|Swiss Hill - A cobbled classic|
Returning back, I clicked over the line in 3hrs 41 minutes at an average of 16.3mph, so I was really pleased with that. Heart rate wise, my average was 154bpm (82% of max), so I was putting the effort in.
Looking at the profile, this is a ride of two halves. The first 35 miles is flat so you you can get a good average speed up. Across this section my average speed was 17.5mph (28km/h).
Then came Swiss Hill, a technically challenging climb, inevitably this pulls down the average as I went up it around 6mph, the cobbles sending huge vibration through the bike as you struggle to get traction on the back wheel. Take a quick look at this video and keep an eye on how much vibration is going through the suspension on the car as they are filming.
|How my average speed broke down|
|How the ride panned out for me|
Next ten miles, plenty of descent, so speed went up again, then into the back 30 where there was lots of climbing. So, what did I learn today?
- The base miles during Jan/Feb have definitely helped in terms of aerobic fitness. On the flat first thirty-five miles, my average was 17.5mph (28km/h) which is pretty good from where I was a couple of months back. My overall speed, given the profile I was happy with as a building block.
- I need to lose some weight to climb better. My heart rate just soars as soon as I get climbing, I hit my maximum of 188bpm at the top of Swiss Hill. I've got the engine, I can get up pretty much anything nowadays, it's the climbing speed and heart rate that is the issue. At present I am 15 stone (95kgs), so shifting some of that is key.
- I need to get back in the gym. Core fitness is key to successful climbing and I really benefited from working on my core for the London to Paris ride last year. Need to get back on it.