to rude, ungrateful and dishonest customers all day, and with several colleagues off with stress (they leave the stress to be shared out amongst the survivors, of course) and 19 miles of hard Cokering in a scenic setting is a good release from that.
And because I’m at a sports centre, I get respect and encouragement from all the rowers, canoeists, cyclists, joggers, and virtually no abuse.
And all the ladies are fit and toned and wearing lycra. (Note for female readers: all the blokes are fit and toned and wearing lycra too, OK? :0) )
Now the figures:
Standard Coker, 150mm cranks, pinned platform pedals.
Timed hour, mainly on tarmac, 12.37 miles covered (123 yards short of a personal best!)
Total distance for ride:19.12 miles. Total time1:47. Average speed 10.72mph.
Top speed, 14mph (as always!?)