I decided to scrape whatever energy I have left together and write this quick blog post. I had a great weekend on the bike. It was a lot harder than I predicted it would be, but it was also a lot more fun.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I took my Merida Scultura 200 on its first real test ride. I have ridden it many times over the past few weeks, but never longer than 100km. I thought that this weekend would consists of back-to-back 200km rides. It was a bit shorter than that – 179km and 175km, respectively.
The “lack” of distance did not matter much, because both rides felt double as long. That is because of the gale force winds we experienced on both of the riding days. Perhaps ‘gale force’ is a bit of an over-exaggeration. I have ridden in much stronger wind before, but what made these two rides so hard is that we got the wind from the front, or from the side during the ENTIRE trip. Usually when you do a ride you either do a loop around or you ride to a set point and then turn around – so even if the wind is blowing you will almost always get it from different directions, including from BEHIND you. Our ride however, was in one direction on Saturday and one direction on Sunday. On Saturday we rode from the town of Somerset West to Langebaan and on Sunday we rode from Langebaan to Somerset West.
The pace of the ride was all over the place. I started in Group 1, which was the fastest group. We took it very easy during some sections and went as hard as we possibly could during others. Every cross-wind section (when the wind blows from the side) was met with an increase in the tempo.
It was an incredible training weekend for me. I will be doing more of these long rides in the coming month, as I prepare for the 2021 racing season. Right now however, I am going to eat and sleep better than a baby!
Oh and before I forget! The Merida held up great. I am very pleased with the overall performance of the bike.