The idea of a weekly summary was a nice one but I guess it was doomed to fail, probably just as well as some weeks are not what you would describe as exciting reading. However, I will continue to try and write something bike related every week even if it’s just updating the climb and route sections or repeatedly posting a picture of Victoria Pendleton naked on a bike.
Over the last few weeks I have continued to improve my times on the climbs. I have set about 15 new PB’s, some quite unexpectedly and others because I set out to beat them. One such climb was the Alto Arboleya http://bikeasturias.wordpress.com/collada-de-naveda-or-alto-arboleya that featured in the Clasica Los Puertos Esmeralda. I had ridden it 4 times before with my best time being 22:19 minutes. The chances of improving my time weren’t looking great due to the heavy gusts of wind. It wasn’t in my favour but they were mainly side winds so as long as I didn’t topple over they wouldn’t work against me either. When I say gusts of wind I mean full on gale force gusts and the roads were laden with branches and even whole trees (see photo).
It’s one of those climbs where you keep on thinking you are there at the top, only to find a wall around the next corner. I had set a good rhythm up the first part of the climb but toward the top I was gasping. At last I could see the antenna which signals the end of the climb, digging deep I pushed to the top in a time of 20:05 minutes. I was pretty pleased with my time and now I only need to go 8:30 minutes quicker and I will have the Strava KOM but I will try not let that depress me too much and take encouragement from my gradual improvement.
I also improved my time on the 9km long La Campa climb by 3 minutes. Just 11 minutes faster and I will have the Strava KOM on that too but as that time was set by a rider in La Vuelta a Espana I guess I will be forgiven if I never break it.
Reading this back I seem like a speed obsessed cycling maniac but believe it or not I don’t ride with the sole objective of improving my times because that’s not what cycling is about for me. Going for PB’s is fun and they motivate me but the main reason I want to get faster is simply to keep up with fellow club members up the climbs. Actually, one of the most enjoyable rides in the last couple of weeks was probably the slowest ride I have ever been on. Having repaired the wife’s bike after 15 years of abandonment (the bike not the wife), we took the kids to the Senda de los Osos in Teverga. I will add a complete description of the Senda de los Osos in the Route section in the near future but in brief the route is an old railway track that has been turned into a path for bikes and walking and has about 40km of track. The path follows the river up the valley and the views are quite beautiful (photo below is of the road on the other side of the river).
We set out from near Proaza and headed in the direction of San Martin. It’s slightly up hill and to be honest I hardly noticed the incline but after 10km the kids started moaning about being tired and after 15km the world was ending so we stopped for a picnic. Now fed and rested we headed back down hill. On the way back my boy Tom came out with the observation of the day saying ‘It’s incredible how pretty the views are on the way back when you don’t have to peddle, when on the way up they didn’t seem that interesting’. All in all it was a great day and the kids did a great job cycling 30km, especially Paloma who’s little legs kept spinning the whole time.
I also really enjoyed the clubs social ride to Covadonga a couple of weeks back. It was nice going on a 100km ride without any major climbs and to actually not feel exhausted at the end of a club ride. I probably won’t be able to say the same thing later this week as I am attempting my first 100 mile ride. I guess the fact I’m taking enough money for train fair doesn’t show how confident I am of succeeding but I’m looking forward to trying.