At least this time I was familiar with the proceedings, and this time I had a ride plan too, which involved not getting on the front. My previous effort was 30.3kmh average, so in lieu of any chance of winning, I had set a personal challenge of improving that average. I was also aware that my previous average cadence of 75rpm was not within the generally advised range, so I have been concentrating during the previous weeks training rides, to maintain a cadence of at least 90rpm.
Oh yea, I also purchased a set of rollers. You know, the ones you see on YouTube that look impossible to conquer. Unfortunately on my first attempt I was lubricated with 3 glasses of chardonnay and surprise, surprise, found it quite difficult...don't try this at home!!!...I was much more successful the next day though and have now mastered the skill of keeping upright, changing gears and even fiddling with the bike computer. This new training tool was an immediate help in riding smoothly and for spinning practise.
Anyway, back to the crit...
This week I was pleased to be greeted with a few nods and smiles of acknowledgment from the regulars. I am sure I have much to do before I will have fully proved my passion for their (my) sport, but it is a start.
The wind today was also stronger than last week just to add to the challenge. Once again we lined up on the course with me reminding myself to hang back this time. Away we went with me last in the line, so my ride plan was working so far. I made sure I stayed on the back, which was easy because I wouldn't have been able to move up if I had wanted to, as the pace was faster this week than last. Hey, no one told me they were going to move the goal posts!!! Still, this time I managed to hang on for four laps, (which is one better than last time) and the leaders took longer to lap me too. I really was putting in the effort and concentrating on keeping the cadence up as well as getting down into a more aero position when riding into the wind. The minutes seemed to pass more quickly than the previous week, and the laps to the bell were completed with me feeling more in control than previously.
The stats for this week were a great encouragement for me considering the overall faster race pace this time...
- My average speed last week - 30.3kmh
- My average speed this week - 33.3kmh
- My average cadence last week - 75rpm
- My average cadence this week - 91rpm
- Last week's average speed for the leaders of C grade - 35kmh
- This week's average speed for the leaders of C grade - 37.5kmh