Monday, 8 October 2012

Catching up and first group bike ride

I had a pretty reasonable week of training last week despite it being the busiest week of the year at work.  Monday-Friday went well with swims before work, and I fitted in an extra cycle ride (on which I got soaked!) on Wednesay evening, which was pretty good considering that I worked late three evenings!  On Thursday morning when I start work late, I managed a 4k structured pool swim.  I haven't swum over 3k in a pool for two months so this was a good achievement and it was nice to make the most of a session plan that I'd enjoyed back in April.

By Saturday I was shattered after the week and a distressing (for complicated reasons!) Friday evening.  I'd hoped for another 3.5k or 4k swim whilst Mr Tuna was out picking up a new bicycle, but it just didn't happen.  On the plus side, it meant that I was refreshed for a bike ride on Sunday.

Earlier in the week I had recieved an email from the Tri Club to which we belong announcing a beginners ride of around 30 miles "at the pace of the slowest riders".  I'd intended on going out with Mr Tuna, but it's important for him to get his own training in too so this seemed ideal - we could go out together but apart!

I duly turned up on Sunday morning at 9.30am.  The weather was colder than on any of my previous recent rides, but not quite cold enough for my new thermal tights.  Mr Tuna kindly lent me a pair of knee warmers which did the trick [and I've since ordered my own pair, and need to get some warmer gloves!].  I figured that as the ride was 30 miles,  I could manage to cycle to the meeting point (4.5 miles) and back, as that'd still be less than the longest ride I've done.

10 riders turned up, of whom 5 were beginners (although none quite as beginnery as me) and 5 experienced, which was good as we all had our own experienced rider to help.  I am new to group riding so was introduced to the etiquette of riding close and two abreast as well as given tips on my own technique.

The ride was good, but hard.  I didn't like not having a sense of where we were going/how much further there was.  As I still can't drink whilst riding, I struggled with the lack of stops (although we did stop 3 or 4 times) and was too embarassed to ask.  I nearly ran out of steam 1.5 hours in, but I ate some jelly babies which cheered me up.  I constantly lost the group when we went down hills and it was difficult sometimes to catch up.  On the plus side, it's easier to cycle in the  group, especially if you're too slow to take a turn on the front.  Everyone was mostly very encouraging and it was nice to do something different.  The original plan was for these rides to take place once a month, but another club member has offered to take us out in a fortnight, so I will definitely go (lose it if you don't use it!), and maybe Mr Tuna will come along to "help out"!.


  1. Group riding will get better--promise! At my first Women on Wheels meet up this summer, I had my road bike for less than one week and had ridden it only once. Forget clipping in and clipping out--I didn't know how to shift properly, and I couldn't make bike signals with my arms. Luckily, the other women were very knowledgeable, encouraging, and understanding. The ride leader offered me a few tips, like keeping my cadence at 90 RPM, but nothing in terms of form, so it's great you received that type of feedback. Plus, logging 30 miles solo could get boring, so it's good you rode with a group. :)

  2. It's funny how some just shoot down hills and others are more cautious. I belong to the latter variety but you do get confidence as you go on. My problem is the brakes are not brilliant so I have that in mind. You'll have good brakes on your new bike. With cycling, you need to eat before you start needing a sugar rush! Keep an energy bar or those energy sachets that Zip Vit do. I think they're fairly new and you could fit a couple in your pocket.

  3. I hope I will get more confidence soon! Another group ride this weekend which I'll go on although I was planning to go out with Mr Tuna because I want to support them while they're happening and they do make me try to go faster!