Road cycling stats and a present 🎁 🚴💨

Published on 19.6.2024 by mdohr07 Category: Cycling

Music: Lullaby - The Cure   Mood: Calm

Today I want to talk about cycling. Road cycling has become a very important part of my life. I only discovered the hobby “late” for myself, namely in December 2022, which is not that long ago. If I had started it when I was younger, I might have a different opinion on the subject now, but I don’t ride for the competition. I have little to no interest in taking part in bike races, even if my skills on the bike were to improve dramatically. I ride for fun and although I like to challenge myself and enjoy improvements in performance, I tend to be cautious rather than reckless. I don’t speed through crowds of people, I slow down when a duck crosses the road and I can be patient for a while when grannies and grandpas creep slowly in front of me and I can’t pass them because a car is coming from across the road. Just a disclaimer before the next few paragraphs.

But as I said, I’m happy to see personal improvements and I’ve seen some of them consistently recently! My fitness curve has been rising steadily recently and that is extremely motivating. I keep track of my progress in my journal - the paper bound thing that you can write in with a pen, the old fashioned way. I do have Strava and use it to record my statistics, but as my account is free, I can’t look at an overview over a period longer than a month. That’s why I compare the individual months using the records in my journal. This way I can see what has brought about or facilitated my progress.

First group ride

In May (a month ago), I took part in a group ride for the first time. I’m half ashamed to admit that I didn’t even do the whole ride, but dropped out about halfway through because I was somehow longing for a cozy evening instead. I don’t normally ride in the evening, but that might change soon because of my upcoming retraining. Before this ride, I was still working on increasing my wattage to get to 100 watts as my first goal. Before that, I was averaging 72 watts. 100 still seemed a long way off. My average speed was between 21 and 22 kmh. I’m using my cell phone with Strava, I don’t have a Garmin or anything, who knows how correct the values are. Just as a side note. As was to be expected, I had better values on the group ride: 98 watts and 23kmh. I learned a few things from this ride that YouTube videos can’t teach me because I had to experience them first-hand.

Three things that the group ride taught me (and that YouTube couldn’t teach me)

That gave me another boost of motivation and two days later I set off again on my own - with the saddle further forward. Suddenly I was averaging 24 km/h and a whole 105 watts. I was as happy as a pie. My best average for the same route since then has been just about 25 kmh. I don’t go out riding as often as I’d like, usually no more than twice a week. But last month, when I had to go for that “trial” every day, I rode my city bike to the company whenever I could. That was also good for my road bike statistics. I hope that I’ll be able to ride out a few more times during the rest of June, because I’ll have less free time from July onwards when I start retraining.

Tube fixing

Almost forgot to mention: I had a puncture lately, in both bikes, both on the back wheel! The city bike I took to the store and had it fix by a professional because it’s quite the hassle with that bicycle. Eventually I’ll have to do it myself though, I think. Just to save some money. But the road bike I did tend to myself as its easier to do. Again, being savey, I decided to fix it instead of replacing. The puncture wasn’t very big, so I think it’s fine to keep the old one for a little longer (even though I’d really like different ones!). The hole in the tube was very hard to find, but I managed and patched it. As for the tire, I tried to patch it too 😁 Here are some photos of the process:

Premature birthday present

Unfortunately, the sports store here in the city center is closing, which is a real shame as it’s the only sports store in the center. The only good thing is that all the items are being thrown out in a big sale. So yesterday I was there with my wife, actually looking for something completely different. But then I saw: cycling shoes! Only very few and as far as I remember, they’ve never had a large selection of cycling shoes. But I had a look anyway and there was actually a pair that seemed to be just waiting for me. A pair of Scott MTB shoes (I have single-sided SPD clipless pedals) and also the only one in my size. In black, you can’t go very wrong with that. I tried them on and they even fit! According to my wife, my eyes lit up at the sight of the shoes with forty percent off on them, so she bought them for me as an early birthday present.

At some point I want to have different pedals. SPD again, but lighter than my current pedals. I chose my current pedals so that I can also ride with road shoes until I get cycling shoes and get used to them. They served me well, but they also weigh like 500 grams.

Yesterday I fitted the cleats and adjusted the pedals. First of all on “buttery soft”, as I’ve never ridden with clickies before. I have planned to go for a short, leisurely ride today, where the priority is to get used to clipping in and out. I’m a bit scared, but I’m also looking forward to the experience. Once I feel confident with them, I’m looking forward to seeing whether the shoes really make a difference and whether I see further improvements in my performance as a result.

So see you soon 🫡

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