It’s been a mixed week. I had a very pleasant ride with Sandra, a new cycling friend on Wednesday in which I clocked up my 1000th mile of 2013 and managed my first proper long ride of the year too. We set out in a fog which fortunately lifted to reveal the big yella thing which provided a welcome bit of heat. Ironically, it actually became quite irritating as we found ourselves travelling the final ten miles or so looking directly into it. We also, bizarrely, cycled along one piece of road where clearly the sun doesn’t shine as was evident from the little piles of snow along the road edge. 47.5miles cycled in total with about a third of that being on undulating terrain an with a couple of steepish ascents thrown in.
Saturday saw another excellent session with Scott Contessa Road Race Academy, the culmination of which was a 3-Up TT along the Georgetown Road. And our team in the 3-Up TT did pretty well – all four of us. 😉 We managed an average of 17.5mph along the route, and although I was the weakest link in the chaingang, I managed to keep with the riders sufficiently and even took my fair share of the work at the front.
So, what was so bad then? Well, today saw my first ever attempt at riding a track bike. Walkers CC had arranged a club session at the Chris Hoy Velodrome and although I hadn’t seen myself ever really getting too involved in track, I thought I’d give it a go just to say I’d done it.
Sadly the session did not go well or me. I have never ridden a fixed gear bike in my life, and the combination of that plus the unwelcome return to Look Keo pedals that was needed for the hire bikes proved just too much for me. There was no time before the session to do any sort of practising with the bike/pedals before we all got moved up to the trackside, and I’m afraid I just froze. I was completely unable to get the bike moving and since all I had was a split second to make a decision whether to continue or not, I felt it was better to err very much on the side of caution and call it quits. There were 22 others in the group and I quite honestly felt that I would be a colossal liability out there. I am of course very disappointed in myself, but after watching the others whizzing around, I am a bit more reconciled that it just isn’t for me. I am quite comfortable with the clipless pedals on my other bikes, but I also recognise that I click out at the first sign of trouble. Not being able to do so on the track bike is a problem; nearly as much as the lack of ability to freewheel. To be honest, I got a feeling in the short time I was “on” the track bike (I use the term very loosely) not unlike the claustrophobia I get in lifts and other enclosed spaces. It was not a pleasant feeling.
I will take up an offer of putting flat pedals on a friend’s track bike and going round the local supermarket car park. But it will be just to say that I have ridden a fixie. I think I will stick to trying to get better at the couple of things I can do on a bike.
Ah well. At least there’s no danger of my buying a track bike now. N+1 remains an ideal.