Unfortunately, I haven’t had too many opportunities since my 200km ride to go out on the bike. However, on the few occasions I have, I have been quite surprised that my pace has been pretty good up the hills and I have even set some new PB’s on Strava segments, without even trying. So it seems riding 200km is good training, although I have absolutely no plans to test the theory by doing it again.
On the down side I was out with the club last week and as soon as the pace began to increase I had a twinge in my calf muscle. I think I actually damaged it gardening a couple of days before rather than riding and although it didn’t hurt much, I decided to pull off and ride home at a leisurely pace.
After a few days off the bike it felt fine, so on Thursday I was back on the bike. Despite feeling good and setting another PB on Strava, the twinge returned toward the end of the ride. I can still feel it but even so I will go on the clubs social ride tomorrow and just try to take it easy. My doctor also said I shouldn’t ride because of a chest infection I have (I’m on antibiotics) but she just doesn’t get the cycling bug thing and the only cure for it is to go out and ride.
One of the nicest things about my recent rides has been the wildlife I have come across. It’s not uncommon here in Asturias to have Eagles or other birds of prey flying above, or even next to you, but on the 200km ride I was lucky enough to have two Storks flying right in front of me. It was in Castilla y Leon, where storks are more common and can often be found nesting in church bell towers.
On my ride the other day I was out in the sticks when I suddenly thought I saw a cat running along the road. However, as I got nearer I realised it was a Mink (or at least I think that’s what it was, having looked at photos on the internet). It didn’t seem too shy and just poodled along the road right past me. On the same ride, approaching my house, I suddenly heard a noise in the bushes right next to me and as I turned, out jumped Bambi. Well ok it didn’t have spots but it was a beautiful young deer. Unfortunately the next animal I saw was a yakking little dog that was trying to bite my ankles as I rode by but you kind of get used to that around here.
I have a tough Sportive next weekend, so I guess I will have to listen to the doctor and the twinges and take it easy for a few days after tomorrow. I’ll let you know how I get on.
At the weekend I went on another club ride and although a bit foggy to start the sun soon came out as we approached Cangas de Onis. The route took us through a Parque Natural in the area of Piloña with winding country roads that follow the course of the river that runs through the valley. The only problem with the ride was that I wanted to stop and go fishing as there are some great Salmon fisheries in that area.
It was a bigger group than with my first club ride but everyone seemed really nice. The pace was quite fast but I had no problems keeping up which I was quite relieved about. Approaching Sellañu I knew we would soon come to quite a tough climb so decided to answer a call of nature before it started. Of course that meant I was left on my own to climb the hill so I have no idea whether I would have kept up with the others but probably not. I actually overtook some of the riders at the beginning of the climb which may sound impressive but I must confess they were in their 60’s so slowed once we got to the climb. Although in their 60’s and one being somewhat portlier than myself it’s amazing the speed they go on the flats, I can just about keep up with them. They had ridden from Pola de Siero in the morning so instead of a 100km ride, their ride was going to end up being around 140km. Approaching Nava the more portly of the two was beginning to tire (I was pretty tired by then myself and the legs didn’t have too much left in them) so I ended up chucking their bikes in my van and drove them from Nava back to Pola which they seemed very grateful for.
During the climb I could hear a few shouts from behind me, and it turned out that Mario and someone else, who had dropped back to see that the other guys knew the route, were coming round a bend and a wild boar ran out in the road. It stayed there long enough for him to get a photo which I will publish if I get hold of a copy but until then here is a pic of one downloaded from the internet. There are lots of wild boar in Asturias but you rarely get to see them so it was a bit of a bonus.
So all in all a great morning out; good weather, nice people, wild animals and great scenery. Unfortunately I have to wait a few weeks until my next club ride as I am off to the UK for a bike less holiday but I have ridden hard over the last few months so I’m hoping the rest will do me good.
Here are the ride stats and profile but ignore the heart rate as I didn’t really reach 240bpm, think the heart rate monitor is on the blink.