Print Story Weekend ride
By hulver (Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 08:26:21 AM EST) (all tags)
I did a training ride this weekend.

After what I consider a failure the previous weekend (aiming for the long ride, and struggling around the short course) I was a bit nervous coming up to this weekends ride.

It was an organised 100km ride, and I was extending it by riding 70km to the start and 70km home again. 240km in total.

I prepared my bike the day before, got an early night and was up at 4am. The organised ride started at 9am, and I wanted at least 1/2 an hour to have some breakfast.

I hoped that I would make it in time.

I set off at 4:40am, in the early morning light, cycling on fairly quiet roads (some areas still had quite a few cars around) cursing the idiots driving without lights on. Ok, so it's quite light, but it's still 5:30 in the morning, it's not bright, turn your lights on idiots.

There were a few hills at the start of the ride, but I took it easy up them, not wanting to get tired out too soon. My uphill speed is slow, once the hills get steeper.

Then I was on the flat ground North of Sheffield. This is very flat. Straight roads, and the wind can be horrible if you're unlucky. There's little to break it up out here. Fortunately the wind was fairly sedate, so I just slumped on the aero-bars and kept pedalling.

2 hours and 50 minutes later I was there. 70km done. ~25km/hr average speed.


Looks like my training has been paying off. On the flat at least. That's the quickest I've ever done that distance in, and I wasn't even trying very hard. Just cruising along at a speed I could keep up all day, because that's what I need to do.

So I ordered my low carb breakfast (eggs, sausage, bacon, mushrooms) and tucked into the first food of the day. Then I realised, 70km on an empty stomach. That's not bad going. I didn't feel tired, or that hungry.

Eventually other cyclists started arriving. I got my brevet card and loaded the route on my gps. About roughly 20 - 30 people turned up for this one, so a very small ride really. It was a nice day for it though. Overcast, but not really cold.

Then it was time to go. "It's nine o'clock, so you can leave if you're ready" said the organiser. Audax is a very laid back type of affair :D

I was in the first small bunch of people away, but they seemed to be fannying about a bit, so I got on the front and settled into my cruising speed, expecting a few people to sit on my back wheel. When I turned around for a look nobody was. On my own again. A big difference this time though, being on my own at the front.

Of course it didn't last long. I went straight on over the first roundabout, a bit confused by the track on my gps which went right as well. I was trying to remember if the course came back the same way, when I realised that my track was just wrong. I'd downloaded it from somebody who'd done the ride the year before, and although I'd checked it, I'd missed that he'd obviously taken the wrong way at the first turn off.

By the time I turned around and got back on the route again, I was at the back.

Oh well. I had fun chasing some people down and catching them up. Passed quite a few, and then got to the only really dodgy bit of the course. A bridleway, rough, gravel, pot holed surface. That was on interesting ride on 23mm tyres, I can tell you.

Still, it was only a mile or so long. I caught up to some more people down there, and we stuck together as a group on the next bit of road. Having a nice chat until there was a quite long section of "up". Fairly large bits of "up" they were too, being marked with a chevron on the map. Still, I dropped off the back while I twiddled my way up them, and then there was quite a nice section of down into the town of Beverley.

This was the first manned control. The person here stamps your card and writes the time on it. Audax works on a series of "controls". You have to get to the controls in a certain time range based on the distance. There is a minimum speed and a maximum speed. I got there in just over 2 hours to cover 45 km. Which was pretty good going considering the included gravel path.

Then there was the final 55km back to the start of the ride. I covered that in 2hrs and 43 minutes, with one stop to top up water bottles and have a quick snack, as it was getting near lunch time.

The most memorable part of this was the Hare I saw. I was just cruising down a small hill, and came around a corner to see a Hare in the middle of the road. It ran off in front of me, saw that I was still following it and sped up. I was doing 41km/h (I checked to see how fast the Hare was going) and he was pulling away from me, then it swerved sideways into a field. Fast Hare. :D

Total time for the 100km ride, 4 hours 40 minutes (ish). My fastest ever time for 100km. Very pleased with that.

Then, time for lunch, and the 70km back home again. I covered that in 3 hours and 5 minutes. So 15 minutes slower on the way home (well, it was up hill).

Total time I was out of the house, 13 hours 20 minutes. Time on the bike, roughly 10 and a half hours. So almost 3 hours sat around eating and faffing.

Total distance covered, 242km (150 miles). 18.22 km/hr average speed (including stops).

I tell you something though, I do like being fit. Not struggling along at the back of a ride, wondering if you're going to finish in time is a good feeling.

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Weekend ride | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Yay for fitness! by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 11:28:42 AM EST
Great job on that ride!  Glad the training is paying off.  

I did 250km this weekend, but not all in one day.  :)  168 on Saturday, 82 on Sunday.  I had a stoker for 166km of that. 

Fell off the back of 2nd group on the club ride on my single bike.  I no longer have trouble keeping up with 2nd group on the flats but I get dropped as the grade increases past 5% or so.   Same story with the two of us on the tandem in rec group.  Keeping up on the flats is not too hard, but we crawl up hills.  Of course we rocket down hills as well, sometimes coasting past people who are pedaling.  We're still seeing improvement on the climbs, maybe someday we'll be able to keep up uphill.

You guys amaze me. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 11:37:57 AM EST
The longest I've ever gone is 85mi and I was exhausted. I wanted to try for a 120mi day this year but the schedule fell apart.

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
I used to think I'd always be slow. by hulver (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 11:53:03 AM EST
I enjoyed riding long distances, but it was a struggle.

Then 4 weeks ago I started a structured training program. Having something to tell me "Do this then, then this, then this" has helped massively.

I'm still rubbish up hills, but that's because I'm still really fat. My stamina has improved a lot, and my strength is increasing as well.

That's just 4 weeks in. I'm starting the 5th week this week. Having a goal (doing this bonkers LEL 1400km ride is mine) and knowing what to do to reach it is important I think.

Plus having a fantastic wife who prods me and encourages me helps enormously.
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

[ Parent ]
I'll have to look into that by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 01:14:42 PM EST
I'd seen some of those recently and I've become curious?

What program are you using?

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
The Sufferfest intermediate program by hulver (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 02:15:10 AM EST
If you're starting from scratch it would be expensive though, as you need a lot of the videos. I already had a lot of them so it wasn't too bad.
Cheese is not a hat. - clock
[ Parent ]
That's a long way by Herring (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 01:23:32 PM EST
I think the most I've ever ridden in a day is 128 miles. That did include some Welsh mountains though.

If I want to do a respectable 12 hour next year, I'll need to get up to 10 hour rides.

What's your plan for LEL? PLF for a couple of days then find a B&B? Or little sleep and often?

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

You'll have to update your OKC profile by anonimouse (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 02:05:01 PM EST
..change the fat bloke on bike piccie to a thinner version

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
I can do 30 miles by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #8 Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 10:37:33 AM EST
and still walk at the end of it. Go up a flight of stairs, even. My average speed over that distance is 12 MPH, but the route has some hills. Have gotten below 210 lbs, which is something like 150 UKian rocks. Seem to have leveled off there, however. It's rumored that stopping at the Dairy Queen at the end may have somethign to do with that.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Weekend ride | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback