Friday, 12 February 2010
Nip in the air.
Some beautiful words and rides recently. Inspiring stuff, and so it was that I prepped to get some climbing miles done on the road bike on Monday last.
The aim was to follow a route posted recently on my blog by Marty and head from Glasgow into the Campsies, up the Crow Road on a timed climb, then over the top, round Carron valley reservoir and either fire over to Stirling and down the east side of the M80 then back via Kilsyth to the Campsies, or maybe take the Tak Me Doon road.
I've been on a steep learning curve, if not a steep fitness curve, with regards road riding: I planned the route, got up early and got the Solis Crema fired up to produce some go juice.
Then it was all about clothing prep. At minus 4, the windchill was going to be an issue. After an hour spent looking for my shoe covers, in a little bit of a fizz i'll admit, I strapped the hear rate monitor on, pulled the Roubaix knee warmers up and stuffed tubes and 2 sandwiches in my jersey pockets.
Dry fast roads lead me all the way to Lennoxtown, but the grit and road muck was pervasive. For some reason there is a lot of heavy traffic around and the trucks left me coughing on billowing clouds of dust as they screamed by. I was glad as I looked down at the computer, signalling the last of the busy roads for a while, before tackling the Crow Road climb. Made famous by Robert Millar, this climb starts steep but mellows before a further steep section takes you onto the top of the ridge the Campsies form. Unfortunately for me, the north easterly headwind that greeted me over the top cost me at least a minute leaving my PB for the climb (rolling start from footpath to Clachan of Campsie sign at the bottom, to vista point off road at the peak) at 19 mins and 45 seconds. Craven after the effort, I made heavy going after descending the broken tarmac and turning off to the next climb towards Carron Valley.
At the turrn off for the Tak me Doon road, I decided to fire on. I wanted to roll a little more distance and there are other days. Down through Haggs, and over the M80 motorway I hoped for a tail wind, and perhaps it was there, but it never seemed the equal of the wind on the way out. Nevertheless, I made good time and enjoyed a snadwich with views of Glasgow after climbing back north to Milton of Campsie. From there it was time to buckle down and pump the big meat. The legs were feeling tired, the Vastus Medialis under strain, but the bike was as comfortable as it has ever been and I was keen to push the speed as much as possible.
From Strathblane I could tell my left foot was completely numb. I was missing my overshoes, but there was no choice other than to carry on carrying on.
The road was covered in slime from the local quarrying activity, and the decent to Milngavie was again potholed and broken. 23c leaves no room for error when you are 92 kg and moving at speed, so I utilised the bunny hop to keep me safe.
Home and the realisation that my foot was in a bad way tugged painfully on my mind. Shoes off and the blood was sluggish to the skin. My 4th toe on the left foot was white and ivory-like with no capillary refill even after 20 minutes self massage. In the shower the hot water finally opened up the circulation and the pain started. I was half expecting to see the skin blister, but it was only nipped not frost bite.
100km: 26.4kph average, a serious hunger and a good sleep.
Next up is a group ride somewhere with my fellow VC Moulineers? lets get it on.