I have come to realize that if I spent more time focusing on the goal of a given ride, and less on finding the perfect picture opportunity, I may actually set new speed records every now and then!
I really felt as if this was going to be a record setting ride. The wind was against me the first half of the ride, but I was managing to maintain a >32 km/h average speed, and so understanding that I was going to have a little assistance on the return journey, I was feeling pumped!
My record setting 40 km ride, as per the wisdom of Garmin Connect, was set exactly one week prior. Something about Fridays perhaps? I don’t know, but the conditions felt right for a crack at breaking that 1:11:00 barrier again. What you feel on the bike and what the computer tells you afterwards are often quite different. I thought my outrun had been faster than last week, but I was clearly wrong.
In fact I was slower by over 1 1/2 km/h. Thinking back to last week, the wind was not as strong, which is reflected in the speeds of each segment. The headwind kept me to a modest 32.1 km/h as compared to the 33.7 km/h from last Friday. The ‘fun’ segment corroborated this with this past Friday’s average return speed a healthy 36.0 km/h vs. only 34.7 km/h the week prior. So, yeah, it was windier this last go around and as I did not manage to keep a slightly higher average on the opening stint, it cost me the record.
Or was it the wind? I don’t think so. Here’s the thing. I like to take pictures, and not just pictures of the scenery as I whoosh by. I also like to take pictures of myself on the bike. I am not going to get into what that says about me, we don’t have time for a full psychological analysis, but I can admit that the process of taking a self-shot whilst riding does remove focus from the task at hand.
You can see that I finished the same route 3 seconds slower. Only 3 bloody seconds! All that effort: the leg-burning, lung-searing pain I pushed through, believing I had it in the bag. All for nought, because I took this:
I must have thirty different (but the same) versions of this shot, and here I was going for number thirty-one. As my good friend @Andy_Wheatley pointed out when I tweeted something about Chris Boardman and the level of focus required to break records: