Thursday, 25 October 2012

Strava and commuting

This week I've been experimenting with Strava whilst commuting the 7 miles (yes, I know its not far!) And there is a nice 4.5 mile section of disused railway which has been ridden quite a fair few number of times. Last night on my journey home, I was 7 seconds off taking the top spot. 7 seconds! I thought I'd done it. I will do it at some point.
The point of Strava is to better your performance, time-trialling against others but more importantly yourself. So far in the 6 commutes I've gone for it, I've really gone for it. After the first day I left my hefty D-lock and work clothes at work. I then dropped the hydration pack out and used a bottle, all to save weight. It worked; my times got better. The past 3 days the weather in northern England in October has been unsurprisingly awful - foggy, drizzly and dark. The track is wet and muddy, leaves falling from the trees make it slippy and I could barely see 5 meters in front of me. So there's my excuse: the weather is slowing me down! Wait until I get decent conditions and I'll try again!
I don't know what the conditions were like when the fastest time was set. It could be that he's just faster than me.
The conditions do take their toll though. Today my legs were heavy and I was labouring. Tonight I decided to just do a normal ride home, sticking to my low heart rate zones. However, this in itself is not without its problems. As the weather has turned for the worse, its thicker longer gloves and a waterproof jacket. This ensures I can't quickly look at my HRM wristwatch to check my zones. Although it does have an audible alert (slow beep telling me to up the pace, fast beep telling me to slow down and quiet when everything is just right). However under the layers of clothing and layers of tyre, traffic and wind noise its difficult hear it beeping. I could wear the watch over the jacket, restricting movement or fasten it to the bars somehow. This would allow me to hear it but maybe not see the screen as its behind my headlight and definitely too dark under the trees. This of course would require some kind of custom mount too.

What would you do?

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