I called Zel (the coach) on Friday to ask what the plan was for Saturdays Club ride. I was a little disconcerted when his answer was " I've got great legs at the moment, and I'm racing on Sunday so want to do a good fast run on Saturday to keep my form". I tried to avert the oncoming pain by saying I needed to be back to take the kids to a party, to which he replied " we will leave at 9.15, and go for 3 hours of fast riding!"
When I put the message out to the rest of the club via Twitter and Facebook I thought it would be best not to mention Zel's ambitions for the ride!!
16 lambs arrived for the slaughter and headed out into a cold and grey morning. It didn't take long to get into the rhythm and we covered the 6 miles of the Chester high road at and average speed of 23mph.
The group rode well, with everyone taking turns at the front. It was good to ride with a group who have similar abilities. The first 30 miles of the ride flew past at an average 19.6mph. We headed back towards home via the Chester Cycle path, which naturally slowed the pace, dodging kids on scooters, loose dogs and people standing in the middle of the path, oblivious to the world around them whilst they pick a track on their iPod! The only rain of the ride hit us as we were at the halfway point of the path, and as the rain eased, Zel upped the pace again and we tucked in for a little sprint practice. I managed to pull out a good gap from the group, unintentionally as I thought they were on my wheel, and Zel was complimentary about my position and riding style, but as always, there were some constrictive comments too. I have to say that Zel has helped us all develop into a better cyclists, giving advice on riding position and style, nutrition and general fitness. If you need any advice or even want to have a go at one of his training sessions, check out his website for details.
We decided not to ride back up the Chester High road and turned off towards Burton and Ness. As we hit the small climbs tired legs struggled and the group fragmented. Those who were still feeling good went down to Parkgate to climb up Boathouse, others (well only Me) took the flatter middle road, and the rest went across the top road. We all got back within a few minutes of each other.
The overall average speed for the 61 miles was 18mph which I think is my fastest long ride so far! The only problem with fast rides is that you don't have time to take Photo's or stop for coffee!!!
Ride Details: http://app.strava.com/rides/7096786