7hrs 15 mins in the saddle, the longest ride I’ve done in over 20 years …
Looking ahead to 2017
It’s been an interesting last few months. After finishing the year on a bit of a flat note I was unable to shift a cold that kept recurring every time I felt I was recovering (not helped I think by getting on the bike again too soon).
January arrived with renewed enthusiasm and investment in a Wahoo Kickr really kick started the year (excuse the pun) It’s a superb piece of kit and hooked up to Zwift gave me some real focus and determination, and with a structured plan from James McCallum (whatsyourmeta.com) to work to I had a solid January.
Feb didn’t go quite to plan, I picked up another cold (I know!!) after a work trip to the US, which stalled my start to February, and with Thistly Cross and Dig in on the Calendar, I structured my training around those. The reality is next year my focus may be better placed building fitness for the new season as I missed out on some solid base miles.
I rode the A race at Dunbar, and although felt strong on the climbs as a little disappointed with where my fitness was. Equally Dig In was a great experience and the crowds were phenomenal but I went away from it a little disappointed with 17th place.
What it did do was make me more determined, and I spend the rest of Feb and the first two weeks of March really putting some solid efforts in, and we sit now 2 weeks before Cathkin and I’m in probably the best shape I’ve been in for the start of a season.
I’ve shed 4kg since the end of 2016 and also spent a lot of time working on my handling and downhilling, and generally getting more confident on the bike. I’ve been tired for a few weeks but even through the sore legs I can feel the sustained efforts lasting longer.
I’ve also looked at equipment, shedding some weight off the bike and switching to a 1×11 setup, new carbon wheels and tubular tyres from Dugast should bring something to the mix too, and with the bike now tipping the scales at just 21lbs there’s less metal for me to haul around the course.
I have an enforced week off the bike just two weeks out from Cathkin with another work trip, but all things considered, I’m aiming to be on the start line on 26th and give it my best shot.
Of course at the end of the day, I don’t know what everyone else has been doing over the winter, and if everyone else has shifted at a similar rate to me, but that’s outwith my control, and all I can do is ride as close to the limit as I can for as long as I can and see where I end up.
I rode Cathkin last weekend with the GoPro on and comparing the speed differential to a similar video I shot in 2014 was very interesting. I even managed a few PBs and I wasn’t even at race pace, so it bodes well for a positive start to the new year. All before the clocks go forward and evening rides become a reality.
I’m extremely lucky to be riding for my third full season for Scott who once again have put faith in me to fly the flag for them in Scotland. #scott2luvit #noshortcuts