Which trail keeps you honest?

My main ride this week got me thinking about trails that keep you honest. They need to be local enough to ride on a regular basis. You need a good mix of climbing, ideally technical and steep, and fast downhill sections. It’s useful if the trail is all weather too, so you can ride it year round. So when I decided to see how I was doing on my goal for a couple of quick laps of the Cwmcarn XC trail, I knew there would be no where to hide.

Lap 1: 55:14 (165 bpm)
Lap 2: 58:23 (156 bpm)
Lap 3: 1:01:21 (150 bpm)

The first lap is pretty close to my personal best time (this time last year when I first bought the Tallboy), but back then I did two laps at about the same speed. This time the effort had me watching the HR on Lap 2. What was good about Lap 2 was it even got under the hour, it didn’t feel that way. Lap 3 was the test. I really could have easily gone home rather than start up the 30 min climb to the top, and while it wasn’t fast I did feel I could carry on at this pace for another lap or two.

So while I was a little disappointed with the individual lap times, I am very pleased with ability to do 3 laps under 3 hours. A good 5 or 10 minutes quicker than I managed in 2010 and a sign my endurance is better. Just need to work on speed.

Next target should be 3 under 2:45.


27/06/2011 07:51:30 Training Commute: Bannerdown

After a pretty ragged ride on Sunday, I really wanted to start concentrating on making the training count. So an early night to catch up on sleep got me in the right mood. Of course the sunny started really helped too!

  • Time 1:05:48
  • Distance 14.21 mi
  • Average Speed 13.0 mph
  • Average Heart Rate 149 bpm
  • Average Cadence 87 rpm
  • Temperature 19.7 °C

27/06/2011 18:42:37 Training Commute: Northend

  • Time 0:52:07
  • Distance 14.00 mi
  • Average Speed 16.1 mph
  • Average Heart Rate 157 bpm
  • Average Cadence 90 rpm
  • Temperature 20.4 °C

28/06/2011 07:59:31 Training Commute: Northend + Exploring

Day 3 of 3 days riding and it is always tough. But weather was kind (except for the final headwind) and the legs were turning nicely. Tried a little exploring down a footpath towards Northend, nice little bit of singletrack but led no where.

  • Time 0:57:15
  • Distance 14.32 mi
  • Average Speed 15.0 mph
  • Average Heart Rate 141 bpm
  • Average Cadence 87 rpm
  • Temperature 17.2 °C

28/06/2011 18:27:50 Training Commute: Bannerdown

Rest day tomorrow, so took the offroad way home, this has more than twice the climbs than the flat bristol/bath cycleway. Still running tyres at 60psi after the London to Brighton, it certainly makes a difference on the road sections, but can see why I’ll not keep it that way for much longer, the small bumps at speed are a killer, surprisingly the bigger downhill stuff isn’t such a problem, it certainly will make me stop messing about with 1 or 2psi differences.

  • Time 1:06:27
  • Distance 13.47 mi
  • Average Speed 12.2 mph
  • Average Heart Rate 146 bpm
  • Average Cadence 84 rpm
  • Temperature 19.3 °C

01/07/2011 06:08:47 Cycling Local: Castle Combe: Anti-Clockwise

Wife is off to see Take That, so this is last chance for a ride before Sunday. So I’m up early and straight out the door. Weather is perfect, a little chill in the air and sunny. Frighten a few early morning dog walkers who obviously weren’t expecting to see any mountain bikers around at this time.

  • Time 1:21:29
  • Distance 13.92 mi
  • Average Speed 10.2 mph
  • Average Heart Rate 142 bpm
  • Average Cadence 78 rpm
  • Temperature 7.1 °C

03/07/2011 09:31:32 Cycling Wales: Cwmcarn

  • Time 2:54:58
  • Distance 24.19 mi
  • Average Speed 8.3 mph
  • Average Heart Rate 157 bpm
  • Average Cadence 69 rpm
  • Temperature 19.7 °C
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