2nd March - 2 Weeks To Go!

With just 2 weeks until my departure date, I awoke on Monday feeling sore from my weekend ride but ready for the challenge ahead. I kicked off the week with a ‘spin the legs’ session, and managed to sustain 90rpm for the whole hour.
My good friends at Pure Motion Cycles in West Byfleet have lent me a Garmin Virb – a handy gadget that records video along with GPS and other telemetry, to provide video playback with a data feed overlay. I’m planning to record some of the Ride to the Sun, although sadly I suspect that the battery life of 3 hours is shorter than the ride time (well, my ride time anyway!).
On Wednesday we hosted a Fondriest demo day at Beyond Mountain Bikes, where two people came to try out a TF3 and a TF4.  One lady’s initial scepticism about the TF4 was soon dispelled when she gained 5 minutes on her time for the 40k ride, and found climbing much faster and easier. As I told her, the bike can make a serious difference, especially when you compare a modern frame designed for performance with the older and rather entry-level bike she had been riding.  Post ride coffees offered a chance to brag and share stories, with one rider claiming an output of 700W when climbing.  He is pencil thin, weighs just 67kg, and has thighs that look more like my calves.  I’m no hill sprinter, but on the flat into the wind everyone likes me being in the front – strong, steady and making a big hole in the air!  I may just have to dream of being 70kg again.
Thursday involved another turbo session at low effort but high cadence, a workout that I’m finally starting to master.  It’s still pretty tedious on the trainer, but worth it – I’ve noticed the results. When I was out on the TFZero over the weekend, I found climbing better and pedalled at a fairly high rate a lot of the time. Although the easy gearing may have played a part!

The weekend brought more Fondriest demo riding, and Saturday’s cake ride (featuring a lemon drizzle cake with a lovely sugary crisp top) involved 5 Fondriests and a lone Trek.  As is usually the case, the newcomers to Fondriest were pleasantly surprised by the performance of the bikes.  One chap, who raced a lot in his youth, was overwhelmed by the speed of the TF3 compared to his titanium bike; the guy riding the TF2 was at the front the whole time.  A beautiful morning at 17mph is just the way to start the weekend – don’t you think?
Fondriest is definitely flavour of the month, because there was yet another tester out on Sunday’s club run. He was in a different group, but again was delighted with the improvement in his performance, which was bike-driven.  We had a bit of a mechanical when “Gravity Jackson” took a tumble, causing damage to the mech hanger which subsequently transformed his Sunday morning bike ride into a taxi ride to the station to get the train home! Thankfully I had better luck, and managed to get a few more PBs on Strava; onwards and upwards as the main event approaches – or so I hope!