My MTB Journey 22 November

22 November. Early Sunday morning. A fraction over 75 minutes again! 1.15.33., with ten Strava segment achievements. Clearly the liquid carbo loading last night didn’t help, but its still my second best time. Comparing this morning with my effort on Friday I was a good minute faster in the second half of the circuit and a little slower on the first leg, so that perfect effort still evades me.

A few things cost me some time. Just into the entrance of the main track I met a guy walking four dogs. Negotiating this unruly posse probably cost me a few seconds and I had a wee whoopsie on one of the narrow bridges. When I’m only looking for 20 odd seconds improvement, these delays count.

I’ve also been experimenting with different hydration systems. The position of the inserts in the frame that the bottle cage bolts into make it awkward to get the water bottle out while I am in motion. Normally I wear a camelback with a few basic tools and a tube stuffed in it. In an effort to save some weight I bought a small saddle bag for the tools and dug out an old ‘cheapie’ hydration system with a smaller bladder this morning.

This experiment was a failure, there was a reason I retired this system originally and bought a better quality camelback. In order to get a decent mouthful of water I have to suck hard on the mouthpiece which doesn’t help when I’m already struggling for breath and there is no way to fasten the feeder tube itself to stop it flailing around and annoying me. I’m sure having to pause to tuck it in behind the chest strap cost me a few seconds. To make matters worse I didn’t tighten the bladder cap properly and water leaked down my back.

In the morning I can probably get away without taking any water with me, because I generally only take a few sips anyway, but having water is a bit of a security blanket for me.

I did feel a lot stronger towards the end of the ride, in comparison to Friday which is reflected in my time for the second leg and I am pleased I got my ride in early because its now pissing down with rain.

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