This week brought a new fear to the training, namely that sometimes some things break. Towards the end of last weeks ride in the hills I noticed a pretty loud and weird clicking noise from somewhere at the back of my bike. To be honest this noise has existed for a while but i’ve never been able to find the cause.  On Monday I decided to have a proper look, I took off the rear wheel, slightly turned the axle on the opposite side to the gear cassette and within about half a second the gear cassette fell off and liberally sprinkled ball-bearings everywhere around the flat. We are still finding them.

I spent about two hours on Monday evening trying to put the thing together again, getting mad at myself for even going near the bike. I was very grumpy at Philippa when she showed more concern about the mess in the flat than the sad state of my bike. I eventually conceded this might be beyond my limited skills and went to the local bike shop and after looking at it for all of 3 seconds showed me a bit of metal that had sheared off. This made me even more grumpier – my plan doesn’t have days were I can just not do something, every other day is a bike day. Luckily I have some friends who know a thing or two about bikes and after a cheeky request I have borrowed a wheel, training only interrupted for a day (They also loaned me a waterproof jacket, thank you Jerry and Viv!).

… It has made me worry a little about what happens if this happens on the day, but thats an issue i’ll try to put to the back of my mind for now…

Otherwise training has been pretty fun again this week. I discovered I could use my Garmin (which I bought secondhand off a friend years ago and has had a new lease of life as a cycle computer) as navigation tool. I downloaded a route off the Manchester wheelers website and very quickly found myself on some very steep hills in Derbyshire without getting lost once. I was supposed to do 2 hours cycling, but i’m getting concerned the plan starts with you being a decent cyclist – i’m not – and so i’m adding in extra, I did near 3 hours this week.

I also added in a circuit session at lunchtime on Wednesday in the car park at work. It has hurt me. A lot. It was 4 days ago and I still feel sore. I had a good swim session on Sunday night – I got moved up a lane (a very proud moment for me) and into a lane where as far as I can tell, they just try to punish you. I felt like i’d been beaten up by the time I dragged myself out of the pool. For about half the session though I got into a pretty happy rhythm and finally felt like I turned a bit of a corner with my technique – admittedly it fell apart completely in the last hour where I must have looked a little like I was drowning but that’s ok, normally I look like that for the whole session.

As usual, the actual details of what I did this week are here.