Steve and I rode out to the Trough yesterday, to watch the Tour of Britain come streaming over some of the hills we spend large amounts of time stomping over for training (and “escaping from real life”).
Apparently the two leaders had averaged over 30mph from the start in Blackpool to where we saw them. That’s quite scary as i rarely get to 30mph unless i’m heading down a hill. Add to that the fact that, when i ride over the same set of hills – even with a bit of gusto – i tend to average around 17 – 19mph and you come up with a clear indication that there’s something very wrong with them (not me, I’m perfect, the fault is theirs)!
I’ll be riding over the hills in the pics tonight, in the pouring rain no doubt, pretending that i’ve broken away from the peloton and am racing for the glory of the stage win. Feel free to laugh at my pitiful efforts to look fast and impressive if you happen to be up there…
Still haven’t sorted out the brakes on the ‘dale since they died at SITS…in fact I’ve still got steve’s xtr canti’s on it, i should probably sort that out.
Anyway, went for a play-ride on sunday on the bullit, round Darwen tower and the woods below. I’d forgotten just how fun it is to ride (downwards) and just how much you can slide round corners when you’ve got a nice calm bike to ride. That was fun, although i am considering getting rid of said bullit to suppliment my race bike situation (there may be other “developments” on that front, say no more say no more wink wink nod nod), which would be sad…but how much would i actually miss it?
Since I replaced the rear brake pads on the bullit it’s sat in the kitchen unloved, since the end of March, in fact. My more serious attitude towards training (well, i say ‘serious’, i mean ‘structured’…i still get all excited and run out of the office shouting “yay, i’m off for a ride” like i always have and probably always will) means i’m spending more time riding long distances on the xc bike in preperation for races, or building up strength and endurance on the road bike.
The bullit’s set up for travelling back down the hills fast and making silly things possible and although it can quite happliy cruise around all day (i’ve ridden 60-70mile off road rides on it before now) you have to be in no rush. Much of the time when i’m on it now i find myself wishing for something more suited to efficient mile-munching…and of course, there’s the whole desire to get more fun out of the trails i regularly ride, which can be kind of sanitised by running what was once considered a “long travel DH bike” over them…
Perhaps we’ve just grown apart?
dgpowell 3:42 pm on August 24, 2006 | 4 Comments | # |
It takes two:
- Bikes, so there’s always a clean one ready at the end of each lap. I only had one (usable)bike due to the other not being suited to the “conditions”, but i was still able to keep rocking…thanks of course to:
- Helper, at least AS important as the actual rider IMHO. Thanks to steve i didn’t curl up in a ball and die at some ungodly hour of the morning, didn’t blow up due to not eating, always had a working bike to ride, always knew where abouts in the race standings i was and generally didn’t have to think about anything except getting back out riding…superb!
- Different races in one, my first 13 laps were done in dusty dry conditions, with super fast singletrack. The rest were done in often unridable, slimey, sticky, heavy mud with general slop where the singletrack used to be!
To make SITS 2006.
I came 6th out of 81 finishers (pretty sure there were more starters than that), with 21laps (i thought i’d done 22, but ho hum).
No doubt i will write some more about the race at some point this week, but for now i will just say a BIG THANKYOU to steve for supporting me, kicking me out of the pits, cleaning my bike over and over again, fixing my bike – I vaguely remember much swearing and banging going on in the background during the early hours of the morning, while i sat very still trying to eat without retching, as steve completely stripped my knackered brakes and replace them with his own to ensure i could keep racing – stuffing food down me when i didn’t want it (but needed it), encouraging me and generally putting up with my sad moaning for 24hrs without resorting to violence!
A couple of pics are up here for you (thanks to Cat for taking them). There’ll be some more on the STW site once simon’s finished faffing with them – they should be searchable by rider number (i was 1223, guy was 1254 and steve was 866 (i think)) and if you do a search of the stw forum you’ll find links to numerous other pic filled sites too.
Geeky Race Stats: 6th place (81 finishers), 21 laps in 24hrs 12mins 9secs (19hrs 51mins actual riding time)
151.81miles, 7.8mph av speed (25.4mph max), 15,588.3ft climbing
142bpm ave heart rate (inc. all stops), 208bpm max (Yes! 208bpm!!)
Can’t remember what i ate and drank, but it wasn’t very much (thanks, yet again, to steve for the ribose and such magic remedies!)
dgpowell 11:06 am on August 15, 2006 | 13 Comments | # |
Clicky = Biggy
Rich and I did the Pennine Pedal on Sunday, a nice 60km loop from Colne with pretty much no flat bits at all (with the exception of the nice spin along the canal) and somewhere in the region of 5000ft climbing.
I’m happy to say that my leg, although still sore when walking/riding, is good enough to not affect pedalling as I discovered as we cruised round the route getting lost, going the wrong way and generally getting stuff wrong!
Commiserations must go to rich for falling off while riding uphill and shredding the palm of his hand. I’m sorry it happened, but it didn’t half look funny!
Le click = le big
The only downside of the day was the distinct lack of trains home; we finished the ride at about 2pm, meaning i’d missed a train by just over 30mins…and there wasn’t another one for over 1hr 30mins, which sucked.
Rich gave me a lift to Blackburn station, in the hope that there’d be more services from there but sadly there weren’t. I sat around on the platform for about 10mins (by this time it was about 3pm and the next train wasn’t until 4.15pm), got fed up waiting (a fisherman i’ll never be) and decided to race home with the intention of being back before the train got to the station…which i did with 20mins to spare, although i did run out of drink halfway. Ace.
The weather study for SITS has begun in earnest (as has the last minute bike fettling!), it’s looking good at the mo, but i imagine all that will change at least 10 times before the days themselves…
dgpowell 9:34 am on August 7, 2006 | 3 Comments | # |
UPDATE: the results are out, I finished in 4hrs 54mins.
That’s me in that pic that is, obviously taken very early on in Sunday’s Merida, as both my legs are the same shape, there’s a distinct lack of bruising and my bars still appear to be in one piece!
The swelling on my leg and shoulder is going down now, as is the number of sympathy votes I’m getting at work (never get any at home!) and my limp is becoming less pronounced…although stairs are still not my friend. This is good as it was a kind of bland swelling, not an ‘exaggeration of the muscles’ style swelling.
Most of the bruising is fading, which is a bit of a shame as bruises don’t hurt much, but do look rather dramatic and when mixed with the right tale of tragedy and “‘race-car-driver’ daring-do” can be highly effective bages of coolness.
The bike has been cleaned, checked over and modified to counter the problems i found on sunday. I’m sat in the office awaiting a nice box of shiny new stuff (bars and grips) to replace what was written off in the race and the option to upgrade components that didn’t work as well as i would have like is being considered…
…oh ok, there weren’t any components that didn’t work well (myself not included!), I’m just a bit bored and like looking at shiny new stuff!
The size of the drops and steepness of the descents on Sunday’s route have grown dramatically. My heroism, skill and talent during the event have increased 10fold, as has the amount of climbing and overall distance of the route when ever I am asked about it (or find some way of inserting it into completely non-related conversations if i don’t feel my greatness has been acknowledged enough) and the percieved nonchalance with which i describe these things has also increased somewhat.
I’d say the healing process was in full swing
dgpowell 10:08 am on August 2, 2006 | 2 Comments | # |