Posts Tagged ‘cycling’

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.

Yorkshire Duathlon

Monday, April 26th, 2021 | Sport

Racing is back! Last weekend, we headed up to Croft Motor Racing Circuit for the Yorkshire Duathlon. There were both a sprint and standard distance race that formed the national championship. Amy and I did the standard distance that is a 10-kilometre run, 40-kilometre bike and final 5-kilometre run.

The field was competitive and hundreds of people came running past me on the start straight. I wondered if I was going too slowly but my first kilometre came in at 4:10 and I held this throughout the first run section averaging 4:13 per kilometre. When I went through the 5-kilometre mark I realised I could easily run a 10k PB, and possibly take the family 10k PB as well. Alas, the run course came up 100 metres short on my Garmin so I cannot in good conscience count it.

Running so fast was a continuous decision to sacrifice the rest of my race and I collapsed over the barrier in T1. Luckily I managed to recover well enough to put in a sub-80 bike split. The final run was dogged by a stitch but I still managed a 23:09 for a course that measured a little over 5 kilometres so I was happy with that.

Disapline Time
Run 1 00:41:41
T1 02:06.2
Bike 01:17:00
T2 01:59.4
Run 2 00:23:09
Total 02:25:5

Amy put in a smashing performance that won her age group, including a sub-39 minute first run and sub-70 minute bike.

Racing on the motor circuit was excellent: the super-smooth tarmac and generous width really contrast with riding on the roads. There are constant pot holes to dodge and bumpy toad surfaces that make getting down on the aero bars unpleasant. There was none of this on the motor circuit which was as smooth as can be. It was a joy to cycle on.

The organisation by TriHard was very good.

Ring Road virtual challenge

Sunday, April 25th, 2021 | Sport

Earlier this month I finished cycling around Iceland, virtually. It took around two months so I think I might start doing some of the longer Conqueror challenges on the bike so that I get more out of my money! The medal is really nice: not only does it have a cool design on the front but the runic wheel on the back spins around.

Route 66 virtual challenge

Monday, February 22nd, 2021 | Sport

Since June, I have been cycling along a virtual Route 66. Earlier this month, I finally finished it. At 3,670 km, I had set myself a year to finish it. It’s been with me like a trusted companion all this time. On to Iceland next!

Weight loss goals

Sunday, February 14th, 2021 | Health & Wellbeing

You msy think that Ironman training is great for weight loss. But training so heavily makes you ravenous, and I like to eat plenty in the first six months as I am attempt to build muscle and get stronger. Then the next three months is race season and I am busy having fun. That leaves the final few months of the year for weight loss.

This means dieting through Christmas which is always a pain. But this year has gone extra well and I made it through the festive period without any cheat days. This wasn’t easy, for me or Venla. I started Christmas Day with a two-hour run to pre-burn all of the calories and El Junior was not impressed at having to wait to open her presents.

But, earlier this month I hit my weight goal and it proves promising for going up hills faster. An FTP test suggests I am still the cyclist I was last year (4 watts down, so negligable) but seven kilos down from October. My time up the climb in Innsbrook (29:37) beat my previous time by three minutes. Although it should be noted that I am now riding a Specialized Shiv Disc with DT Swiss wheels, rather than stock Zwift frame and wheels.

Zwift bike unlocks

Friday, February 12th, 2021 | Sport

January has been awful. I haven’t taken my bike outside since Christmas Eve. But it’s been good for Zwift. I’ve finally reached level 18 and unlocked the Specialized Shiv Disc TT bike. I also completed the Everest challenge (not all at once) and unlocked the Trek Emonda. Onwards to the Tron bike!

Alba jersey

Sunday, December 20th, 2020 | Sport

Last year, I joined local cycling club Alba Rosa. I didn’t ride with them during the winter as I can’t put mudguards on my aero bike and I don’t have a winter bike. And I mainly joined for the TT races. But by the time summer arrived, we were belly deep in COVID and everything we cancelled.

So, I haven’t actually done anything with the club. But I did want a Pactimo jersey, so when the club shop opened, I decided I should at least enjoy the membership benefit of being able to buy club gear.

It’s winter so I haven’t had a chance to try it yet (it’s Gabba temperatures at the moment). But when summer comes, it will be rice to swap out my poorly-designed HPH jersey with my this one.

Endura FS260 rain cape review

Thursday, November 26th, 2020 | Reviews, Video

The Endura FS260 is a rain cape designed for cycling. Capes are lightweight and stuff into your jersey pocket when you are not wearing them, so you can set off with it in your pocket knowing that if it starts raining you will be able to pull another layer on.

In my opinion, the FS260 is a great option. It’s far below the super-expensive Gortex £300 options, and if you pick the correct colour (some are cheaper than others) you can get it for less than £50.

It does a good job of protecting me from the rain, although will not keep me dry in heavy showers. It also does a good job at keeping my warm and I often take it as an alternative to arm warmers.

The back covers my jersey pockets to keep everything dry.

The sleeves are a little long and it is not skin-tight, so if you are in a race situation, you are going to cause a fair bit of drag compared to something like a Gabba jersey.

Overall, highly recommended for cyclists, and it works well when running, too.

Best winter cycling socks

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020 | Reviews, Video

How do you keep your feet warm during winter cycling? In this video, I will compare regular socks with the Pactimo wool winter socks and Rapha winter socks, as well as discussing what else I do to keep my feet warm when the temperature gets down towards zero.