Upping the pace. Well, trying.

After Sunday’s ride I felt I ought to go out a couple of times with the aim of upping my pace a bit. Here’s where I went last night:

It started well. Even with a few stops and starts for traffic lights through Hitchin and Letchworth my average speed was showing as a whopping 16mph at about the eight mile mark. That’s huge for me.

But just look what happens to the altitude chart after eight miles. That climb was a whopper by my standards and although I made it to the top it was mostly at a snail’s pace, and my average never did recover. By the time I got home I was back to my more normal range of just under 14mph. I know from last year that we have a lot of hills like that between London and Paris. And worse.

Ah, well.

It was also my first outing with my new (borrowed) Garmin 705. (I’m good at this borrowing lark. I’m riding a borrowed bike, have just upgraded from a borrowed Garmin 305 to a borrrowed  Garmin 705. Oh, and I had a borrowed iPhone 3GS in my pocket. Which some time ago took the place of a borrowed iPod Touch.) Anyway, the 705 seems to do a whole lot more than the 305 did, but I can’t say I’ve worked out how to use it yet.

I’d managed to get one of my previous routes onto it with the intention of following that and comparing times. Sure enough, it shows me a lovely map and marks my position so I can follow it.  Or I found a compass mode which showed me which way to point at any given time. But to use that I had to slow down considerably as I approached each junction lest I shot past a turning before it pointed me in the right direction.

Before getting halfway round the route, however, I worked out that it would be dark before I got home if I just kept going, so left the course (“Off Course” it kept telling me) and headed home. Stopping at the top of that hill, I took the opportunity to have a play with the new gadget, and was delighted to discover that you can program it just like a car sat-nav (albeit using a fiddly input system) so I pumped in my home address to see which way it would take me. Not only did it take me home a pretty sensible route, but just like my TomTom in the car (not borrowed) it actually gave my directions in advance of turnings. So much easier to follow!

Why I didn’t get those turn-by-turn directions when I was following the course I’d uploaded, I have no idea.

Maybe I need to find the manual…

No wonder I'm knackered. Let's hope it's downhill home from here!
No wonder I was knackered…



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