Cycling Training in Essex

Posted on April 18th, 2010 by Tim Bell in Cycling Training around London, Garmin Edge 705, The Road to Tourmalet

After the glamour and glory of Nice, it was back down to English earth with a bump. But there’s no better way to battle the post-holiday blues than by getting the next one planned as soon as possible. I got my train tickets booked down to Avignon for the Ventoux Sportive on June 6th, now knowing exactly which coaches to book for luggage, buffet cars and power points. I’ll have a couple of weeks at my house in the Gorges du Tarn around this event, and will hopefully have a chance to warm up on the Mont Aigoual as described in Tim Krabbe’s The Rider. I decided to fly direct to the Etape du Tour rather than going via my house in Castelbouc, to save on any unecessary travel fatigue for the big day.

All of which left me with five or six weekends before the next trip, so it was time to get out on the bike with some veterans of the Col de la Madone. This seems like a good time to try out as many cycling routes in and around London as possible, so I joined Andy and John on their fairly regular trip out to the Cols of Essex.

It had taken my knee ten days to recover after the exersions in Nice, after which I tried an easy hour on the turbo trainer, doing some one legged reps to start balancing out the leg strength discrepancy which I’ve now decided is the route cause of the problem. Then it was a nice early Saturday start, beautiful weather, and I met up with the boys in Hackney (the Garmin Edge 705 didn’t let me down this time) before heading North East out of London to take on some of the monuments of Essex. I have to admit that, while it lacked the uphill challenges of France, the ride had a lot of English charm. Green fields, scarecrows, rolling meadows and Alan Sugar’s house. We had the mighty Buckhurst Hill, capping out at 264 feet according to the Garmin, then another little peak at Lambourne End at 314 ft. There was a hint of a group sprint up Toot Hill before we got to the business end of the day at Theydon Bois – finally I was able to exert some authority over the day’s proceedings before promptly missing a turning and having to catch up with the boys. We had a nice easy descent through Epping Forest before a good burn back into London.

I was assured this ride had seemed pretty challenging before our Nice trip, and now it felt like a stroll in the park. It was still a decent workout though; over 55 miles with an average speed of 15mph, quicker than anything I’ve managed over a comparable distance. Just over 2,500ft of climbing and an average heart rate of 139, just edging out my Col de Vence rate. I was already looking forward to giving the knee a good test the next day with a spin around Richmond Park.

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One Comment on “Cycling Training in Essex”

  1. Darren Wion

    Hello. Great job, if I wasn’t so busy with my school work I read your total site. Thanks!

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