Sunday, 15 August 2010

Hilly 100

We rode the best part of the 'old' Harp Hilly 100 today, with a few extra nasty climbs chucked in for good measure.
The idea was to help my mate back to fitness, and help me towards my 3 Peaks training. Though at some point in the ride just after climbing over the Crong* I sat up and said - "what's the ****ing point of this, I'm not worried about the riding it's the walking I'm terrified of". He just looked at me and we rode on in silence, like you do when one of you has the hump.
We clocked up 93 miles of the best hilly stuff around in a very good time even though we weren't pushing it. Actually I've recently discovered that if I ease off a tad I get around my known routes in the same time as I do when I go for it. I can only assume that the steadier pace means less recovery sections. I know I feel much better at the end of the rides now, and as I'm not racing road anymore I don't need to push it any further.

* The Crong, a section of tight country lane near Dancers End that crosses the Ridgeway just off the old A41. It used to be a well known club hill climb in the seventies.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

The Grand Union

This little gem is proving a great alternative to roads as a route to my cyclo cross riding areas. The Grand Union is less than 1/4 mile from my front door. If I turn right I can cycle it to the start of my Woburn ride. If I go left it'll take me to the Beacon and Ashridge or a little further on and it'll land me near Wendover and the home of Aston Hill.
Tempted to get the Kayak out on it.

3Peaks Training goes with a bang!

Not only is my cross bike looking damn ugly in it's 3 Peaks guise, the thing decided to blow up today - or blow a rim off anyway.
Prior to that I had cycled the Grand Union canal before hitting the road and climbing up the rufty tufty side of Ivinghoe Beacon. I was hoping the Beacon would provide a good training spot for hike a bike work and fast descents, but the area is still a bit too lame to really test yourself.
I have now come to the conclusion that I'll never be prepared for the terrain based on what I have locally. And that my only chance of doing remotely well lays with the racing fitness I gained earlier this year?
I also had my first practice of running with a shouldered bike. Earlier attempts had proven painful, but a survival bag taped into the corner of the diamond helped a great deal - though it didn't help with the looks. If my bike could talk it would be saying 'What have you done to me'
Anyway after four hours of riding and fettling my rear rim blew, and as I was returning along the Grand Union I didn't know which way to go to find the nearest bridge and road. So I turned my mishap into another hike a bike running session. I got to a bridge and called the missus.
Just as I was thinking the day wasn't that bad a bastard Wasp stung me on the leg.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

3 Peaks is on.

I'm in. At this stage I don't know how to approach my training, so thus far I'm just riding as much as I can, and on the crosser if possible. I've mucked about with set up, but in reality the cross bike really isn't cut out for an event such as the 3 Peaks. I've tried several brake and pad combinations, but the best I can get is a gentle slowing down! I'm happy with Landcruisers as my rubber, they're very meaty-beaty-big n bouncy, plus I've added Cinelli gel pads to my bars......what more can I do?
I still need new shoes, gloves and a race Camelbak, ££££££'s.
Although I probably shouldn't have, I've quit the road season. The racing is simply boring now we can't get on the open road. I am still giving it the berries when I can on the road bike though.
So with speed work on the road covered, 'skilz' on the MTB and base work on the crosser I should be okay.
Still it's not going to be easy hauling my heavy old frame up the Fells.