In December I became a bike shop owner. Making my passion for cycling a career. I now eat, sleep and breath bikes, but this does mean I've got far less time to ride them.
I made a New Year's resolution to ride 100 miles a week. I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times I kept that promise! Compared to recent years I am barely spending half the time on the bike that I used to. I just don't have the free time.
I went into the new enterprise expecting long days and for it to be all consuming, so this change hasn't been a surprise. What has actually surprised me is how long I have been able to maintain a representative level of fitness.
Time in the saddle has been greatly reduced for more than 6 months. Yet looking at the lap times from last week's races my comparative performance is still very similar to last year. I don't seem to have lost speed over 60 to 90 minutes.
Of course I used to focus on other longer distance events and I expect this is where I might struggle. I've on!y completed a handful of rides over 3 hours since completing 10 hours in the Alps at the Grand Raid last summer.
My riding has changed. I now have to grab a quick hour or even 30 minutes when I can. Surprisingly this has kept me in reasonably good shape. Perhaps there are less nonsense miles, when I do get out, making the effort is more focused?
What has been great is the dry weather this Spring. The local trails on the South Downs are running fast and they haven't yet got too overgrown. So no nettle and bramble rash keeping me up at night!
I will continue to ride when I can. There is no specific event focus this year, so we'll see how it goes. To be honest I've already visited the podium twice this year so it's been a good start.