This was supposed to be about numbers but they aren’t always what they seem. As I was riding yesterday it occurred to me that winter is always slower. The air is heavier, the trails are heavier, the bike is heavier and the body is heavier. However, it is not the protective layer of blubber that we allow ourselves in winter but the extra clothing. Don’t fret; put your slower times down to all that warm weather kit and enjoy the season. How many times in the summer do you shame yourself into going onto a regime when you squeeze into that summer jersey?
I thought that I’d check this out. I took the scales into the garage and stood their naked but for my helmet and carrying my loaded hydration pack (no water), winter boots, jacket, emergency rain jacket, base layer, gloves, ¾ bibshorst, ¾ length Endura MT500 Spray Baggies, socks, cap and even my glasses: 76kilos! I weighed myself again. That was the fully loaded (all the kit again) weight that I was when I rode the South Downs Way! Maybe old age and business stress has one advantage – I am not getting heavier. Are the scales right?
I better have another excuse. What about Strava? Last week I rode a well known descent in 4:42, not impressive but I thought I was ranked 14th which made me feel good. I have been investigating further and I am actually 95th and that was for my PR in March 2012! This week I did the very same descent although still cautious I was able to straight line all but the last off camber roots at the top – a testament to how good the trail conditions are. So where am I on the Strava Rankings? It didn’t even register!
I’d like to say, who needs numbers? But we (certainly I) all love them, either beating ourselves, our mates or that unknown person that always seems to be appearing on our Strava ranking. So running out of excuses but still with the need for a place the next ranking that I will have to deal with will be my first mountain bike race for a few years in January. The racing is to get my speed up for riding the South Downs Way again.
Here’s the ride. Trail conditions were excellent and again hardly any mud on the bike (it helps to know where to go and I didn’t miss out an any of the good stuff). The bike: Scott Scale 900 SL, what can I say? It deserves an entire review of its own. It is faultless.
I am enjoying my rest from the road bike where as the last few years the road was a relief from the torrid and wet conditions on the trails.