A morning on the bike

Victoria Point jetty

The rain is pounding on the roof when my alarm goes off. I listen to it for a few seconds, deciding whether I want to get out on my bike in the wet or whether I want to wait an hour until the rain stops. It’s not a difficult decision: I get out of bed to hit the road. While I’ve spent most of the summer avoiding riding in the rain, I’m now committed to the Byron Bay Triathlon so will get out and ride in the rain.

My session today is a 90 minute ride with three 10 minute sets at 40km pace.

I start with a 10 minute warmup at 26.5kph. It turns out perfectly because I hit the main road at exactly the 10 minute mark. I click the lap button on my GPS and set off at a cracking pace down the main road. The rain has stopped and I crank it out down the main road. There are a few hills and traffic lights along the way but I still manage to complete the first 10 minute set at 35.3kph, slightly faster than my current 40km pace.

After a 10 minute spin (at 25.7kph) I tackle the next hard 10 minute session. This session takes me through the backstreets of Point O’Halloran where I tackle lots of corners on slippery wet roads. It’s good training for more technical courses and I work hard at driving my legs out of the corners and at taking them safely. I complete the 10 minute set at 32.3kph, a speed I’m happy with given that it’s not being done on a straight road.

A view worth working for

I take another 10 minute spin (at 22.1kph) along the Point O’Halloran waterfront. The Brisbane Bayside Runners and Walkers are out running along the same road so I wave at my running friends. It’s a beautiful spot to spin despite my fatigue. If I’m honest the new training schedule has left me fatigued and I know my performance in training is suffering. However, I also know I’ll adjust so I stick it out.

For my final 10 minute speed set I do laps of the Point O’Halloran road at 33.8kph. The road along the point is flat and fast, then I turn left and climb a long gentle hill into a headwind before taking a short side street back to the point road. I complete three laps in the 10 minute set, riding past my running friends a few more times. I put my leg fatigue to the back of my mind and pushed myself beyond where I thought I could.

Reward for the ride

After my speed set I cruised along the waterfront to Victoria Point and on to the bakery where my running friends had met for their post-run social. I joined in and caught up with some friends, which was delightful.

On my ride home I totally bonked. I hadn’t eaten breakfast before I set off so my body ran out of fuel. It was difficult to continue my ride but I hung in there and enjoyed the last part of my ride until I got home.

Total: 43.49km @ 27.5kph.


13 responses to “A morning on the bike

  1. Beautiful photos 🙂

    I once bonked with about 8 miles to go and only a tube of energy tabs left in my bag. Taught me a valuable lesson . . . I now tend to take enough food with me to feed the nation lol.

    • LOL about the food to feed the nation 🙂 I think I would have been alright this morning except that I stopped at the coffee shop for about 20 minutes, which tipped me beyond my 2 hour no-food limit 😦 … I think I might tape a gel to my bike for future long rides, especially if I don’t manage to have breakfast before I go.

      • Sounds like a good idea. I’m thinking of putting a basket on the front of my bike and filling it to the top 🙂

  2. I tend to carry a good bit of food as well. I bonked a few times a long way from home, and had to drag myself in. I almost always have a gel or something with me. Great pictures, a good view always seems to make any ride better,

    • Oh I’m so glad it’s not just me – that two other cyclists have also bonked 🙂 Definitely going to carry a gel in future.

      I agree, the ride is always better with a view 🙂 And thank you for the compliment. I’m playing with sepia photos just for something different 🙂

  3. Beautiful photos!
    I tried PowerBar vanilla, I discovered I am not a big fan of Powerbar gels… I am looking for some myself with the shot of caffeine


    • Fair enough. I might have to try some of the other gels on the market here just to see whether there are any differences. PowerBar gels are the only ones I’ve tried so far. But I will stick clear of the caffeine because think it would be difficult in a race if I’m not used to caffeine 🙂

  4. Wow! Stunning photos!!

    And I have to say that I’m not good at morning exercise purely because I NEED to eat something before leaving the house… and it has to be substantial or I really struggle!

    • Thank you 🙂 I’m just lucky to live in a stunning area 😀

      I find that I’m useless with evening exercise because I’m too tired after a day at work. Though I’m always fanging for some food after my morning training …

  5. Hey Andrew, came across your blog, thanks for the good read! I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind answering a question about saddle preferences? (or anyone else that might read this!) It’s a unique situation for us, and I have yet to find “the one”.

    • I prefer to use a women’s racing saddle because it fits my body better. My bike still has the same saddle as I used when I was a junior . My MTB has a men’s touring saddle on it bc the bike is a bitsa.

      Next bike knicks I buy will be a wonen’s pair bc the padding in mymen’s pair is in the wrong spot for my body. I don’t think there’s much market for trans-specific gear and if there was some it’d probably be more trouble to buy than it’s worth.

      My racing bike is also women’s frame bc men’s top tube is too long for me.

      • PS it has taken me a long time to see that comfort is more important than pride and that no one actually notices. I recently bout a pair of running shoes on sale. The men’s pairs in my size were sold out so the shop assistant found they had my size in women’s , which actually looked more butch than the nen’s pair. I bought them and people just say they look like light weight shoes , not the gender the are marketed to 🙂

      • I have a women’s Selle Italia Gel saddle right now on my tri bike, and I just go numb after a long ride, it’s annoying! (More so on the trainer than on the road when I can stand up every once in a while to restore blood flow, but still….) I’m tempted to try an ISM Adamo but I’m wondering if any other guys have tried it and the larger cut-out has helped at all?

        I, too, have given up my pride with shoes 🙂 I take what ever is the most comfortable and is a good fit. I’ll rock a pair of pink shoes if that’s what it takes! Thanks for the input!

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