Wednesday, 30 May 2012

LVRC race 29th May

A hot headed affair this one. Got caught in a huge crash that forced me onto the grass. Tim punctured and had to run back for a spare wheel.
Then finally we got moving. Both Tim and myself doing more than our share of work in the chasing group.
Sadly I was put out by a packed rider just after the hour, but I didn't end up hurt like the others he took out.
Very happy with our efforts - 'Die trying'
Tim in the office
Ready to roll

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Colchester Utd, turbos, Amy, racing, lactic, wind & cobwebs

No excuse for an Amy piccy needed
Well I've just concluded a good week of riding after my longest period off the bike in years.
It all started with a trip to Colchester United for a works 5 a side tournament. Now footy and cycling aren't the best of bedfellows, so I took care to take care! Though sadly I woke the next day with stiff legs. Not a brilliant way to be with a crit coming up a day later.
So there's only one thing for it, a nice easy hour on the tubos with the lovely Ms Winehouse for comapany - total babe. She did it, she eased my pains.
Tuesday, the day of the race went as good as it could at work - not always the case. I managed to get down several litres of electrolyte drink, and half a litre of caffeine enhanced energy drink on the way to the race.
The race itself was an LVRC race on the full circuit at the National Bowl. The full circuit suits me as it has several tough corners, something that suits cyclocrosser like myself. Anyhow the race was a fast but controlled affair, as is often the case when the 'old' boys are racing. I managed to finish in the main bunch, and only had one incident when a lapped rider from the 'A/B' race fell back and took my line, leaving me to chase hard to avoid being shelled out. Overall I'm pretty happy. I actually feel more worried about backing it up with another ride this week.
I took a day out the following day. And rode Thursday with Nick-No-Balance. This was meant to be an easy affair, but my legs were heavy with lactic and I struggled round the two hour ride.
The next ride was Saturday. My first ride of 2012 in the sun and in shorts! again this was meant to be steady, long but steady. Going out I felt great cruising over 23mph. Turning for the very long stint to Redbourn I found out why - headwind. I had a battle on my hands just to keep going. The wind was ferocious. Sections I'd normally blast in the 53 ring had me grovelling in my climbing gears. By Ivinghoe Beacon I was actually swearing out loud at the weather. I was also dreading the long uphill return leg, and spent the remainder of the ride making calculations on what roads to take so I could take advantage of a tailwind out of Redbourn. Of course being as brilliant as I am it worked, and I had a long 'no chain' ride all the way back.
Still it hadn't done much to alleviate the lactic issue! Therefore I decided to take steadiest option on our Sunday club ride, a nice sunny ride to Stony for coffee. We stopped off at Costa in Stony and met the medium pace group as agreed. Costa was an interesting interlude as I was getting eyed up by a middle aged woman checking out my package. Looking down I could see that the padding in my shorts had slipped, but rather than adjust  myself I left it so and gave her a wink on the way out.
Going home in the sun was a treat. Then I noticed something. 'Iain, no offense mate, I'm not saying we're going slow, but you've got a cobweb on ya back' he actually did. Piss taking ****ing spider.
So all ready for Tuesdays crit, and no pressure even with most the club on marshaling duties for the day.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

The Globe Sportive

Okay so we're all doing this on Sunday. What time are we meeting? No problem, meet at 8.00am. 'It starts at 8.00am' Okay then 7.45am. 'Thought it was 7.30am'. 'That's what I thought'. Let's call it 7.45am. Deal.
We arrived at the start just in time to watch everyone leaving! After signing on we finally set off at gone 8.30am. Three of us are doing the 60 miles and the rest of the club are riding the 25 miler. The three of us doing the 60 set off just ahead, that's Tim, Paul and myself.
Settling into the ride is pretty easy, it's nippy but the wind is non existent so we can press on without working the legs. Both Tim and myself are racing two days later so we have to keep it in the pants all day.
The route is unknown to us, but we predict hills. I don't know Pete who has organized this ride all that well, but I do know he is old skool and isn't going to ponce about with main roads - that suits me just fine.
Actually I saw Pete sweeping up near Eggington and nearly missed my marker!
So as predicted we set off for the Brickhills. First up was an easy warm up on the Three Locks climb (you missed a classic up Braggenham Lane Pete) Once over the top it's a fast section to Aspley Woods with a long trudge up to the start of the Bow Brickhill climb. It's a bugger of a climb, but I once raced up it on a fixed wheel during a club hill climb so any gears make it easier in my mind.
The next section covers some of my favorite local riding through Aspley Woods and Stockgrove Park, narrow twisty forest lined lanes. It's at Stockgrove that we meet Toni and Rob. Toni is on her first organized ride and looked comfortable, Rob looked freezing.
Next up was 'Paris Roubaix Hill' It's on this climb that Paul takes off leaving Tim and myself to knock out some easy miles with tailwind assistance. It's on this section after PR Hill that we drop all the riders that had been tailing us, and in the distance I can see Paul turn back to Eggington.
It gives us time to reflect on the fact that this is about the longest two team jerseys have ever rode together without a gap?
Back to the ride. somehow we catch Paul who in turn has caught two 'Team Sky' riders on full blown TT machines.But as we near they notice and hunker down into their Tri Bars and pull away. Yeah I'd be pissed if two old boys on training bikes had caught me riding hardware like that.
Next we meander through the villages, past the 25 cut off and to the start of Bison Hill. Rather disappointingly Bison Hill was pretty easy today, probably due to keeping the pace steady. From here we go through Studham  and descend Pedley Hill. At the bottom of Pedley Hill we catch up with Tony. Tony informs us that Paul has stopped off at the café for some protein. He could have waited for cake at the finish (there's a private joke in there) We ride with Tony up the next climb to Deer Leap, through Ashridge and down Toms Hill into Aldbury. I'm sure I heard a little 'Parp; when he realized he needed his brakes on the fast gravely bend at the bottom - reminded me of a young Alex Zulle the way he went down there.
We parted company near Stocks Country Club and settled into a steady 2 up just to eat up the remaining few flat miles. All that was left were Slapton, Eaton Bray and Totternhoe and you ended up at the front door of event HQ.
It was a thoroughly good ride. The company was great during the ride and it was great to see club riders at the start and finish. The coffee and cake was also very welcome, though I didn't have any cake....why?
Red and green should never be seen

Chairman &Tim on Bow Brickhill
Feeling full of beans on Bison Hill
I'll pencil this one in for next year as well, so thanks Globe RC.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Earth Wind & Mire

Riding has been a bit of a bummer since the imperial ton I rode last week. It's been a busy period at work, and I've felt tired on top of that. My legs feels like they're finishing a ride when I've only just set off and my breathing has been hard. I've now concluded that I've been ill or fighting off illness.
Another downer was the cancellation of my first race of the year. I was to have been racing at Weekley Woods near Kettering, but there had been an illegal rave on the land and the party goers have destroyed the place. It just means that now I'd have to go straight into the road season without a settling in race.
Furthermore the only chance I got to even look at my bike over the weekend was on a day of gale force winds and driving rain. Still I decided to go out. I drove myself to Stockgrove for an easy XC session, but arriving there it soon became clear it wasn't worth the effort and possibly even dangerous. So I had a token spin and went home.
My next ride was a two hour evening XC session with Nick. Again the ride was bloody hard, but after an hour I started to feel my old self again and didn't want to go home. That said I knew I was million miles from ready for the racing next week.
We had a great ride, one of those rides where you don't realize how hard every part of your body is working to stay upright and keep going in a straight line.
Just how hard the going was that night, was the fact that Nicks rear mech was ripped straight out of the frame!
Next on my get ready to race agenda is a 1 1/2 hour resistance turbo session, steady. And a 100km at the weekend again at under normal pace. Hopefully this will get me fresh for the first race rather than tired or ill..
However feeling like this I think my arse is going to be royally served back to me on a plate come Tuesday night.
I just have to remember that from now on I have eight solid months of racing ahead of me. Road and XC, then the cross season.
Still this sign cheered me right up Tuesday night, very So-Cal.
The 'F' word