Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Roughride cometh

With just under 2 weeks to go until Roughride I was starting to worry that I haven't trained enough but then I started thinking back to what I have done this year.  I have ridden through appaling conditions, deep mud, rain, wind, 29 degree temperatures and ice.  I have climbed over 15,000 feet and the other weekend went out and rode 26 miles in the Clewyds which resulted in approximately 4,000 feet of climbing with fellow North Cheshire Clarion rider Jason.

I have ridden both on Singletrack, Wide open forest trails, climbed up technical climbs and decended at over 40mph down some interesting surfaces.  In all that I've only had one puncture and a couple of interesting offs which have resulted in bruses, cuts and a damged ego.  

Am I ready?  Well after all that I better had be!!!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Time Trial Hell

Well I finally decided to cave in and join the TT revolution with a few of the other North Cheshire Clarion riders.  The course was a 8.75 mile route from the Kilton Pub on the A50 and I was warned that it was slightly undulating.  I warmed up for a good 10 / 15 minutes riding up and down the lanes around the route before heading down to the start lane.  Getting there about 5 minutes before my allocated start time and I was really nervous(in fact so nervous I had to nip to the bushes).  I lined up behind my club mate Matt Ellis with no idea what to expect and seeing Matt go the nerves hit.  I rolled forward onto the chalk start line and was held up by the starter, having never had this done before it was very very strange so much I forgot to let the brakes off and got told off. 

As I was counted down I clipped in and set myself up for what was about to come.  3.....2......1 GO and i'm off.  My club mates had warned me about the start and not to go off at full speed because of the route climbing shortly after.  Did I listen?  Of course not and Boom I'm off 23 mph on my speedo legs spinning like crazy, heart rate rising and body temp going up.  I get down onto the newly fitted tri bars and quickly came back off them as I really didn't feel safe on them.  I am on the drops and i've hit the hill speed starts slowing but im willing my legs to keep going.  As I crest the hill my legs are starting to hurt and my chest is tight. I keep pushing hard and get to the half way point at an average of 23mph.  I stop pedaling, turn into the roundabout, straighten up and start to pedal again.  Well I say start to pedal, when I had stopped pedaling my legs had seized up with lactic acid and it was hurting.

I buried the pain back and started to climb, my speed dropped to 13mph and i was gutted to be frank.  Soon my club mate John came past as I'm struggling up the hill.  Seeing him come past made me dig in and try to minimise my loss.  The last half went by in a blur not helped with a strong headwind.  As I came towards the finish line I pushed hard and buried myself to try and get a few more seconds off my time.  As I shouted my number to the finishing time marshals my legs packed in and I ended up coasting towards the turn round point. 

My time 26 minutes 24 Seconds with an Average of 19.89mph.

I loved it but it hurt.  Will I do it again? Of course I will I now want a TT bike

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Cycling and Stress Relief

When I first started cycling I never thought of the additional health benefits other than fitness and weight loss.  I am one of those people who tends to get stressed very quickly and with quite a stressful job I needed an outlet.  Riding with a group of friends either on the road or on a mountain / trail centre I found that I forget what has been bothering me for a while.  There is nothing like looking out over a mountain range where you and your mates are the only ones there to have a positive effect on your outlook. 

Social riding within a group also has huge benefits to ones mental health.  The concentration levels needed to follow a wheel while having a chat to another rider means that you can forget all the worries and stress that has built up over the week. 

So as the sun is shining and we have just had the warmest April since records began dust off your cycling gear and head outside......