Fastest Lap on my Bicycle! (23rd August 2009)
Did a 2:40 around the nearby woodland route. That’s my fastest ever time! I could feel it was going well as I rode it.
Lap Time Commentary
My line through the fast, sweeping section at the start was perfect. Moving the bike from side to side, cutting each apex and shifting my bodyweight to make the wheels avoid the worst roots felt so natural and precise.
My topmost gear was slipping a bit, so I dropped down to the penultimate ratio. Although it’s a fast section there are a lot of bumps and some undulations. Maybe this is better suited to that terrain?
(I later found out the slipping was due to a bit of pine cone which had gotten crushed into the rear gearwheel. Found a tiny but sturdy twig and worked it loose. Ran fine after that. Will need to oil it up next time I ride it.)
I was leant right down, my head nearly touching the handlebars. It’s amazing how much of a difference this makes! I could feel the air running smoothly and almost silently down my back.
The ditches were dry and I was riding through them really smoothly. The rythmn and flexibility I had were the best I can remember. Maybe it’s all the strolling and moving from my commute, loosening me up a bit?
Still had lots of energy after the ditch section and could run quite comfortably in High 2 towards the gnarly rooted section. Used my bodyweight to pick a great line through here (even if I do say so myself) which let me accelerate smoothly out of it.
Nearly lost the front end through the very narrow and tricky chicane between two trees. The shape of the terrain creates a slight berm there, which helped me catch the slide.
Honking out of the chicane, still with lots of energy, felt like it gained me a bit of time. Swept through the downhill-and-uphill right-hander and attacked the rise towards the access road.
Accelerated gently but constantly down this, arriving with rather more speed than I anticipated into the final hairpin! Felt the rear wheel lock and unlock as I squirmed towards the apex. Actually ended up on a nice line, getting a smooth exit for the final few metres towards the finish.
Stopped my watch, noticed the time and did a celebrator warm-down lap around the route. Wewt!
- Went through Basingbourne Park, along the roads then through the woods to Pontail.
- Wiggled down onto the towpath and followed Basingstoke Canal to the overflow.
- Sprinted up the hill and heard a lot of racket from behind me. Realised my rear mudguard had rattled half loose, so I reattached it.
- Continued along swooping tracks towards Pyestock.
- Took the high, technical pass which ends with a long, steep dip leading immediately into an almost equal rise.
- Coasted towards the stream and splashed through it a couple of times.
- Practised some low-speed manoeuvres.
- Rode through the woods to King’s Road, down to Pontail and turned right.
- Took it fairly easy as this is a long road.
- Rode no-handed while drinking from my water bottle for the long, slightly downhill section. Feels like ages since I did this!
- Sprinted from a long way back to reach the traffic lights at Crookham Wharf, just before they changed.
- Coasted along Glen Road and merged onto the towpath of Basingstoke Canal.
- Drifted gently back home, doing a slow warm-down lap around the block.
Set off around 4:45pm and got back around 6:15pm. Had a shower then treated myself to a meal I’ve been planning for some time:
- 1 jacket potato.
- 6 slices of corned beef.
- 9 cocktail sausages.
- ½ can of baked beans.
Dad had cut and shared out a fresh pineapple. I am going to eat my portion of it now.
Aside from this ride, I spent all of this weekend relaxing. A very welcome rest it was, too!