New bike - road chain ring rather than compact. Get out and up those hills...
2 weekends ago I wussed out on my usual 3 hills route. Hill 1 - Staple Lane; long and tough. Hill 2 - Crocknorth; sharp and short. Hill 3 - Box Hill; long, easy and a bit boring. I wussed out up Crocknorth the first time I hit it. My new Cervelo S5 has a road chain set rather than a compact one, which means my gearing is higher than I'm used to, so it's harder to get up steep hills as you run out of gears to help you. There's a pull-in about 1/5 up Crocknorth where you can give up, get off and walk (which I did the weekend I got hypothermia). I pulled in there and then had a talking to myself, got back on my bike and went back down to the bottom to do it again! Drawing level with the optional bail-out point again I was thinking about how to bail until I ran out of time to make the choice, it was too late and I had to keep on trucking up the hill. Powering up as best I could I was full of negative thoughts; the problem was not in the legs but in the head. I'd got up Staple Lane, up the second rise after the false summit in 2nd gear (usually I do it in 1st on a lower gearing), so of course there was nothing wrong with my legs.
The following weekend I went out on my old bike, the Fuji and there I was, getting up Wimbledon hill in the big ring; twice in 15 minutes. My legs are definitely gaining in power.
Today... out on the hills route again and I decided to mash it up the hills as best I could on the Cervelo with the tougher gearing.
And oh *boy* did I mash it! PBs on all the hills, PBs on big sections of the route and 20 minutes quicker than the last time I rode the route.
Very happy with that.
Definitely getting stronger.
Better than a poke in the eye...