The Winter ‘Back Stripe’

I’ve just consigned yet more riding kit to the washing machine.  Limited time this afternoon left me with about 1.5 hours of daylight for a ride, and all I managed with the slippery wet roads was a 12 miler.  But again, the computer has completely changed my approach to riding – it’s amazing how prescient data, presented at the right time, can focus your mind and improve your efficienty.

Well, after a ride around a new local route with a mixture of road conditions and a little undulation, the results were one thermal jersey with a wet stripe up the back, wet shorts, socks and shoes, and a calculated average of 17 mph (now calibrated properly and therefore ‘trustable’).

Bury St Edmunds seen from afar

Bury St Edmunds seen from afar

The above picture was taken a few weeks ago in rather better conditions, but it’s a landmark when you’re cycling around here – the plume of steam from the Sugar Beet factory at Bury St Edmunds which, when on unfamiliar roads, acts as a beacon.

If I get out on ‘proper’ roads, rather than the fiddly little lanes I have been doing recently, which conspire to present you with every problem from freshly laid top dressing, through wet leaves, slippery manhole covers and mud, I should be able to increase this average speed.  I am getting a real time speed reading between 15-20 mph on climbs, but a lot of very slow and fiddly junctions and crossings on today’s run slowed me down.


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