As the title suggests the Month of May has seen all sorts of weather, including some really warm days, some really windy days, some really rainy days and some really cold days. Occasionally all on the same day too! The races came thick and fast. Probably too many, because by the end of the month I was starting to feel tired and overreached, causing me to listen to my body (for once) and take a couple of days off the bike. More on that later.
My club, Seamons CC, runs weekly club 10’s on a course in Cheshire. It’s not a fast course, and is subject to a couple of left turns and a couple of roundabouts, but it’s okay and it’s relatively consistent regardless of wind direction (as much as that is possible). As such it’s a decent measure of how you’re going relative to your other times on there, assuming you don’t get dramatically held up at any of the turns. It came as no surprise to me that over the course of the month I lost 28s and 15W. Mid-month I changed my position slightly and I’m still trying to work out what effect that is having. My suspicion is that I’m more aero but it’s affected my power output slightly but I think I need more data.
My first race of the month was a club 10. I managed 22:21 on 304W average power, my best on this course. 2nd from 33 riders
The following Saturday was my first 50 of the season. Weatherwise it was a great day so I was confident of a decent time. I was aiming for 23 minute 10’s and for once I paced it really well, ending up with a power PB and a time of 01:53:00. My clubmates also posted some great times so we won the team prize (with an event record time). 4th from 94, 4th, 2nd vet on standard (£20 + £20 team)
At the next club 10 I was tired, possibly still due to my training on Monday and Tuesday with the 50 still in my legs so my power dipped by 10W, but my time only to 22:24. 2nd from 33 riders
I then went back to Hull to have another crack at V718. I thought it was going to be a decent day – tailwind out and headwind back. Shows what I know because there wasn’t much help out but it was still hard coming back! My power was back up at 309W and I posted a time of 20:43. 12th from 120 riders
At this point I messed with my position slightly and then I rode the club 10 on Wednesday posting 22:38. 1st from 29 riders
On the Thursday, in wet and horrible conditions, I rode a 2-Up 10 at L105 with clubmate Chris. I don’t really like these and this was no exception. I have no idea about the correct way to ride them, I’m slightly nervous on the wheel and the weather didn’t help. As it was we talked about taking 30s ish pulls each but it was taking me 450w to get on the front and then I was trying to pull at 350w before dropping off. Needless to say I was knackered after about 6 miles and I think I let Chris down a bit. Added to that my visor was misting up when I was behind Chris so I was struggling to see properly which put pressure on my neck. My helmet is very aero but not great in damp conditions it seems. Overall we posted a time of 21:43. 8th from 20 pairs (told on social media we’d won a prize but no news yet)
It was then a case of getting a bit of recovery in for one of my favourite events – the Stone Wheelers 25 on J5/8 (the A50). Lots of people don’t like riding dual carriageways but I do. I regularly get passed by cars too close on the Cheshire single carriageway courses but I find it’s less frequent on the DC’s, although they tend to be going faster. The weather forecast for the event was bad all week – crosswinds and rain. There was a chance it would be cancelled due to spray and standing water according to an email the organiser sent in advance. As it was, I got lucky. I got a bit wet in my warmup but I managed to ride virtually the whole 25 miles before the rain started and although I got soaked it was mainly in the ride back to the HQ after the finish. I did struggle on the really fast sections as my bike gets a bit twitchy above 33mph in a sharp crosswind so I was backing off – which probably helped because I had a bit left at the end for the “concrete mountain”. Unfortunately for some the event was abandoned after 110 riders had gone off but by all accounts a sensible decision. I was happy with my 52:44. 6th from 83 riders, 4th vet on standard (£25 + £10 team prize)
I must have put a lot in because the next morning I was knackered. Thankfully the Leigh Premier 25 I was due to ride had been shortened to a 10 due to unexpected roadworks. I barely managed more power than the 25 the day before and was disappointed with my 21:49. 10th from 55 riders
Probably stupidly I did two hard training sessions on Monday and Tuesday – although I felt great and my numbers were good. However, by the time it came to the Club 10 I was knackered and could only manage 22:49 off my lowest 10 power for over a year in wet conditions (visor trouble again!). 1st from 19 riders
I decided to take an extra day off training in response because I wasn’t feeling right. I didn’t feel bad really, I just felt fatigued. Normally after a day off I’m fine but I felt the same on Friday – very sluggish and like I was about to come down with something. I got a really good nights sleep but still felt lethargic on Saturday morning. I wasn’t expecting much from the Warrington RC 50M TT as a result, especially after I didn’t feel great on my warmup. It was a really warm day so I was a bit concerned. As it was, I managed another 50M power PB (275W AP, 277W NP) and was really happy with my 01:54:21. It shows exactly what I know about how I feel but maybe the couple of days off helped. 6th from 80 riders, 3rd vet on standard (£30)
Overall, during the month I rode 639 miles, with 26,419ft of climbing at an average speed of around 19.1mph. I used 21,628kcals of energy, with another 9,514kcals during 12hrs and 16mins of turbo time. Total training stress was 2,519TSS