Unfortunately this success has coincided with probabably my poorest Spring preparation in many a year. In the end there is only myself to blame but there are mitigating circumstances. Firstly the weather. Our recent winter has been a bit of a double whammy; roads too icey for long rides in the Dales and the best ice climbing conditions for decades. As a resurgent ice climber after a twenty year abscence this has been a difficult temptation to resist and unfortunately for my bike fitness I haven't! So with trips to Cogne, the Ben, Lakes and Font (the latter bouldering not ice climbing!) my bike fitness has suffered.
Add to this a fieldtrip with work combined with a cold the week before and things are looking none too promising. Time for some technological assistance in the form of a compact chainset. The idea struck as I churned up the Coal Road at Garsdale Head in the Dales on my 3 Peaks cross bike, that 34 ring was making things a whole lot more pleasant! A hunt round the various interweb vendors turned up a Centaur compact (alloy, it had to be alloy to be fitted to 'Pinkie' no carbon!) at a decent price. A painless fitting, chain shortened, and fully fledged jessiedom beckons.
Just like modern ice axes and pro allows me to climb at a similar level to my younger fitter self I'm hoping the compact will compensate for a lack of 'legs'.
If nothing else I've pre placed my excuse ;-)