Twinkly Dave – Mud splattered bicycle and pizza enthusiast Growing old disgracefully

May 30, 2008

Submerged in training

Filed under: bikes — dgpowell @ 11:34 am

Mountain Mayhem is only a few weeks away, with a rare foray into the world of NPS marathon races happening the week before and I am heading for them up to my neck in big training weeks.

Sitting round on holiday doing nothing was lovely, but now it’s time to hammer for as long as possible as often as possible and get rid of some of the lard I’ve stuck on my waist. Last night’s 2hr thrash @ 172bpm hr felt great (in a painful, gasping way) and today I’m off into the hills all afternoon and evening to relearn how to suffer 🙂
This process will be repeated over and over again, in ever increasing amounts, until it’s time to rest up and recover into something resmbling a bit of good form. Bring it on.

May 28, 2008

Alienated by Adverts

Filed under: not bikes,rubbish weather — dgpowell @ 1:27 pm

“when you need 100 million in bonds to create a city in the desert…”

“when you need to organise a global workforce across 10 timezones to facilitate your government policies…”

“Oh bloody hell, this TV channel really isn’t aimed at people like me, is it?” I pondered, as another company, with the word “solutions” in their title tried to convince me that i needed their consultants to “strategically something my global position in something else to aid me in stramlining something I’ve not heard of before”. The BBC World News channel was quite obviously for international, high flying, executive, successful businessmen…not a beer swilling, package holiday enjoying dreamer like me, but i continued to watch, simply because it was the only channel in english (though the turkish version of Deal or No Deal held my attention for a while).

The rest of the holiday was more on my level…and occasionally below it (“it’s chikkin an chips thou, innit”), with some nice views, sun and the occasional beer. The 9hr flight delay on the way back was a bit galling though (I finally got in at 4.30am…making the following day’s 6hr ride even worse than it would have been)

beer on the beach

I’m back now and I see that it’s windy, cold and wet outside. Oh good.

olu deniz from above

May 18, 2008


Filed under: not bikes — dgpowell @ 9:54 pm

i’m off on my holibobs for a week now, woo

6hr marathon ‘pedalo’ sessions at the beach for training 🙂


May 17, 2008

Ying/Yang or summat

Filed under: bikes — dgpowell @ 10:10 pm

Well, the fact that i’m posting this at 10pm…when Wildboaqr24 isn’t due to finish until 2pm tomorrow might suggest that it didn’t go well.

It didn’t.
Ignoring the problems that having a race course a mile away (up/down a bridleway) from the race course/solo pit area brings with it, I got myself set up for the race, shot off from the gun, felt great – better than last week – managed 2 problem free laps then managed to stuff the mech on the scandal into the spokes (in a replay of what happened at the strathuffer), after suffering 3 punctures in one lap.

Apparently i was sitting pretty in 2nd at the time, without even breaking a sweat, it was easy (admittedly the course was 90% fireroad…and even the “extreme caution” sections were simple enough, so technically it wasn’t much of a challenge*), i felt like i could have ridden like that for more than 24hrs, or upped the pace whenever i felt like it.
Chatting to the team camped next to me, after I’d dropped out, i’d overtaken one of them and appeared to be “flying”. They were in 6th at the time and had moved up to 4th by the time i left, so it seems like i was finding it easy to go properly fast.

Oh well, time to lick some metaphorical wounds, fix lots of bikes and et ready for Mountina Mayhem in June…I’ve had all this year’s bad luck now, it’s time to do some proper racing.

Hello to everyone who said hello/cheered me on/was generally cheerful and good luck if you’re still racing (err, even though you won’t be able to read this cos you’re still racing…)

(Ying/Yang = winning last week, failing this week)

*Yes, I am aware of the irony of saying it was easy when I’ve just knackered my bike on it.

May 13, 2008

Clic24 – copied from the on-one site

Filed under: bikes,new car,on-one — dgpowell @ 3:22 pm

The following is copied wholesale from the on-one site, I’ll just add here (mostly for Matt’s benefit) that the berlingo rocks for transporting masses of kit to bike races. A lot.

For the uninitiated, Clic24 is a 24 hour event down south in the Mendips (or up north in the Mendips of you’re from further south, obviously). It’s aim, apart from raising lots of money for charity, has been to mix a laid back atmosphere with a great course, a feat the organisers have achieved brilliantly for the past few years. Many riders come back year after year to one of the smaller 24hr events on the UK scene for another crack at the 10 mile, singletrack infested loop and to chill out in the countryside in between laps. Including me, competing in it for the third time in as many years…

After a good winter’s training, followed by a poor spring (don’t really know what’s been wrong with me, but every big ride has left me knackered for twice as long as it should…meaning I’ve had to knock lots of rides on the head in order to get some extra rest…but I digress) I wasn’t sure how I would fare over the full 24hrs and as such my overall aim was to just sit at “summer race pace” for as long as I could; to get some information on how fit I was for later in the season. Of course, I’d won the event last year, so my ego also demanded that I push it a bit, so as to at least make it hard for anyone else who might dare to think they could take the title off me…

I’d spent the Friday night with a few friends who were riding as a team, “preparing” for the race by drinking ale provided by the on site bar and watching massive thunderstorms roll across the hills around us…praying that they would stay away, which they duly did. By the Saturday morning, as the first of the team riders and the soloists began to line up on the start line the laid back atmosphere was in full effect, with everyone chatting away to everyone else about what kit they were running, how they were hoping to do, the weather…anything really, it was just a great place to be and we knew it!

12pm arrived and the long snake of riders shot off into the hills, bathed in sunshine and eager to start hammering the swooping course as quickly as possible. I got into a nice fast rhythm and set about working my way through the riders in front of me, flinging the 29er across the trails and grinning from ear to ear as I skimmed over the rocks and roots chanting “on your right/on your left/hows it going/cheers” almost non stop.
The pace was almost ludicrously fast, the bone dry and quick rolling course meant there was little time for respite while off road (though a one mile flat road section back the transition area provided opportunity for drinking/eating) and just over four hours in I was finishing my seventh lap, still feeling strong (if a little cooked in the sun) and delighted to have been told from a couple of onlookers that I was in the lead by about 5 minutes. I carried on at near enough the same pace for another four laps before coming off the course to get my lights set up for the night and to shovel some food down my neck.
Amazingly, my stomach was feeling in good shape and I was able to eat whatever seemed like the best thing to munch on at the time (sorry, I can’t remember what it was, it might have been some sort of sundered tomato and pasta thing), unlike my usual state of having to force down anything bland while my digestive system has a fit. After eating more than seemed necessary (the calorie counter on my heart rate monitor was claiming I’d already burnt off nearly three days worth of food, so much “cookie-monster”-esque gobbling of high carb foodstuffs took place) I headed back out on to the rapidly darkening course, with my legs feeling as fresh as they were at the start but arms beginning to ache from the constant pounding the baked dry ground was giving them.

me at clic24
(Pic stolen from Alex Leigh’s flikr site – click it for more)

Three laps later I’d slowed down by about ten minutes a lap (from about 42-44 up to nearly 55), partly because of the darkness but mostly because what had been a mild ache in my hands, wrists and forearms had become a severe enough pain for me to have to clench my teeth together and grimace my way down most of the descents…which had started to rut up quite badly under braking, just to make it worse.
By 3.30am I was having serious trouble holding on to the bars, so made the decision to stop and rest up for a bit. I spent just over an hour sat in my tent, cradling my arms and applying copious amounts of ibuprofen gel (“why don’t my fingers go numb if this stuff actually works” I thought to myself as I smeared another layer of the gel into already saturated skin) before realising that I would just have to get on with riding in the state I was.

The temperature out on the course through the night was just about perfect (far better for endurance riding than the heat of the previous day) and despite having to go slower than I would have liked downhill riding though the dawn lifted my spirits – as did finding out that I was still leading after the time off the course.

Throughout the morning, each time the current rider rankings were released by the organisers the gap between myself and the second placed rider rarely stretched to more than about thirty minutes. It was a great incentive to keep out on the course as much as possible and try to ignore the battering my now swollen arms were taking, and although I did have to stop a couple more times to rest up (and to enjoy being able to eat at that point in a 24hr race…) I was still enjoying the competition.

By 10.45am I finished my 22nd and last lap, deciding that I should really have a rest before the long journey home and not risk blowing up (hey, I’ve got another 24hr race this weekend, I’ve got to ration the energy!). It turned out that despite doing this I had ridden enough to win for the second year in succession – the first person to do so and had equalled the record for number of solo laps in the process. Ace.

Sadly, while packing everything back into the car I discovered that carbon downtube on the cabal had come unbonded from the headtube, making it a write off . 🙁
This was a bit gutting really, as I’d really grown to like the feel of the frame over the past twelve months (but would go some way to explaining the loud creaking coming from the front of the bike during the last few laps…), c’est la vie I guess.

I’ve now got the rest of this week to prepare for the Wildboar24 race in Grizedale, I’m hoping that I can recreate a bit of the pace that I found at Clic24 and, if I can, try to keep it up for a little longer – it’ll be great training for the big summer races!

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