Posts Tagged ‘cycling’

Big Fat Bike Ride

Thursday, May 19th, 2022 | Sport

The Big Fat Bike Ride is a sportive organised by clothing brand Fat Lad At The Back. Bogdan and I did the same event back in 2018 when it was known as Up North Yorkshire sportive.

Last time we took it easy with the 40k route; this time I pushed onto the 80k one. Still fairly short all things being considered. It was well worth it. beyond Kettlewell is when the scenery really gets beautiful. The route was similar to the White Rose Classic which is probably the most beautiful sportive I’ve done.

it is a lumpy route: no big climbs but no real flat either. I felt much better on the bike than I did at Tadcaster sportive and was able to put out an extra 20 Watts of average power which is a good confidence boost with the triathlon season arriving.

I also made a video about it:

Tadcaster sportive

Friday, April 15th, 2022 | Sport

The Tadcaster Sportive starts in Tadcaster (surprisingly) and heads out for two unique loops on the 60k route and three unique loops on the 100k. It is flat for the first 60k with all of the climbing crammed into the final 40.

Having not taken my bike outside for about six months, I wasn’t sure how well I would hold up riding 100k. The answer was okay, but not great. I got around fine but my power numbers were low and my average moving speed was only 22.9 kph: not the kind of speed I am wanting to hit in Copenhagen! Good fun, though, and lovely to be riding outside again.

Ven-Top

Monday, March 21st, 2022 | Sport

Yesterday I completed the Mont Ventoux climb on Zwift. At over 1,500 metres, it is the biggest climb in the game and significantly higher than the Alpe du Zwift.

But more importantly, it means I’ve completed all of the routes in France. My goal was to complete everything in Innsbrook, France and New York by spring. Yesterday was the first day of spring, so technically I missed it by 18 hours. But I’m pretty happy nonetheless as I’ve also completed all but three of the Makuri Islands routes (at least two of which were only added since I started the challenge). Plus I’ve done everything in London except PRL full, which is not on my to-do list because 8 hours turbo trainer sounds utterly miserable.

Brownlee track day

Tuesday, February 15th, 2022 | Sport

I organised a track day for the club. Unfortunately, even for what as been a pretty miserable winter, the weather was miserable. My Stolen Goat jacket promised it was “practically waterproof” and really needed to be heavy rain to get through the untaped seems. But I had massage wet patches on my shoulders by the time I got home. Thanks Ally for for turning up!

Appalachian Trail virtual challenge

Thursday, October 21st, 2021 | Sport

For the past six months, I’ve been cycling along the Appalachian Trail virtually. After 90 rides and 3,168 kilometres covered, I’ve finished! This was the longest Conqueror challenge until they added Pacific Crest and the last one I have on the go. Time to give my legs a break, I think!

Tour de France 2021

Thursday, July 29th, 2021 | Sport

The story of this year’s Tour de France was Mark Cavendish. Why? For two reasons. On is Cavendish’s amazing comeback. After years of trying to recover from Epstein–Barr and everyone writing him off, he returned to form to win four stages at The Tour.

This is particularly notable because it equalled the long-standing record of Eddy Merckx for the most Tour de France stage victories. This is a huge achievement for anyone but Cavendish wasn’t even supposed to be at the tour: he was only added to the Deceuninck–Quick-Step when Sam Bennett pulled out.

The second reason that this year’s tour was all about Cavendish was that Tadej Pogačar crushed everyone in the general classification. He finished with a gap of 5:20. In the past 20 years, the only other rider to win by more than five minutes was Vincenzo Nibali in 2014.

White Rose Classic

Friday, July 2nd, 2021 | Sport

The White Rose Classic is an annual sportive organised by Ilkley Cycling Club. I chose to do the medium route but it was still a challenge: only 133 kilometres of riding but with over 2,300 metres of climbing along the way.

It took me six hours to get around the course. This divided into three parts. The first two hours were a sociable ride with other riders around as we headed over some familiar roads to Grassington. Most riders then split onto a different route and I didn’t see anyone else for an hour. This was lovely: the roads between Grassington and Settle are beautiful and I had them mostly to myself. The final two hours were hard. I was empty, despite munching my way through 2,000 kcals, and it was a case of getting my head down and suffering for the final 50 kilometres.

I was very pleased to get back, especially as they were serving hot food to all competitors. Nice preop for Outlaw in four weeks time. We did have timing chips but I am not sure what happened to those as they do not seem to have published any results, so I am using my Garmin edge for numbers.

Here is a comparison to the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire which had a similar profile.

Stat White Rose CLassic Tour de Yorkshire
Distance 132.71 km 123.24 km
Climbing 2,341 m 2,384 m
Moving time 5:46:39 6:21:44
Average moving speed 23.0 kph 19.4 kph

Also, I may have a new least favourite climb: High High Road out of the back of Settle goes up to 15%+ and then just stays there for ages. At least it made Lang Bar feel easy by comparison.

Cycle Sense TT: Tadcaster

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021 | Sport

I finally made it to a second Cycle Sense TT last week! It did not go well. But it could have gone way worse.

it was a Thursday evening and the skies were grey with a chance of rain. However, I don’t have any clear or photochromatic sunglasses. Do not blame me! I have spent nine months trying to find a way to get a pair of Smith Attack MAG or Roka R1s but neither of them supplies their full range to the UK. I am not big fan of the Oakley look and Rapha do not do clear lenses. What am I supposed to do?

As a result, I decided to race with no glasses. However, as I started, the rain came down and got quite heavy halfway through. I was struggling to see so I reached into my pocket to pull my sunglasses out. This combined with my second piece of poor planning: keep my car keys in the same pocket. They came out with them and fell into the middle of the road. Luckily, the cars behind me missed them. But I had to stop, take my bike off the course, run back, recover my keys, get back to my bike and get back onto the road and up to speed again.

This added a lot of additional time on and I ended up with:

29:56

Two minutes slower than my first TT. Said performance earned me the lanterne rouge, placing 20th out of 20 riders and a full 1:29 behind the person in 19th. My power numbers were similar to the last time so I may well have come last even without said incident. And it is not like I crashed or got hurt, you know, beyond the bruised ego from it happening right in front of the photographer! He was very nice about it.

Daffodils sportive 2020

Friday, May 28th, 2021 | Sport

Daffodils sportive is a Velo29 event that starts in Thirsk. It usually takes place in March, when the daffodils are out, but has been delayed for the past two years. Bogdan and I did the short route in October and decided to come back this May for the medium route.

Bogdan was made significant gains over the winter and his FTP is now much higher than mine. This was evident on the climbs that he powered up while staying in the saddle. I was worried I would be holding him back (and maybe I was!) but we got around without issue and my endurance came in helpful towards the end of the ride as I was still feeling pretty good.

I say “without issue” but I did lose a cleat bolt. This has happened a few times so it is definitely not me failing to tighten it correctly as I checked it after each incident. I had the mechanic tighten it at one of the feed stops and luckily it held in place for the rest of the ride.

We are clearly faster. The 2021 event was 65 km with 863 metres of climbing and we averaged 23.7 kph. The medium route was 120 km with 1,682 of climbing, so roughly double both, and we averaged 24.6 kph (0.9 kph faster). My average power was 18 watts higher while my average heart rate was 13 bpm lower, suggesting my fitness has improved.

We were very lucky with the weather. It was predicted to be wet and I came in full rain gear. But barely a drop fell the whole time. We were able to sit down on the grass with our sausage in a bun at the end and relax. And yet, by the time we got back on the motorway to go home, I had to slow down to 45 mph because visibility was so poor due to the heavy rain. Perfect timing!

Cycle Sense TT

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 | Sport

Back in 2019, I joined Alba Rosa with the intention of taking part in some cycling time trials. Then COVID happened and everything was cancelled. Thankfully, it appears that we are on our way out of the pandemic, and last week I finally got to try my hand.

I was second to start and second to finish with an overall place of 32 out of 37. Happy with all of that. This was my first time trial and over the 10 miles, I averaged 34.6 kph. There was no wind and the course was flat and straight so it was easy to stay aero. I think it will take a while before I really dial my effort in.