Saturday, 12 May 2012

May 2012 - Road Bikes and Time trials

The first week of the month, despite only riding it for 20 miles, I entered the Witham Wheelers 10 mile Time Trial on the new road bike!

The conditions were pretty rough, with swirling wind, fog , wet and poor visibility it was a baptism of fire to this new sport!  I wasn't sure how much quicker the road bike would be than the mountain bike but was pleasantly surprised to end with a time of 30 minutes 34 secs.  This placed me 19th from a field of 28 riders which I was well pleased with overall.

The Time Trial Format is often called the race of truth..... its physically and mentally hard!   But I really enjoyed it!  I can see myself doing much more of this!

March / April 2012 Injury and a new bike!

March started with me going snowboarding to Chamonix where I managed to clock up just a touch under 40mph before a fall ended up with me being injured!  I was in severe pain breaking ribs!

The broken ribs were painful riding, but I still managed to keep up a reasonable amount of riding with over 250 miles recorded in March - my biggest month yet!

There were a couple of longer rides this month with a 33 mile and a 40 mile ride - my longest yet!  the end of the month saw my 10 mile best drop by a massive 3 minutes to 39 mins 33 secs - sub 40 minutes was quite an achievement on a mountain bike!

April saw more of the same, starting off with a 52 mile ride keeping up a 12 mph average! I was keeping up good mileage helped by the lighter evenings encouraging me out.  Towards the end of the month I was out riding and went up to the Witham Wheelers cycle route where I thought I would complete the 10 mile route just out of interest to see what time I would get......  with the 10 mile route being straight I managed to set another new best 10 mile time!  Now down to 35 mins 59 secs!   When i compared my times against the following weeks Time trial riders ( on road bikes) amazingly I wouldn't have been last!

This little taste of time trial type riding sparked an interest in a road bike and a few days later there I was in Pedal Pushers cycle shop...... and coming out a few hundred pounds lighter with a Felt Road bike!

The new Road Bike

Riding the road bike was totally different to the mountain bike!  Not having ever ridden one before they are very light and very twitchy in the handling! 

I ended April with a few miles on the road bike, bringing the months total to 235 recorded miles!

February 2012 Final MTB race of Winter Series

February was my first month with over 200 miles recorded on Endomondo.

Once again I was building up to the end of the month and the final round of the Whyte Winter Series at Thetford.  Early in the month I had dropped my 10 miles best down by another minute to 43 min 6 secs.

The Final race was held in really bright sun and it was almost like summer!   Short sleeve jerseys and shorts were the order of the day!

I made a schoolboy error in my warm up as I did about 2 miles round the course, before intending a short cut back to the main arena..... unfortunately it all looks the same in the depth of the forest and somehow I took a wrong turn, compounded it with another and was soon totally disorientated and after asking someone with a map I realised I was on the other side of the forest !  I tried to memorise his map and set off hotfooting it back about 3 miles (!) arriving back with literally 2 minutes to spare having completed 9 miles!

I didn't have time to get a drink and must admit I started off a bit tired having effectively already completed more than a lap!

This course was faster and sweeping and I really enjoyed several swoopy sections where I found I could make up time well. The bombholes were a bit daunting being clipped in, but I managed to stay on ... just!

This time I was 13th of 30 competitors with two 34 minute laps.  i was very tired at the end, but was dead pleased to have kept to a consistent time for both laps at a similar pace

Once the Overall points for the seasons races were published I was really pleased to end the winter in 6th place overall from 54 competitors.  really pleased to have achieved that in my first taste of competitive cycling

Monday, 7 May 2012

January 2012 - New 10 mile PB's

The first week in January I did the Forever Aloe Vera Clean9 Detox program.  This involves a diet of Aloe Vera gel and bee pollen (!) and for the last 6 days just a single small meal of 600 calories.....  thats right.... just one small meal of 'proper food' per day... and NO other food for the first 2 days!

The Clean9 program left me considerably thinner ( 40mm off each thigh - 35mm off chest ) and 9 lbs lighter.  You would be forgiven for thinking that lack of food would leave you weak, but once past the 4-5 day mark its quite the opposite.  You get lots of nutrients and proteins from the aloe products - all you need!  You actually feel powerful.... not energetic or hyper in a Red Bull kind of way.... but powerful.  On days 5 and 6 both myself and Lee my business partner ( who was also doing the program at the same time)  set new personal bests out riding1

I was doing a few 10 mile rides.... not flat out as such but just trying to gradually increase pace.  My 10 mile time fell to 46 minutes and in the middle of the month I did a full loop of Rutland Water ( 22 miles ) in 1 hour 53 mins which as around 25 minutes quicker than the first time I did it at the end of summer 2010.  On the 19th I dropped my 10 miles time again to 44 minutes dead.

I was gearing my training towards the last weekend of the month and Round 3 of the Thetford Winter Series. The weather for this one was flipping cold!  We started off in temperatures of minus 3 degrees but once underway it soon warmed up!  This being my third race I was starting to feel a little more at home.  we were starting and finishing at the same place as Round 1 - albeit with a different route in between!  The last few hundred yards are a bit of a drag up a long hill after doing part of an uphill section called rather fittingly the 'plum buster' !

This was my first race clipped into the pedals.... which resulted in two crashes in the second lap.  One was when I caught a tree stump which flicked me up, and the second was when the guy in front of me ran out of steam on an uphill section and I had no chance to unclip so fell on top of him still attached to the bike!

Being clipped into the pedals definitely helps overall with pedalling power and efficiency, but does mean that you can't just dab a foot down or even jump off if you're in trouble!

Theres a great video made by one of the teams competing which gives a good idea of what its all about.

Unfortunately with 500 riders competing I wasn't caught on camera!  But its been really well put together and filmed.  I really enjoyed the race and actually felt pretty strong at the end and in the last 500 yards gritted my teeth and passed 3 riders , one from my own class and the other two from the 2 hour race.

I was 12th in my class from 39 starters, so was quite pleased with that!

The total logged mileage for the month was 163, so with un tracked miles the monthly total would again have been probably just under 200 miles