Going Solo

18 11 2010

It’s Thursday which means that this morning was the 6am group ride around the Gregadoo Loop.

Except that I reached the start line at 6.03 and the bunch was gone. Bugger. Hoping that they were just around the corner and I could still catch them, I didn’t stop. As I rounded the first corner, I couldn’t see a single tail light.

Bugger again, they must left bang on 6am for once. I resolved to do the ride by myself.

Why? To see how much the group helps. I’ve done the loop twice in a row now at an average speed of better than 30kph, which I’ve never done before. By all accounts, the group has been pushing it lately and going around a little faster than normal. So even though I’ve dropped off a bit on the last couple of loops, I’ve still made good time.

So, I needed to know if it was the group pulling me along. Could I do the loop at better than 30kph average speed with no-one to draft off? I had my doubts, and I figured now was the time to find out.

It didn’t start off so well. I struggled to maintain a good speed on the first half of the lap.  The first half of the loop is a gentle uphill rising to a double peak, and the best I could muster was an average speed of barely more than 26.5kph.

The second half is a little easier, and with a steep downhill at the beginning, I managed to stay above 30kph for the majority of the ride home. In the end, the second half of the loop took just under 24minutes, or 35.17kph av.

By the (nominal) end of the loop, my average speed for the loop was 30.4kph. I’d done it. I’ve done better with the group out front (av speed 31.8kph), but at least now I know I can do it.

All up:  43.09km @ 30.2kph (1hr25m02). My first solo 40@30. Happy much?

Yesterday was a rest day, courtesy of a poorly wife and two little girls who needed looking after (ie, keeping out of trouble).

I’m on call tonight at work and then have a 6am start tomorrow morning, so if I’m up to it, tomorrow is run day, where I should pass 350kms for the year.

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