Yesterday was the Winter Solstice down here in the Southern Hemisphere! That means from now, the days get a tiny bit longer and lighter each week. There’s still plenty of cold winter weather left for sure, but we can look forward to a little more daylight.
Being the Solstice (and creeping towards the end of the month) I thought I’d take the opportunity to get out for a longer ride. My mileage has suffered the past couple of weeks due to an injury (that I picked up from running 🤦♂️). It kept me off the bike for around a week, and then restricted me to shorter rides for a while after that. It’s still not 100% yet, but on the mend.
With the roads drying out and the sun almost shining I set off at “pro hours” (after 9am) with enough water and snacks to get me through 100km. My goal was to give it an hour to see how I felt, then carry on if my legs agreed with me. Long sleeves, covered knees and full-fingered gloves were the order of the day, but thankfully not full winter thickness kit.
There seems to be roadworks EVERYWHERE at the moment. The council are busy repairing potholes, replacing short sections of tarmac, and building new bypasses, left right and centre! It’ll be great when it’s finished, but at the moment it’s rough as guts. Here’s me, patiently waiting at yet another set of temporary traffic lights:
This was one of those “just get it done” rides. I got through the first hour feeling quite fresh, so pushed on along the highway. There’s nothing quite like 18-wheeler semi-trailers close passing you at 110km/hr as you grind up a 7% gradient to make you feel alive!
I admit this wasn’t one of my most memorable of rides, or even the most scenic in parts, but it was exactly what I needed. No massive climbs, but the route was rarely completely flat. Plenty of leg-testing kickers along the way. It’s been a little too long since I’ve stretched the legs for more than three hours and it was good to be back.
Considering the injury and reduction in saddle time over the past month my fitness seems to be in a good place, especially as it is the middle of winter. Not exactly peak form time of year. That’s six months of metric century rides in the books now, with six more to go!
Distance: 103.6 km / 64.4 miles
Total elevation gain: 867 m / 2850 feet
Average speed: 29.6 kph / 18.4 mph