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Showing posts from January, 2012

Hard Ride into the Cotswolds

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Here is the route map and Garmin plot from one of the guys that I was riding with yesterday. It was a pretty damn cold, seriously hilly and very fast ride into the Cotswolds - some serious winter training. I blew up with about 10km to go due to lack of food, and (I know excuses, excuses) a mudguard that was rubbing so much it was practically a brake.

Anyway, check it out:
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/1457599454

Preview:




Nutrition: Eating for Recovery

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Last weekend I did a piece on Alternative Energy Foods, giving some ideas about how you can effectively fuel your body for long hours in the saddle, without spending the world on energy bars and gels.

This week I turn to recovery; a topic that is just as important as training itself; but something that many of us neglect (including myself from time to time). A key part of recovery is the food we eat after a hard ride; this blog post gives a few ideas on how to refuel and re-energize after training and racing, so that you are ready for another hard day in the saddle the day after.

Fast Protein On finishing a hard ride, your muscles are worn down and fatigued. In order to start the recovery process as quickly as possible, you want to get protein to them while the blood is still pumping to them at a fast rate. This means taking on between 15-25 grams of protein within 25 mins of stopping cycling. This can be a tough ask when you all you may want to do is have a hot bath, wash your bike o…

Weekend Watch: Ride The Divide Trailer

Ride The Divide Teaser from Ride The Divide on Vimeo.
A feature length documentary about a small group of adventurous mountain bikers who set out to race the longest established mountain bike route in the world.
Traversing over 2700 miles through the Rocky Mountains from Banff, Canada to the Mexican Border.

This has to be one of the most impressive events in the world. I would like to say I aspire to do it one day, but I'm really not sure I could hack it (and I don't say that a lot!) Chapeau to all that take part in it!

Weekend Watch: "Stunt Riding on a Carbon Road Bike"

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I have no idea how you do this...but it is pretty impressive!
I wonder how many tyres he burst on those rocks?!

Hints and Tips: Riding in Groups/Pelotons

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I was asked a week or so ago to write a piece on etiquette for riding in large groups or pelotons. Luckily the club that I ride with up at Uni on some Sundays: The Kenilworth Wheelers, have a great page on their website about "conduct during club rides". A large amount of the material below is sourced from there; I hope you find it interesting and that it will teach you or remind you about the generic rules for group riding.

Riding in The Group
When riding in a group, it is important to ride in a smooth and predictable manner, and concentrate on what is happening with the other riders around you. You should also be aware of the road conditions and terrain at all times, to ensure you keep a steady pace.If the event is not a race, riders should organise into pairs - with the second pair back following directly behind the front pair. There is a tendency for riders to sit slightly to the side of one another, and overlap wheels, this is dangerous as it creates an echelon across the…

Nutrition: Alternative Energy Foods

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Long rides such as Sportives or Century Rides require our bodies to take on a large number of calories, with specific nutritional qualities; in order to keep our legs spinning optimally. The modern energy food market is so broad and so developed, that when you begin shopping around for your "Event Diet", the choice can be overwhelming, both in terms of diversity and price.

Having completed 5 consecutive 'Century Ride' days coming back up through France on my touring trip last year [Link], and then starting 2012 with a Century Ride twice round the Isle of Wight; I have begun to learn quite a bit about what my body needs and wants for long hours in the saddle.

This blogpost is titled "Alternative Energy Foods"; I do not want to take away from the benefits of modern energy gels and bars; they have their place in every jersey pocket. But I have discovered that after a few days or even a few hours of consuming them your body wants something different, or at leas…

Weekend Watch: Trek Winter Sessions Whistler

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Oh to dream of dry trails and endless single-track...This week's Weekend Watch is an advert from Trek USA for their new 'Slash' Model - even if you're not a mountain biker, I'm sure you'll appreciate the stunning photography and back-drops.

Hints and Tips: Cold Weather Riding

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In the last few days we have been subjected to a textbook level winter high pressure system: clear blue skies, sub-zero temperatures, starry nights and breathless wind conditions.

For many, this description sends literal, as well as physical shivers down the spine; the thought of icy roads, frozen extremities and potential tumbles; persuades many to stay indoors, or at best do a turbo session in the garage.

But this shouldn't have to be the case; these conditions can provide some of the most stunning scenery, and some of the most enjoyable riding that you will do all year. This post aims to give a few hints and tips of what you can do; firstly to get out riding in the cold conditions, and secondly to stay safe when you are out there.

Use the main roads - Sticking to the main-roads is an obvious tactic when there is ice about. The routes will almost certainly have been gritted and therefore ice is less of a risk. I often find that the icy conditions deter many car drivers from goin…

Weekend Watch: 'Rapha 1910 Challenge'

The 1910 Challenge from RAPHA on Vimeo. The centenary of the Col du Tourmalet's inclusion in the Tour de France will be celebrated with a mountain-top finish on stage 17 of this year's edition of the race. As well as the special edition Tourmalet Jersey, Rapha honour the first ever Tour stage that tackled the Tourmalet with a tribute ride, The 1910 Challenge.

Weekend Watch: 'Life Cycles' Trailer

Life Cycles - Stance Films - OFFICIAL 2010 Mountain Bike Trailer from vas entertainment on Vimeo.

Life Cycles tells a spectacular story of the bike, from its creation to its eventual demise. A visually stunning journey, with thought provoking narration.

The 'Maillot Jaune' (Wightlink RT Jersey)

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The Jersey I will be wearing next year, road racing for the Wightlink Race Team

Twice Round The Isle of Wight

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Yesterday I ticked off the first of my 2012 Objectives: to ride two laps of the Isle of Wight Randonnee route.
It was a very enjoyable ride, with winter sunshine all day and a welcome tailwind down the west coast of the Island.

The Ride Stats:110.6 Miles06:47hrs Riding Time16.2mph Average4472Kcals Burnt (that's a few mince-pies)Estimated 2268m Ascent Elevation We set off early just as the sun came up at 0800, and rode the first lap in 03:12 hours riding time. Stopping off at home for a quick bowl of pasta and a cup of coffee, we then began the second lap at about 1300. 
By the time we had reached Blackgang on the second lap the sun was setting over the Channel. The ominous storm clouds that brought today's F10 winds were building; it was quite a sight. Headtorches on, and tapping away, we completed the second lap in 03:35 hours riding time. Considering it was only a year and a half ago that 03:20 was a record for me for once round, both those times were pretty respectable.
I d…