Sunday, August 26, 2012

GS Gazzetta goes into Space

My last posting told of a potential battle of MIND over Body, in particular my mind and my body, as I contemplated the challenges which lie ahead for attempting LondonRide100 next summer. While I am a firm believer in the power of the mind, I do recognize that it may need a little help in getting my body to a condition where it can survive this challenge. And so I have devised a training plan, or rather a rough mental idea of some of the things that need to be accomplished. The goal is to be able to ride faster, further and for longer than I have ever previously managed. To achieve this I will also need to pay attention to my dietary requirements both on and off the bike.
So this week I have been on 2 training rides, the first of which was with Mark, a friend from GS Gazzetta, who can always be relied upon to travel fast and push me to my limits and beyond.   The bare statistics of the ride can be found at

My instructions to Mark were quite clear before we started; a flat route and an average speed of ~21kph, my target speed for the London100. To a mountain goat however, flat is a very relative matter and I also discovered that he cannot count despite working at a school. I pity the children!!  Thankfully Mark just pointed out Mow Cop to me as we sped along as it was not on to-day’s route , though he promised me that we could work on my climbing legs next time I visited ( Thanks Mark! ).  The weather was dry and warm and quite a few cyclists had ventured out which seemed to spur some hidden racing instinct into my companion as we were forced to chase down any cyclist ahead of us, especially if they were female, blonde and had a pony tail! I was too exhausted to be distracted. We managed a quick circuit of Jodrell Bank and were travelling at such a speed that I thought the dish was going to track us as we hurtled off into space, or in this case a tea shop which I INSISTED was a mandatory requirement of any ride, a concept alien to Mark ( I wonder if this flaw is common to all GS Gazzetta riders? ) The ride was good and exhilarating and at an average pace of 26kph for 60km it was a good workout, as the average heart rate of 140bpm, which is race pace for me, demonstrated. Thanks Mark.
As an aside, shortly after the ride had finished and we were sitting In Mark’s house, my left calf cramped up solid as a rock. I obviously must pay much closer attention to on-bike nutrition.

Increasing average speed will not by itself be sufficient, endurance is also required. And so my second training ride of the week looked at this aspect. For the past two weeks my regular ride with the Derby CTC Grand Veterans has ventured into the Peak District where the climbing seems relentless. So this week I was expecting a much more gradual affair in the flatter lands of South Derbyshire. It did not turn out quite as planned and the route details can be found at

Rather than meander alongside the River Derwent and remain in the valley we turned towards the hills around Bretby and encompassed the 3 counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire. Our leader had discovered a ‘short cut ‘ at one point which seemed to entail riding along bridleways and across some fields. I am not fond of this type of cycling. especially on my new Mercian Vincitore which is built for roads, and got dropped. However a combination of phone and Garmin 800 ( I KNEW that it wasn’t just a toy :-) ) meant that we became reunited again. I can now manage 80km rides fairly comfortably but need to increase this range quite dramatically and so as we neared ride’s end I left my companions and put in an extra 25km loop at a fairly quick pace to take me over the metric century.
A good week with a mixture of speed and endurance.

Next week I have entered, I must confess with a lot of trepidation,  a SKY Ride in Leicester. It is the Market Town Ride - Strong Plus which covers 50km but it says at a fast pace, much faster than my normal average. Entering at this level for my first ever GoSKYRide is perhaps being overly optimistic. However I hope it will once again introduce me to some new roads, new people and be another small step on my journey to fitness.

1 comment:

  1. It used to be that the CTC rides often took in the rutted farm track and bridleway! So often in fact that I continually had scratches on my watch face from the bushes at the side of them. It seems that you leave the roads much less now that cycles in general have adopted strange materials for the frame. I can assure you that your Mercian frame will stand many miles of such punishment and I know your Vintage Mercian already has! The wheels however are a different matter.

    For this winter you are going to need another set of wheels. I would think the solution is: to use your present set for the immanent winter, and get an even lighter set ready for next summer. They will be ideal for the riding you will be doing in London and I also hope for the various ventures you set yourself next year.

    Changing wheels is much easier than changing tyres, using this technique you could also afford to change to a slightly more puncture proof set on your standard wheels giving you some better grip for the winter. You may well need it as you are going much faster now.