My Round-Norfolk Ride!

This ride was a bit of a tester for this Autumn's 12-hour time trial, a discipline that I haven't ridden for twenty years. The distance I'd planned for this ride was around 235 miles, a bit less than the 254 miles I've previously ridden in 12 hours, but I decided to play it safe and keep the heart rate between 125 and 135 BPM.

The first leg down to Lowestoft was on familiar roads, and I cruised along nicely. The legs were slightly tired from a longish ride I'd ridden on Thursday, but nothing to worry about.

A rising south-westerly breeze made the going hard heading west through Beccles, Bungay, Harleston and Mildenhall. I stopped for cake and coffee at a posh café in Fornham, and refilled a bottle with water and Etixx powder.

Cross-winds made the going difficult on the north-west stretches across the Fens. Furthermore, an hour of heavy rain north of Ely was quite unpleasant - although I didn't get chilled. I stopped off for supplies at a service station at Sutton Bridge, downing a pint of milk, a large sausage roll and a flapjack. I also bought a half litre of water to mostly fill an empty drinks bottle (along with some Etixx powder of course). Another flapjack was stowed in the back pocket for later.

As I headed up through Kings Lynn I noticed that the chain was dry, having been stripped of oil in the rain. As luck would have it, my route took me straight past Duff Morgan (a car dealer and Iceni Velo sponsor) and they were happy to supply me with engine oil to lube the chain. I also downed a hot chocolate before carrying on.

A strong tailwind heading north past Hunstanton was extremely helpful, and the tailwind continued even when I turned the corner for the long eastward leg along the North Norfolk coast. I was able to do a fair amount of freewheeling as the undulations increased, and kept the efforts sensible on the up-hill stretches.

The headwind wasn't as bad as I'd feared on the last leg down to Mundesley and westward to home in North Walsham, although the exposed uphill stretch to Knapton was a bit of a drag!

Overall I was happy to complete the ride without too much discomfort; minor leg pain and a stiff neck were my only concerns. My average heart rate was 131, but for a time trial I reckon that I could lift the heart rate to 140.

DIY Round Norfolk Ride #PoweredByEtixx

Ride on 2016-07-09 03:57:23, at Norwich

Gear: Ribble TT bike

385km in 12:02:56

Average speed32.0 kmh
Max speed57.6 kmh
Average heart rate131 bpm
Average power161 Watts
Elevation gain1176 metres

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Bike computers

I recorded the ride on two Garmin bike computers, the Edge Touring Plus and the Forerunner 310XT. I'd been nervous about battery drain when recording the ride, so brought along a USB battery pack and cables and decided to turn my Garmin 310XT to "smart recording". After five hours my Garmin Edge Touring battery level was down to 45%, so I set it charging off the USB battery. The 310XT was still showing a full battery, so I left it alone.

By the end of the ride the 310XT was still showing 3 bars of battery (out of 4) so had lasted extremely well. Unfortunately the 310XT hadn't been picking up my power meter! I'd noticed it showing a sensible average power during the ride, but this was actually just based on a few points where it had recorded something. Very frustrating, as the power data would have been extremely useful.


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About the author

My name is John Swindells and I'm a keen recreational cyclist with a preference for long one-day rides. I've also previously dabbled in time trialling and cyclo-cross. See more of what I get up to on Strava!

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