Archive for September, 2011

They passed that bill quick!

9 September 2011

So, I was finally back on the bike this morning. This was the first time since I climbed off it the day I finished the PBP, just over two weeks ago.

It felt really strange being back on familiar routes. The familiarity seemed to have lessened and I was seeing the roads almost like the first time. The “hills” on this local circular route seemed like small hiccups on the road, as if a couple of pedal strokes would be enough to get me over them. It took more than a couple of pedal strokes of course but the feeling never left until the last little climb when I didn’t even bother changing to a low gear and I had to put some effort to reach the “peak”.

It wasn’t a fast ride and at the first checkpoint, well, the only checkpoint today, I was about 20 seconds behind what I consider a fast pace. Ah, I remember, I checked the time again before I went around the lake and I was about 90 seconds behind then. But I had an excuse for being so far behind the pace at that point…

After the two climbs, I come shortly to the fastest part of the route – going down Motor Parkway as it heads to Old Nichols Road. Coming to the start of the downhill, I see the big electronic sign announcing roadworks. No big deal, I thought, as they have been working on the water drainage for a while. But, to my shock and horror, they were not working on the drains no more. They were resurfacing and what I was facing was that road surface with the top layer removed and it is all uneven. I hate those roads cycling on the flat but this was the first time I had gone down one. To make matters worse, the side of the road was all loose shingle. As I descended the road, the muscles in my arms were being violently shaken. I could barely keep a grip of the handlebars never mind keeping any sort of pressure on the breaks to avoid a total runaway situation. My legs were also beginning to feel the effects. It was not nice. Somehow, I had the strength to hold on and jump the bump at the end of the section to get back on a normal surface. So as I was descending, I was think, “Wow, they passed that jobs bill quick!!”

Overall, my hands have not recovered. As I type this, the outer side (follow the little finger down, that side) of my left hand feels stiff. The outer side of my right hand, a little less so. I forgot to take a water bottle. I didn’t even think about water, though that in itself is nothing new. I ended up taking the small saddle bag with one inner tube, just in case, but the bike felt the lightest in a long while. Despite it all, it was good to be back on the bike. However, the feeling of dancing like Contador over the Alps has abandoned me.

I noticed a lot of downed trees.

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PBP official stats (hopefully endorsed)

4 September 2011

I have copied the stats from the PBP site which recorded these from my chip. I have added in Alma’s prediction so it is interesting to see how they compare. I was aiming for a 89-90 hour finish so I slackened off once I reached Mortagne the second time. The three Intermediate speeds that are less than 10km/h are just after a sleep stop so the hours spent sleeping are included in their calculation of how long it took to get to the next stop.

Contrôle Date/Time Alma’s Cumulative Intermediate
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES 21-08 20:00 0h00 0h00 0km/h 0h00 0.1km/h
VILLAINES-LA-JUHEL 22-08 07:51 11h31 11h51 18.6km/h 11h51 18.6km/h
FOUGERES 22-08 13:04 16h28 17h04 18.2km/h 5h13 17.1km/h
TINTENIAC 22-08 16:02 19h46 20h02 18.2km/h 2h58 18.2km/h
LOUDEAC 22-08 21:34 24h34 25h34 17.6km/h 5h32 15.4km/h
CARHAIX-PLOUGUER 23-08 06:49 33h04 34h49 15.1km/h 9h15 8.2km/h
BREST 23-08 12:46 38h42 40h46 15.2km/h 5h57 15.6km/h
CARHAIX-PLOUGUER 23-08 18:17 43h57 46h17 15.2km/h 5h31 15.4km/h
LOUDEAC 23-08 23:14 48h36 51h14 15.3km/h 4h57 16km/h
TINTENIAC 24-08 08:20 58h23 60h20 14.4km/h 9h06 9.3km/h
FOUGERES 24-08 11:45 61h45 63h45 14.4km/h 3h25 15.8km/h
VILLAINES-LA-JUHEL 24-08 16:44 67h20 68h44 14.7km/h 4h59 17.7km/h
MORTAGNE-AU-PERCHE 24-08 21:56 72h34 73h56 14.7km/h 5h12 15.6km/h
DREUX 25-08 08:10 82h02 84h10 13.8km/h 10h14 7.3km/h
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES 25-08 13:16 86h01 89h16 13.8km/h 5h06 12.7km/h
Kilomètres cycled: 1230